Science Gone Wrong: Understanding scientific work by examining "failures" across productions, consumptions, and careers in science
Woo, Seokkyun Joshua
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This dissertation examines “failures” across three different dimensions of the production of science (production of data, impacts, careers) to further expand our understanding of scientific work, thereby providing effective implications for science policy. The first study (Chapter 2) involves ethnographic observation of the work of bench scientists at material science labs to understand the problem-solving activities involving frequent interruptions in producing experimental data. The second study (Chapter 3) expands our understanding of citation practice in scholarly communication. In doing so, I examine citations to retracted references to test existing theories and propose an additional mechanism for how scientists embed other scientists’ works into their papers. The last study (Chapter 4) addresses the long-standing issue of gender inequality in scientific careers. In doing so, I ask how the increasingly bifurcated production role in science may shape career longevity and how this relationship may differ between women and men scientists. Together, these studies use a sociology of work perspective to better understand various components of the production of science in order to develop a deeper understanding of the science of science as well as to inform policy debates and other initiatives designed to improve the production of science.
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