Monday, August 4, 2014

Interesting article

Dear all,
I hope you all are spending wonderful summer. Just for some fun, I want to share the interesting article published in STHV(Science, Technology, and Human Values) at May issue. The title is "Not just neoliberalism: Economization in US science and technology policy".

I found this interesting because it is conceptually separating the neoliberalization and economization, and tracing both of neoliberal and economic tradition of US science and technology policy. Empirical part is not pretty new; however it well summarized and illustrated the historical events in US science and technology policy. I see lots of references that we covered in last semester. :)

Enjoy the rest of your summer! -June

Friday, May 9, 2014

Great work in today's presentation

Folks, thanks so much for your thoughtful and engaging presentations today.  I know that our audience was impressed.  (I already had one colleague ask us if we could teach the course every year!)  I learned a lot from seeing the university through your eyes over the course of the semester; I hope hearing from Daniel and I was similarly interesting.  Best wishes for a safe and productive summer!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Coylvas readings

Hi folks.  Two readings for use with our guest speaker this Friday are online here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

“Academy Fight Song” The Baffler No. 23, 2013 Thomas Frank


Key Points:

·      The American University as utopian imaginary and a four-year degree represented as guaranteeing individual class ascendancy and national competitiveness; contrast this against the reality of the contemporary university (i.e. crippling student debt);

·       Contemporary University as supply-side education: “a ‘credential’ that’s ‘a prerequisite for 21st century jobs’,” an economic input,  but this is a higher education cliché; “no one really knows the particular contents of the education that is supposed to save us”;

o   college grads as colonizing an entire economy, perpetuating their “worth” via networking;
o   powerful quote: “Get something else, like a cosmetologist license or a membership in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and you lose
o   powerful quote: “What they sell, in other words, is something we believe to be so valuable it is almost impossible to measure”;

·      The University as academic capitalism: patents and startups; self-description as “entrepreneurial” institutions; outsourcing of operations; antagonistic to worker organization; wealth managers;

·      Selling the imaginary of the University to naïve student consumers: Grant to an industry control over access to the good things in life; insist that it transform itself into a throat-cutting, market-minded mercenary; get thought leaders to declare it to be the answer to every problem; mute any reservations the nation might have about it – and, lastly, send it your unsuspecting kids, armed with a blank check drawn on their own futures;

o   American student as “cash-cow” (monopolies and oligopolies: text book industry, standardized test industry, test-prep industry, enrollment management consultancies
o   Universities as luxury good (tuition hikes, Starchitect buildings)
o   Proliferation of university administrators with bloated salaries – their expanded role in governance; management theory and jargon
o   De-professionalization of faculty: proliferation of adjuncts and contingent labor

·      Academic capitalism has been chronicled for decades.  What “ought” to happen is that trends described should be put in reverse, but what “will” happen is a bubble bust, followed by more deep marketization

·      The “only way out”: student activism

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Elite South Korean University Rattled by Suicides (NYT, 2011)

(Following summary is not merely the summary of what I posted for the lecture today, but also includes my own thoughts on the situation of public research university in South Korea. Please enjoy this, and sorry for the late posting)

This article, published in the New York Times in 2011, is about serial suicides in KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), which is one of the most prestigious research universities in South Korea. Author traces the reason for multiple suicides of students and professor from the changing university policy, such as 100% English spoken lecture, penalty tuition fee policy.
           For the background, which is not very clear in this article, KAIST is originated from two institutions, KIST and KAIS – two elite-centered science research and education facilities founded by President Chunghee Park, military man who seized his presidency of South Korea from 1962 to 1979 and lead enormous economic development of country. With authoritarian and technocratic perspective, he believed that high-end research university which can produce the professional researcher for industry could elevate the economic status of South Korea, and KAIST is the legacy of his regime. Still, the logic of economic development by industrial firms with advanced scientists and engineers is widely spoken in the science and technology policy arena in South Korea, and KAIST in at the center of the structure as an elite public university which obligates to produce the best scientists and engineers for industry, and consequently for the economic development of nation. Historically, numerous researchers in Korean large conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai, and LG look to support this logic; however, we are facing new wave of neoliberal policy and globalization.
           According to the article, Nam-pyo Suh, Carnegie-Mallon trained engineer and past dean of the department of mechanical engineering of MIT for more than a decade, became a president of KAIST in 2006, and adopted his new policies which “aimed at modeling KAIST after MIT and other world-class science and research universities.” For the purpose of excellence, 100% of lectures opened in KAIST began to be taught in English, even Korean history and Korean writing class, and students who had the GPA lower than B (3.0) were enforced to pay additional ‘penalty’ tuition fee.
For him, the reason to initiate these harsh policies for the excellence of KAIST was simply from the history of KAIST. In surface, underlying belief of these policies were 1) raising the excellent student in globalizing world was imperative for the industrial firms and economic development of nation, and 2) competence among the students under the harsher environment would reward them with better knowledge and skill for their own future career.
           Thus, the story of KAIST is the cross road of many changes in current academia. The relationship between the industry and university is becoming tighter than before, South Korean context of government-led economic development model is still alive, and the goal of education is now to meet the ‘global standard’ in harsher environment. In South Korea, birth of the research university was historically in the context of government-led economic development model with technocratic linear model belief that elite scientists and engineers would drive the economic development. Now, it is time to ask what will be the future of KAIST, what the ‘public good’ is, and what should be done by KAIST, as a public research university, to meet the needs of public of South Korea in globalizing future.

Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science - Broad 2014

View the article with media at NYT. It is worth reading the text juxtaposed with the chosen imagery.

According to this recent New York Times article (March 15, 2014), a change is taking place in how American science (and especially 'Big Science') is being funded. Although the narrative of the federal maintains that the government plays a leading role in funding innovative research meant "to grow our economy" and compete with other developed countries, more and more funding dollars are being contributed by private donors and patrons. The increase in private money contributed to science is often blamed on a failure of the federal government. As Broad states it: "American science, long a source of national power and pride, is increasingly becoming a private enterprise" (2014).

He continues:
[Philanthropists] have mounted a private war on disease, with new protocols that break down walls between academia and industry to turn basic discoveries into effective treatments. They have rekindled traditions of scientific exploration by financing hunts for dinosaur bones and giant sea creatures. They are even beginning to challenge Washington in the costly game of big science, with innovative ships, undersea craft and giant telescopes — as well as the first private mission to deep space.
The article regales readers with several anecdotes of the new science philanthropy. Philanthropic science is described as opposed to traditional (publicly-funded) science. Where public science is centralized, collaborative, structured, and slow, science philanthropy is "personal, antibureaucratic, inspirational" and decentralized. The inspirations for a variety of billionaires' particular passions are explored, as well as their monetary consequences. Workshops are now available to teach researchers and institutions how to appeal to these private donators. The journal Nature has published tips on the same topic.

In many ways, the divide between prioritizing public and private money seems partisan. Democrats stress that private money will never be a substitute for government funding, while Republicans suggest that private funding is one way to decrease the size of the federal government. The government admits that there is very little knowledge, however, of how much money is coming from private donations, as monitoring the new system is costly.

This new system is not without its critics. Opponents point out that private money is not spread evenly across institutions, disciplines, or problems. Instead, the individual interests and goals of wealthy donors takes priority. Although the pockets of philanthropy are deep, resources are not going towards the basic research necessary for effective scientific studies. The majority of private funding is funneled into elite universities and problem-oriented research institutes. Fields and universities that already claim a lot of funding are the recipients of this new flow, according to research by Dr. Fiona E. Murray. The research focuses on a small number of diseases (generally diseases that disproportionately effect white Americans) and sensational or sexy fields (oceans studies, climate change, space travel, big machines, etc). Finally, private donors are able to leap over traditional restrictions on research developed by decades of scientific gatekeeping (peer review) and governmental bureaucracy and priorities.

What is unclear from the article is to what extent this new system of philanthropic donations and private patrons is actually participating in the daily advances of scientific research in the US. As the author states, "public money still accounts for most of America's best research, as well as its remarkable depth and diversity." In fact, we could just as easily call this the "old system" of research. Patrons and private wealth have traditionally played a large role in research of all kinds. It may be worth asking how these new philanthropists are different from the wealthy patrons of other periods. It may be that, with increasing wealth and power in the new economy, the individual passions of patrons are being explored on a scale unseen before. Initiatives like the Giving Pledge do seem to be driving this new system's growth.

The article seems to be implicitly puppeting the opinion of "former skeptic" Martin A. Apple:
Initially, Dr. Apple said, he, too, saw the donors as superrich dabblers. Now he believes that they are helping accelerate the overall pace of science. What changed his mind, he said, was watching them persevere, year after year, in pursuit of highly ambitious goals.“They target polio and go after it until it’s done — no one else can do that,” he said, referring to the global drive to eradicate the disease. “In effect, they have the power to lead where the market and the political will are insufficient.”
When discussing specific billionaires, the tone is overwhelmingly positive and personal. Portraits of patrons are juxtaposed with impressive machines or vistas. Donors are described in terms of their research interests and credited with the advancement of science. Details on particular scientists, their careers and inspirations, are missing. Here, money is the ultimate cause for innovation and the element most worth discussing.

