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Bruno Latour

Bruno Latour is a French anthropologist best known for his books Laboratory Life and Science in Action, describing the process of scientific research from the perspective of social construction based on field observations of working scientists. Latour's main contribution to the sociology of science was the observation that naïve descriptions of the scientific method, in which theories stand or fall on the outcome of a single experiment, are inconsistent with actual laboratory practice, in which a typical experiment produces only inconclusive data that is attributed to failure of the apparatus or experimental method, and that a large part of scientific training involves learning how to make the subjective decision of what data to keep and what data to throw out—a process that to an untrained outsider looks like a mechanism for ignoring data that contradicts scientific orthodoxy.

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