Saturday, March 3, 2012

[S]cientific perception—especially when elevated to the level of systematic observation, often in carefully designed setups—is disciplined in every sense of the word: instilled by education and practice, checked and cross-checked both by other observers and with other instruments, communicated in forms—text, image, table—designed by and for a scientific collective over decades and sometimes centuries (as in the cse of botanical descriptions of new species). This kind of perception may still be specific to the human species and historical context—it is not the "view from nowhere," independent of "the species of the individual's makeup and position in the world." But neither is there anything capricious or mystical about it. (102)

—Lorraine Daston, "On Scientific Observation," Isis 99.1 (March 2008): 97-110.

1 comment:

Shockgrubz said...

Another great quote. Gets me to thinking what are causes of the perception mystification of those who think fantastical ideas behind scientific observation.