Discussion Questions:
1. Does this new system exist? Will philanthropic money outpace public funding in the future?
2. How might the "philanthropic landscape" change or affect the research university? Will there be pressure to popularize and, if so, who at the university will most strongly feel that pressure?
3. To what extent should the research university or individual researchers pursue philanthropic money?
4. Will focus on private money "diminish public support for federal science"?
5. How might the new system change graduate studies?

Summary: The New Academic Celebrity (Shea)

Published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the article "The New Academic Celebrity" tackles the idea of how TED talks are changing the definition of academic stardom, as well as what research becomes validated. Though it's not a direct address on the future of the university, it does deal with numerous themes we've discussed over the course of the semester: the privileging of certain research, research publics, donors, and the role of the university.

The general gist of the article is that TED talks have created new academic celebrities, but that their research needs to fit both a particular tone (an optimistic message) as well as attract an audience. What the article points out, though, is that this tends to highlight some disciplines over others. Generally, the humanities are ignored while science, psychology, and neuroscience are routinely featured. The article extends beyond TED, though, to touch on how technologies are changing the university. Shea writes:
"These include similar ideas-in-nuggets conclaves, such as the Aspen Ideas Festival and PopTech, along with huge online courses and—yes, still—blogs. These new, or at least newish, forms are upending traditional hierarchies of academic visibility and helping to change which ideas gain purchase in the public discourse."
A recurring theme (sometimes underlying, sometimes explicit) in our discussions has been the relationship of the university to the public. In this case, research takes the form of the circulation of ideas. More than patents or discoveries, here the public gains some more intangible: a particular perspective. Below, I follow a few key passages from the article and begin to unpack them to help us thing about this dialogue of the future of the university.

But if the old humanist stars had their critics, so do the professors who stalk the TED stage. In December, Benjamin Bratton, an associate professor of visual arts at the University of California at San Diego, delivered one of the most stinging attacks on TED and the intellectual mode it has inspired. (Semi-ironically, he delivered it at TEDx San Diego.) He recounted sitting in on a meeting at which an astrophysicist pitched a donor on supporting his work. 
Bratton said that the donor declined, suggesting the scientist needed to be "more like Malcolm Gladwell." "The donor didn’t think he was inspirational enough," Bratton recalls. "He didn’t tell a story that [the donor] could feel good about." That an actual scientist would be advised to model himself after a popularizer with a packed corporate-speaking schedule struck Bratton as "frightening."
Here, we see the assumptions about how research needs to be presented affects not just public discourse but funding mechanisms. Moreover, these expectations could change how researchers feel compelled to present research in order to get funding. This expectations validates a particular assumption that research should have results, rather than be exploratory. Moreover, it changes which type of research will be compelling for outside funding.
Hard scientists, for their part, seem utterly unperturbed by the opportunity events like TED afford. "Especially for those of us who do research funded with federal grants, I think we have a responsibility to explain to people what our science has found out," says Tufts’s Sara Lewis, the ecologist and self-styled "firefly junkie." She thinks the wide distribution of such talks might even reduce scientific illiteracy: "My hope is that by the time the National Science Foundation does another survey about how many Americans believe in evolution, it won’t be 48 percent, it’ll be, oh, 60 percent."
In this passage, we see a return to the idea of research publics, as well as research in the public good. Moreover, the concept of science literacy that we discussed two weeks ago returned. Here, additionally, the idea of funding and its relationship to the research pursued returns.
TED and its cousin events create the expectation that problems like inequality and environmental degradation can be solved without rethinking any of our underlying assumptions about society, Bratton argues. History has ended; only the apps and robots will keep getting better. Over 30 years, he says, TED "has distorted the conversation we have about technology and innovation. The uncomfortable, the ambivalent, the real difficulties we have get shunted aside."
As we've discussed in conversations about inter/trans/etc.-disciplinary, certain disciplines get more leverage than others in what gets emphasized or what counts as interdisciplinary. Here, we see a complication between research in the public and research insulated within the academy. When facing the public, is there always the assumption that research needs to provide a particular narrative? Is this only particular to TED talks or could this be extended to other areas? What is the responsibility of academia to enter these conversations and provide alternative perspectives?

