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Epistemic Fencelines: Air Monitoring Instruments and Expert-Resident Boundaries

Ottinger, Gwen (2010) Epistemic Fencelines: Air Monitoring Instruments and Expert-Resident Boundaries. Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, 3 (1). 55 - 67. ISSN 1913-0465

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Abstract

Scientific instruments can help to shape and re-shape epistemic boundaries, especially those between communities of scienti?c researchers. But how do they function at boundaries between scienti?c communities and communities of non-experts? This paper examines the use of air monitoring instruments at the boundary between petrochemical facilities and nearby residential communities, asking whether a new generation of fenceline monitors shared by industry (and regulatory agency) experts and community members alter the epistemic boundary between the two groups. Arguing that epistemic communities organized around instruments are characterized, in part, by a common understanding of the evidential contexts for instrumental data, the paper shows how the evidential contexts in which experts and residents interpret monitoring data diverge. Instead of the new, shared fenceline monitors helping to reconcile differences over evidential contexts, those pre-existing contexts shape the interpretation of data from the new instruments–perpetuating epistemic boundaries between industry experts and community members.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Ottinger, Gwen
Keywords: Scientific Realism; Epistemic Issues; Epistemology of Science
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Jordan Miller
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2021 16:38
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2021 16:38
Item ID: 17932
Journal or Publication Title: Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science
Publisher: The University of Toronto
Official URL: https://spontaneousgenerations.library.utoronto.ca...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.4245/sponge.v3i1.6115
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 11 January 2010
Page Range: 55 - 67
Volume: 3
Number: 1
ISSN: 1913-0465
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17932

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