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Fata Morgana
2006-03-21 19:48
QOTD, inspired by Beamtimes and Lifetimes
academics, berkeley, book review, research
I finished a second reading of Beamtimes and Lifetimes: The World of High-Energy Physicists and discussed it in Jean Lave's ethnography class today. When I have more time, I really want to write about this class. But for now, I'll just share a quote I heard years ago that the book helped me recall. It says a lot about physicists and the culture of physics, as I have experienced it and as Traweek wrote about it. :~)

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
- Ernest Rutherford

Utah Quicksilver, Park City and Salt Lake City's best transportation service
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2006-03-22 05:50 (UTC)
(no subject)
Fun, isn't it? Sharon's a sweetie, and really smart. I like sending that book to friends of mine who go into high-energy physics, just to see what they say.

Lave would be very interesting as an ethno teacher. Can you send me the syllabus?
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Fata Morgana
2006-03-22 06:54 (UTC)
(no subject)
It's wonderful. Especially for the disaffected failed physics major in me. :~)

Jean doesn't have a syllabus, but the general goal of the course is to consider five ethnographies deeply and thoroughly by reading them multiple times. We're almost done with round two; for the third round we select one of the readings (I'm selecting this one), read it a third time, and develop a paper on it. (Or we can select something else if we want. Jean is pretty open to anything.) The class has also been sprinkled with Jean's wonderful, insightful diatribes on ethnography, academia, social theory, and even human subjects, which I will hopefully get around to posting. (Danah's blogged about some of them already.) Our reading list has been heavy on the Jeans, coincidentally. :~)

Inuit Morality Play, Jean Briggs
Learning to Labor, Paul Willis
Beamtimes and Lifetimes, Sharon Traweek
Lucy Suchman (the first reading was her new version of Plans and Situated Actions, but as this isn't an ethnography we'll be selecting some of her other readings for the second round)
Deadly Words, Jeanne Favret-Saada
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2006-03-22 11:43 (UTC)
(no subject)
Now I'm curious about this book, having spent ten years in high energy physics before dropping out. Can I borrow it from you next time I see you, Jofish?
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