Constructing and Reconstructing Scientific Ignorance: Ignorance Claims in Science and Journalism. Stocking, S. & Holstein, L. Science Communication, 15(2):186–210, 1993. 1
doi  abstract   bibtex   
In Ignorance and Uncertainty: Emerging Paradigms, Australian sociologist Michael Smithson observes that Western intellectuals, who once preoccupied themselves with knowledge, are increasingly pondering ignorance. Those who are not, he adds, should consider doing so. It is an arresting suggestion, not unlike the one art instructors often make to students of drawing: do not look at the figure; look at the space around the figure. Once attention is focused on ignorance rather than on knowledge, one begins to see that ignorance is not the simple absence of knowledge. Instead, like the space around objects, ignorance has its own configurations. It varies in amount, form, and substance, depending on the perspective. And just as artists make use of the representational power of space, scientists and nonscientists alike often manipulate ignorance, maximizing or minimizing it in ways that affect the credibility of what we know. In developing this argument, the article draws on the insights of historians, philosophers, mass communications and legal scholars, discourse analysts, and sociologists of science to examine scientists' use of ignorance claims in the construction of science and in science for public policy. It also looks at how nonscientists sometimes appropriate and attempt to manipulate such claims, often through the news media. Such uses, the article argues, reflect and serve claimants' interests. The news media, in turn, appropriate and emphasize those ignorance claims that advance and protect their own particular concerns. © 1993, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.
@article{stocking_constructing_1993,
	title = {Constructing and {Reconstructing} {Scientific} {Ignorance}: {Ignorance} {Claims} in {Science} and {Journalism}},
	volume = {15},
	shorttitle = {Constructing and {Reconstructing} {Scientific} {Ignorance}},
	doi = {10.1177/107554709301500205},
	abstract = {In Ignorance and Uncertainty: Emerging Paradigms, Australian sociologist Michael Smithson observes that Western intellectuals, who once preoccupied themselves with knowledge, are increasingly pondering ignorance. Those who are not, he adds, should consider doing so. It is an arresting suggestion, not unlike the one art instructors often make to students of drawing: do not look at the figure; look at the space around the figure. Once attention is focused on ignorance rather than on knowledge, one begins to see that ignorance is not the simple absence of knowledge. Instead, like the space around objects, ignorance has its own configurations. It varies in amount, form, and substance, depending on the perspective. And just as artists make use of the representational power of space, scientists and nonscientists alike often manipulate ignorance, maximizing or minimizing it in ways that affect the credibility of what we know. In developing this argument, the article draws on the insights of historians, philosophers, mass communications and legal scholars, discourse analysts, and sociologists of science to examine scientists' use of ignorance claims in the construction of science and in science for public policy. It also looks at how nonscientists sometimes appropriate and attempt to manipulate such claims, often through the news media. Such uses, the article argues, reflect and serve claimants' interests. The news media, in turn, appropriate and emphasize those ignorance claims that advance and protect their own particular concerns. © 1993, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.},
	number = {2},
	journal = {Science Communication},
	author = {Stocking, S.H. and Holstein, L.W.},
	year = {1993},
	note = {1},
	keywords = {5 Ignorance and manufactured doubt, Ignorance et mécanismes de production du doute},
	pages = {186--210},
}

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