Land-Grant Universities in the 21st Century

For this week's reading, I chose to search for one that pertained to land-grant universities in the U.S. The many topics we have covered throughout the course have broadly applied to both private and public universities, but our discussions specific to public universities often seemed to include considerations that would have also applied to "land-grant" universities. Thus, for the week on the future of the research university, I thought an article that addressed the future of land-grant institutions in particular would better familiarize us with the unique origins and realities of many public research universities.

I chose this article, "The Land-Grant University in the 21st Century," by Michael V. Martin because it framed its argument for the future of land-grants both in terms of their past and their present, with considerations for the future as well. Martin contends that land-grant universities in the 21st century are still relevant, and in fact "have never been more relevant nor more important." He justifies this with a brief overview of the original intent and legislative history of land-grants. The idea originated with a professor in the mid-1830s campaigning for "state-sponsored universities to serve the 'industrial classes.'" Although the subsequent bill was initially rejected in Congress, it eventually passed in the form of the Morrill Act of 1962. Martin points out that the first Morrill act "represented a profound innovation in higher education for several important reasons," including the facts that 1) it combatted the elitist English model of universities widespread at the time with an eye to serving social and economic development through higher education; 2) it "established a public, federally assisted system," as a counterweight to the many "private, church-sponsored institutions"; 3) Congress used federal lands instead of federal funds "to encourage states to accept the land-grant character"; and 4) they had a primary focus on "liberal and practical education of the industrial classes."

These features and accomplishments of the initial law were expanded as Congress introduced additional laws supplanting the number and nature of land-grants. For example, the 1887 Hatch Act "added the charge to conduct research and experimentation in the public interest to the land-grant mission." This, Martin says, "in effect, gave rise to the research universities of today," and "further established the role of government in stimulating economic growth." Other laws included the Second Morrill Act of 1890, which established the system of historically black universities, the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which directed land grants to bring the universities to state citizens through extension services, and, finally, a 1994 act that "targeted access to higher education by chartering and funding 29 tribal land-grant colleges." These many developments show both the long history and multifold purposes of land grants, which Martin argues is proof of their inherently "non-traditional" function in higher education, one that can inform land grant leaders today as they contend with changing socio-economic realities.

The second part of this compact article features five "significant challenges" that land grants face, according to Martin. These include that 1) land-grant do not comprise a system "in the functional meaning of the term," so that they essentially operate as disconnected, stand-alone institutions that could benefit from mutual engagement and shared "programmatic resources and political influence"; 2) too many focus on inputs like competitive federal funds or good students and minimize outputs or accomplishments related to their original missions; 3) they suffer from a general public distrust of science which dampers social support for their research missions; 4) they resist "mission creep" by other public organizations for the most part, which minimizes the possibility for cooperative partnerships; and 5) they face daunting new fiscal realities mostly based on political unpopularity for flexible, tax-based funding. These challenges are important for considering the constraints as well as the potential areas of improvement for land-grant universities.

As a student of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I always use UW as the case study of topics in this class, and this one seems especially relevant. Many of the challenges Martin delineates figure prominently in UW news and campus debates. To be sure, UW puts a high priority on federal research funding and national rankings, which is in part connected to the fiscal realities it must face. The UW seems to be attempting to counteract the public distrust of science in some ways, for example through the community openness and educational programming of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. However, from my perspective (which is admittedly biased, anecdotal and under-informed), I see the UW as succeeding in a number of ways that Martin postulates land grants have struggled. Although institutional competition and stringent fiscal realities have largely prevented it from significantly contributing to the systematization of land grants across the country, UW places great priority on its outputs, particularly in pursuit of the Wisconsin Idea that drives (at least rhetorically) so many of its endeavors. Despite its frequent self-comparison with elite institutions, and what some might call a tuition level inaccessible to the many in the state, UW research is inarguably oriented toward potential benefits to the state, especially in the agricultural realm, and UW is making significant attempts to expand life-long learning programming and distance education online for the "time- and/or place-bound citizens" whom it is very aware can benefit from a land-grant university education.

My question are:

1) What do you see as other ways in which the UW's actions counter Martin's claims?
2) Given the new fiscal realities, could land grants ever truly hope to form a unified, sharing system?
3) Martin seems to hint that competition with "elite" schools in some ways detracts from a land-grants' original mission. To what degree/ extent is this a good/ bad/ inevitable thing?

