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Doctoring uncertainty: mastering craft knowledge

Delamont, Sara and Atkinson, Paul Anthony 2001. Doctoring uncertainty: mastering craft knowledge. Social Studies of Science 31 (1) , pp. 87-107. 10.1177/030631201031001005

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This paper explores a dominant feature of the professional socialization of doctoral students in laboratory and field sciences: the harsh reality of struggling to get laboratory experiments and other forms of practical research to `work'. As undergraduates, young scientists have experienced success in their practical work because they are exposed to stage-managed experiments, demonstrations or similarly controlled environments. They encounter a world of stable and predictable phenomena under controlled conditions. In contrast, each generation or cohort of graduates has to learn that everyday research in the field or in the laboratory does not necessarily produce stable, usable results until they have mastered tacit craft skills. In turn, they then learn to remove all mention of those tacit, indeterminate aspects from public accounts of their research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Doctoral students ; Pedagogic continuity ; Socialization ; Uncertainty
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 0306-3127
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:49

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