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The dynamics of coordinated comparisons: How simulationists in astrophysics, oceanography and meteorology create standards for results
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2011 (English)In: Social Studies of Science, ISSN 0306-3127, E-ISSN 1460-3659, Vol. 41, no 1, 107-125 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the social dynamics of so-called intercomparison projects. An intercomparison project is a type of collaborative project that takes place in a number of simulation-based research areas such as astrophysics and climate modelling. Intercomparison projects can be seen as form of metrological practice in which the participants compare the results of numerical simulations of the 'same' scientific problem in order to ensure their reliability and validity. The paper is based on case studies of astrophysics, meteorology and oceanography, and the focus is on the organization and coordination of intercomparison projects. I argue that such projects have the effect of defining which scientists work on a particular problem and that they also serve as organizational vehicles for creating and presenting a dominant view of - and a standard result for - that problem. These types of projects are important for understanding numerical simulation-based research, because they show that expectations about desirable results are generated within the group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 41, no 1, 107-125 p.
Keyword [en]
comparison, coordination, expectation, metrology, simulation, standard, status
National Category
Sociology Ethics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67473DOI: 10.1177/0306312710385743ISI: 000286376000006OAI: diva2:470674
authorCount :1Available from: 2011-12-29 Created: 2011-12-28 Last updated: 2011-12-29Bibliographically approved

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Sundberg, Mikaela
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