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Ambivalence, equivocation and the politics of experimental knowledge: a transdisciplinary neuroscience encounter

Fitzgerald, Des, Littlefield, Melissa M., Knudsen, Kasper J., Tonks, James and Dietz, Martin J. 2014. Ambivalence, equivocation and the politics of experimental knowledge: a transdisciplinary neuroscience encounter. Social Studies of Science 44 (5) , pp. 701-721. 10.1177/0306312714531473

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Abstract

This article is about a transdisciplinary project between the social, human and life sciences, and the felt experiences of the researchers involved. ‘Transdisciplinary’ and ‘interdisciplinary’ research-modes have been the subject of much attention lately – especially as they cross boundaries between the social/humanistic and natural sciences. However, there has been less attention, from within science and technology studies, to what it is actually like to participate in such a research-space. This article contributes to that literature through an empirical reflection on the progress of one collaborative and transdisciplinary project: a novel experiment in neuroscientific lie detection, entangling science and technology studies, literary studies, sociology, anthropology, clinical psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Its central argument is twofold: (1) that, in addition to ideal-type tropes of transdisciplinary conciliation or integration, such projects may also be organized around some more subterranean logics of ambivalence, reserve and critique; (2) that an account of the mundane ressentiment of collaboration allows for a more careful attention to the awkward forms of ‘experimental politics’ that may flow through, and indeed propel, collaborative work more broadly. Building on these claims, the article concludes with a suggestion that such subterranean logics may be indissociable from some forms of collaboration, and it proposes an ethic of ‘equivocal speech’ as a way to live with and through these kinds of transdisciplinary experiences.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0306-3127
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2019 10:16
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/76425

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