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Open lecture: The Kernel of a Research Infrastructure


The lecture will be held by assistant professor David Ribes at 10:00 am Friday June 7th, auditorium DL33, NTNU Dragvoll (Låven).

05.06.2013 15:20   |   Ole Einar Marken


​Ribes is visiting us as a part of the Digital Oil prosject. Friday you are invited to his lecture.
Lecture abstract
Infrastructure makes it easier, faster or possible for investigators to study new objects of research. It does so by making available stable resources and services such as data, collaboration tools, sites of material sample collection, or calibrated instruments.
This paper offers the concept of the kernel of a research infrastructure as a new unit of analysis for the investigation of the enabling capacities of infrastructure. The kernel is the core resources and services an infrastructure makes available (what I call the cache), as well as the work, techniques and
technologies that go into sustaining that availability (what I call addressing).
By inspecting and comparing the kernel of two long-term scientific organizations, this paper demonstrates how focusing on the kernel can help explain key qualities of research infrastructure such as flexibility and persistence in the face of dramatic changes to the objects, methods and practice of research.
Ribes' Bio
David Ribes is assistant professor in the Communication, Culture and Technology (CCT) program at Georgetown University. He is a sociologist of science who focuses on the development and maintenance of research infrastructure (i.e., networked information technologies for the support of interdisciplinary science); its relation to long-term changes in the conduct of science; and epistemic transformations in objects of research.
He has a degree in sociology, but the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) is his first affiliation. His methods are ethnographic, archival and comparative.


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