Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Scientific research is the fruit of collective work, and its organisational forms are changing constantly. This report is the result of a wide investigation, both theoretical and empirical, and it attempts to reach a better understanding of scientific practices and their dynamics. This is done first by studying the sociology of science, and producing a synthesis. The report reveals the great variety of mechanisms affecting the regulation and coordination of research work. It then attempts to compare two strongly contrasting methods of coordination of scientific and technical research. Through an in-depth analysis of a biochemistry laboratory (ethnographic study), and drawing on the study of over a hundred networks of scientific coordination, notably European and world-wide ones, the report shows how these two forms of coordination complement each other, and defines their properties and domains of validity. Through the quality of the collected data, and the richness of its interpretation, the report underlines and explains the concept of coordination. It shows how the laboratory can be described as a process of collective thought. It documents and analyses the importance in research networks of different fixtures (such as heavy equipment) and movables (such as printed material, samples, animals, instruments and research workers).

Additional information

Authors: VINCK D, CEC Bruxelles (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 14487 FR (1992) 511 pp., FS, ECU 51
Availability: (2)
ISBN: ISBN 92-826-4825-7
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