March 28, 2014, by Brigitte Nerlich
Harry Collins on gravitational waves
About 10 days ago a team of scientists at the South Pole made, it seems, a new discovery related to the Big Bang, inflation and gravitational waves. I quickly penned a blog post about this in which I looked at how this discovery was framed through the use of various metaphors. While writing the post, I communicated with Harry Collins, a social science expert on gravitational waves.
He soon told me that this discovery was based on a detection method that was quite different from the one he had researched from a sociological perspective. (And as my son told me, who was sitting behind me reading a book, I should distinguish between detection of gravitational waves by looking at stars, so to speak, and by looking at how the ‘earth gets squished’!).
Harry has now published his own blog post about this issue on The Chicago Blog affiliated with the University of Chicago Press where his seminal book Gravity’s Ghost and Big Dog: Scientific Discovery and Social Analysis in the Twenty-First Century was published in 2011.
In this post Harry elaborates “on the process [of detection], as well as what the experimental results might mean—and what then is at stake for different scientific communities”.