Biodiversity Datadiversity

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2000
Authors:G. C. Bowker
Journal:Social Studies of Science
Date Published:October
Keywords:biodiversity, biodiversity-informatics

Biodiversity is a data-intense science, drawing as it does on data from a large number of disciplines in order to build up a coherent picture of the extent and trajectory of life on earth. This paper argues that as sets of heterogeneous databases are made to converge, there is a layering of values into the emergent infrastructure. It is argued that this layering process is relatively irreversible, and that it operates simultaneously at a very concrete level (fields in a database) and at a very abstract one (the coding of the relationship between the disciplines and the production of a general ontology). Finally, it is maintained that science studies as a discipline is able to (and should) make a significant contribution to the design of robust and flexible databases which recognize this performative character of infrastructure. 10.1177/030631200030005001

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith