November 12, 2021 at 10:30am CST
This video is available on request. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request access.
Speaker: Janet Vertesi, Princeton University
Host: Duncan Young
Title: Shaping Science: How to think about science teams
Abstract: When we think of workplace organization we often think of bureaucracy, managers, or “personalities” that get in the way of our science. This talk offers a different approach, showing how mission organizations structure how scientists and engineers communicate, interact, and collaborate, with essential implications for scientific and technical teams. Based on in-depth comparative study and analysis of two of NASA’s most successful and high profile missions of the early 21st century, and building on over a decade of ethnography among planetary scientists, science planners, and mission personnel, I show how choices in organizational structure and culture have long lasting impacts in terms of determining scientific questions, curating datasets, and facilitating careers.
Bio: Dubbed “Margaret Mead among the Starfleet” in the Times Literary Supplement, Janet Vertesi is Associate Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. She has spent fifteen years studying NASA’s robotic spacecraft teams as a sociologist of science and technology. Her studies have been published in books like Seeing Like a Rover and Shaping Science (University of Chicago Press), in edited collections digitalSTS (Princeton Press) and Representation in Scientific Practice (MIT Press), and in top ranked journals and conference in the fields of the sociology of science and technology, and human-computer and human-robot interaction. More at http://janet.vertesi.com