In a Buyer’s Market, Colleges Become Fluent in the Language of Business, Richard Pérez-Peña, New York Times, (March 27, 2014)

           This article draws together questions we have raised in this seminar about what happens to higher education when economic pressures infuse universities with market-leaning values. Richard Pérez-Peña, a New York Times education reporter and author of the article, argues the relationship between higher education and students increasingly resembles a commercial transaction and interviews higher education experts and administrators to reflect on how this is restructuring academic priorities.
            Their talking points resonate with many of the conclusions we have settled on in Room 6117 over that last three months. That, for example, the development of a well-rounded citizenry as an educational goal has lost footing, students have become increasingly focused on how their education translates into job prospects and universities are becoming more preoccupied with filling classroom seats.

Summary: Watters, A. (2013) "The Case for a Campus Makerspace"

This blog post is a transcript from a talk the author gave at the Educause Learning Initiative annual meeting. She describes the purpose of her talk, "...this talk hopes [to] make a case for schools looking to the Maker culture rather than markets to help them reinvigorate themselves, to help keep them relevant, to help students be engaged and to make their learning meaningful and empowered."

She begins by pushing back at the longstanding belief that the future of education is online by arguing that computers and the internet have been around for decades and we're still figuring out how to use online and digital tools to facilitate learning. She proposes we shift our focus from changing education through online learning to utilizing digital technology and the internet in our "face-to-face learning environments" where learning practices like project-based learning, experimentation, and play have shown to be successful.

Makerspaces have grown out of what the author calls the "Maker Movement" which continues to grow with help from Make magazine and Maker Faires. With so much momentum behind this movement, Watters suggests that those who work in formal educational settings should be asking themselves what the Maker Movement is getting right and what we can learn from it. Like the founder of Make Magazine, Watters argues that we should care about the future of manufacturing and that makerspaces are great places to engage in problem solving and designing for "low-cost and local manufacturing". She then says that makerspaces are not just places for people with engineering, computer science, and design backgrounds, but that they aspire to be "democratic and participatory". I wonder how these aspirations may be limited since most makerspaces require a monthly fee and those on campuses are not open to the general public. Other important questions to ask is who gets to be a part of this movement and what kinds of makers are being featured in this movement. Why do most of the Make magazine covers feature males? Are craftspeople a part of this movement or 4H clubs?

Watters then makes the case for makerspaces and the "maker ethos" on college and university campuses. She references John Dewey and how he was a proponent of learning by doing and then describes how makerspaces allow students to practice prototyping, problem solving, and design thinking, and exposes them to "cutting edge technologies" that could lead to "employment and entrepreneurial opportunities". She comes back to her argument about investing in face-to-face learning environments and how, at the time of this blog post, there were an estimated 60 makerspaces on college campuses which was more than the number of campuses partnered with Coursera, which hosts MOOCs. She also notes the "openness" to the public and the interdisciplinary-nature of makerspaces (many are not associated with one department). Like before, I think it's important to question just how open these spaces are to the public. She references the Garage at UW-Madison and having spent lots of time in the Garage, I know it's mainly made up of Physics and Engineering students.

Watters ends her talk by describing the "personalized" learning that takes place in makerspaces versus online learning environments, and how makerspaces move away from the idea of teaching as many people as possible in large lecture halls or online to promoting small and local learning. She leaves us with a set of questions that are important ones to ask,

What does it mean to create an informal learning space on a college campus?
Are the Maker culture and academia even compatible?
What sort of institutional support will students need -if any - to participate in makerspaces?
How can we make sure everyone feels welcome?
Will some students only want to "make" for a grade or for credit?
Does having "making" as a course requirement impact students' willingness to experiment?
Does the college campus itself alter the making?

Audrey Watters writes about educational technologies and some of her work has appeared in The Atlantic, EDUCAUSE Review, The Huffington Post, and Edutopia. She is a former teacher.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Readings for this week ...

... are being uploaded to this folder which you access with your normal UW NetID and password.  So far there are five readings for your perusal!

Speaking of the social sciences building ...

William H. Sewell Social Sciences Building
In the 1950s, as American academic interest in the social sciences was enjoying a burst of post-World War II popularity, UW-Madison began to look for a new building to house its departments of economics, sociology, and anthropology. After much deliberation, a site was chosen just east of Elizabeth Waters Residence Hall, at the western edge of what was then called Bascom Woods—soon to be renamed “Muir Woods” as one result of the ensuing controversy.
Since this eight-acre tract included some of the only remaining forested land on campus, a number of faculty members protested the idea that a natural area so near the heart of the university would be sacrificed to what in retrospect can be seen as the start of a great wave of construction that would transform the entire campus in the decade ahead.
The Capital Times newspaper spearheaded protests against the proposed site of the building, and there was even a bill introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature to prevent development in Bascom Woods. But it was soon amended to permit construction of the Social Science Building, which was completed in 1962.
The Social Science Building was arguably a milestone in the history of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve—though these lands would not actually be given that name until more than four decades later.
Professors in the Botany Department who were especially upset about the loss of remaining natural areas lobbied for the creation of a “Woods Committee” to monitor the health of campus forests and guard against future incursions into campus green space. The Woods Committee was the direct ancestor of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve Committee that today oversees policies and long-term stewardship of these precious natural areas that are such an important feature of the campus and the city.
One might say that the Social Science Building helped galvanize public opinion both on and off campus to mobilize for the protection of these lakeshore lands.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Seminar notes - Architecture readings

We started out by coming up with examples of spaces on campus to discuss in the context of the readings. WID came up first, and I (Patrice) pointed out that as discussed by some of the authors, WID seems to be following a trend by which research institutes include a publically accessible area, “public beachhead”, but there is a boundary across which the public is not allowed.  In WID it seems access is restricted to the first floor with elevator access to upper floor education areas that remain sealed off from the research areas. It was also pointed out that, even though you can’t access the stairs in WID as part of the public, they are glass so it makes you feel like you can access something, even though you can’t.
We also discussed the name. The name does not include the name does not refer to any particular field, which may help lead people to correctly interpret that it is meant to be interdisciplinary. Daniel said WID is in the midst of trying to recast it’s name so that people refer to it as “Discovery Institute” rather than “WID”. We also talked about who is working in WID. Jamie Thompson came up and also the point that WID was built in part to keep him on campus, consistent with the theme of building to attract/keep star researchers as consistent with what we saw in the examples in the readings.

Henke and Gieryn, Sites of Scientific Practice: The Enduring Importance of Place (2008)

This chapter from the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies is shedding light on the trends how STS scholars have dealt with the issue of location and space in scientific research. Furthermore, authors urge to focus more on “how place has consequence for scientific knowledge and practices, and why focus on geographic location and situated materialities can enlarge our understanding of science in society.”
           First, authors introduce four trends of answers how the place matters in STS chronologically, 1) positivist understanding that the place does not matter 2) laboratory ethnographers who revealed the context specific construction of knowledge 3) historians and sociologists of science who focused on how different knowledge regimes acquired the legitimacy of knowledge in different material settings, and 4) actor network theory (ANT) scholars who transcend the physical boundary of the place by emphasizing the network of heterogeneous actors for the construction of knowledge. Henke and Gieryn argue that the fourth wave is underestimating the importance of the place setting in knowledge construction, thus insist academic scholarship should develop the third wave more thoroughly to understand why and how the place matters.
           Then, why people gather together and make complex of team in scientific research? The role of place is not only limited as a geographical place with proper research facilities. The complex of people and facilities, moreover, imbue the authority to the knowledge, thereby constitute the scientific knowledge. For instance, particle accelerator facility is a “trading zone” of high energy physicists to meet each other and exchange their research data to construct the trust and authority of their research. In this sense, research place is a cultural setting which demarcates the reliable scientific research and inappropriate science. Scientific lab is the place where the disorderness is reinterpreted as an ordered phenomenon, public and private is separated, invisible things become visible, and standardization of particular experimental technique take place. The structure of scientific lab implies not only scientists’ relationship with non-scientists, but also drastically represents the relationship among them. For instance, the top floor of SLAC is for theoretical physicists while the basement is for instrument shops. Laboratory architecture reveals the disciplinary differences rather than the unity among them.
           Several current STS challenge the authority of physical setting of research laboratory by presenting the empirical studies on the knowledge construction in various non-laboratory places. In other words, as Brian Wynne’s Cumbria sheep farmers’ case shows, the boundary between laboratory and field is getting blurred.

1)     How much the importance of the ‘place’ is different depends on different scientific disciplines? For instance, the meaning of laboratory for high energy physicists who need the large scale infrastructure setting and for ecologist who should find their knowledge source from out there nature must be different.

2)     Why the laboratory should be the place inside of research facility? In other words, if we assume that the field is kind of laboratory, aren’t we able to extend the discussion on how the material setting is interrelated with knowledge construction?

3)     In other words, why lab is opposite word of field? Denial of this dichotomy is not to weaken the authority or importance of ‘the place’ but to broaden the discussion!