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Raw Data: Making Relations Matter

Walford, A; (2017) Raw Data: Making Relations Matter. Social Analysis , 61 (2) pp. 65-80. 10.3167/sa.2017.610205. Green open access

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Abstract

This article takes scientific ‘raw data’ as its ethnographic object in order to investigate the co-implication of nature and culture in scientific knowledge practices. The article traces out some of the activities that are involved in producing numerical climate data from the Brazilian Amazon. Although science and technology studies (STS) makes a strong case for associating relationality with certainty, the article argues that a particular form of data, ‘raw data’, complicates this association. It further argues that scientific data is not simply composed out of relations, but is a relation itself. The article ends with a brief reflection on the possible repercussions of shifting from thinking of science as producing multiple natures and cultures to thinking of it as producing the potential for relations.

Type: Article
Title: Raw Data: Making Relations Matter
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3167/sa.2017.610205
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3167/sa.2017.610205
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Brazilian Amazon; climate change; culture; data; nature; relations; uncertainty
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051061
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