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Representation in Scientific Practice Revisited$
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Catelijne Coopman, Janet Vertesi, Michaeland Lynch, and Steve Woolgar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262525381

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262525381.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Essential Tensions and Representational Strategies

Essential Tensions and Representational Strategies

(p.223) 11 Essential Tensions and Representational Strategies
Representation in Scientific Practice Revisited

Cyrus C. M. Mody

The MIT Press

In efforts to advance themselves and their work, scientists balance a tension between innovation and tradition: this is what Thomas Kuhn called the “essential tension” in science. Yet, in many cases it is not self-evident whether a particular argument or piece of evidence should be seen as conventional or iconoclastic. This chapter draws upon a case study of scanning probe microscopy – a central technology in nanotechnology research – and explores how scientists in that field have represented data and conclusions in both conventional and unconventional ways to guide audiences toward preferred interpretations.

Keywords:   Innovation, Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy, Nanotechnology, Persuasion, Visual convention

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