Edited by Peter Howlett and Mary Morgan, the "How Well Do 'Facts' Travel?" book collects essays from project members and scholars who visited us at LSE during the four years. Reflecting the wide variety of topics that the project covered, the essays here range from the spread of Classical architecture (Lambert Schneider) to the archaeology of earth mounds (Alison Wylie), the mechanics of erosion (Sarah Whatmore and Catharina Landstrom) to the psychology of crowding (Ed Ramsden).
Mary Morgan's opening chapter offers a synoptic view of the various contributions, and sketches out the theoretical underpinnings which unite these seemingly disparate topics.
Praise for How Well Do Facts Travel?
"This is a lively and diverse collection of essays about the lives of facts: 'shared pieces ofknowledge that hold the qualities of being autonomous, short, specific, and reliable.' The book is not so much about what facts are , but about what makes them travel – across space, time, and social worlds – and what gives them character . Focusing on the engaging question, what makes some facts travel well , that is, with integrity, yet with the ability to be put fruitfully to new uses, the book provides such a rich survey of curious, prosaic, profound, and false – as well as true – facts that readers will want to try their hand at grand theorizing, which the authors have politely and wisely refrained from doing. It will be an interesting experiment to see how well these facts about facts travel, and where."
– James Griesemer, University of California, Davis
" How Well Do Facts Travel? edited by Peter Howlett and Mary S. Morgan is an impressive exploration – interdisciplinary in character – of the circulation of 'facts' in a number of areas spanning both the natural and social sciences and the humanities as well. Science studies abound in work on the vagaries of metaphors, models, and images. Curiously, so far, facts have hardly been included in this list. Peter Howlett and Mary Morgan's assessment is less on the production of facts and more on what makes them travel and how traveling transforms them opens a new horizon. The authors of the volume address the topic with subtleness and sovereignty, covering a broad range of carefully chosen case studies."
– Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Director, the Max Planck Institute for the history of Science, Berlin
"Philosophers of science have long talked about fruitfulness as a criteria of scientific merit. This collection asks how ideas – or facts – actually get to be recognized and used; it is a major contribution that greatly deepens this important problem."
– Stephen P. Turner, University of South Florida
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Table of contents
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Matters of Fact
Chapter 2: Facts and Building Artefacts: What Travels in Material Objects?
Chapter 3: A Journey Through Times and Cultures? Ancient Greek Forms in American 19th Century Architecture: An Archaeological View
Chapter 4: Manning's N: Putting Roughness to Work
Sarah J. Whatmore and Catharina Landström
Chapter 5: My Facts Are Better than Your Facts: Spreading Good News about Global Warming
Chapter 6: Real Problems With Fictional Cases
Part 3: Integrity and Fruitfulness
Chapter 7: Ethology's Travelling Facts
Chapter 8: Travelling Facts about Crowded Rats: Rodent Experimentation and the Human Sciences
Chapter 9: Using Cases to Establish Novel Diagnoses: Creating Generic Facts by Making Particular Facts Travel Together
Chapter 10: Technology Transfer and Travelling Facts: A Perspective from Indian Agriculture
Peter Howlett and Aashish Velkar
Chapter 11: Archaeological Facts in Transit: The Eminent Mounds of Central North America
Part 4: Companionship and Character
Chapter 12: Packaging Small Facts for Re-Use: Databases in Model Organism Biology
Chapter 13: Designed for Travel: Communicating Facts Through Images
Chapter 14: Using Models to Keep Us Healthy: The Productive Journeys of Facts across Public Health Research Networks
Chapter 15: The Facts of Life and Death: A Case of Exceptional Longevity
David Boyd Haycock -
Chapter 16: The Love Life of a Fact