Two fully salaried PhD student positions

Two fully salaried PhD student positions has been announced with last day of application 26 May 2014.

The supervisor will be prof. Steve Woolgar.

Link to announcement in English and instructions for application:
http://www.liu.se/en/job/show.html?5546

PhD project 1: Rating, evaluation and assessment

Hardly anything these days is not subject to feedback, rating, review, ranking, measurement, assessment or evaluation of some kind. This includes products, services, objects and all kinds of activities: hotels, holidays, doctors, lawyers, pets, dates, cleaners, professors and so on. The systems are typically viewed as, on the one hand, democratic and emancipatory – in that they permit the widespread involvement of people in assessing and giving feedback – and, on the other hand, as biased and unreliable.

The main focus of the PhD will be on one or several different areas of ratings and evaluation. A particular focus of interest is the ways in which these systems of rating and assessment are being applied (or might be applied) in the evaluation of ‘informal’ scientific publications. Increasingly scientific work is published on line and often before (or instead of) its appearance in standard print publications. Determinations of their value falls outside standard measures of quality (eg citation) but may be assessed in terms of web based feedback from peers.

The research will include the use of ethnographic methodologies. It will draw on, critically evaluate and contribute to the development of key theoretical themes in recent Science and Technology Studies: for example, enactment, ontology, agency and materiality.

The PhD candidate should preferably have a background in the social sciences and humanities, such as Science & Technology Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Business Studies or Policy Sciences.

PhD project 2: Representation, illusion and revelation

Representation is key to scientific work and in technological development. Yet the very idea of representation has recently fallen under critical scrutiny, in part as a result of detailed studies of representation in practice, especially in scientific settings. This project aims to consider and develop alternative ways of understanding scientific work in terms of representation. It aims to assess alternative theories which have emerged in recent literature, on the basis of empirical investigations of ‘representational’ practice across a number of substantive areas. One main focus will be on processes of concealment and revelation: at what is involved for example on occasions when things are shown (or turn out) to be other than they appear.

The substantive empirical areas for this project will be chosen from areas both within and beyond science, the latter might include examples from magic, illusion, candid camera, bloopers, corpsing, outtakes and so on.

The research will include the use of ethnographic methodologies. It will draw on, critically evaluate and contribute to the development of key theoretical themes in recent Science and Technology Studies: for example, enactment, ontology, agency and materiality.

The PhD candidate should preferably have a background in the social sciences and humanities, such as Science & Technology Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Business Studies or Policy Sciences.