The Sounds of Science: Listening to Laboratory Practice

Cyrus C.M. Mody*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Works in science and technology studies (STS) have repeatedly pointed to the importance of the visual in scientific practice. STS has also explicated how embodied practice generates scientific knowledge. I aim to supplement this literature by pointing out how sound and hearing are integral aspects of experimentation. Sound helps define how and when lab work is done, and in what kinds of spaces. It structures experimental experience. It affords interactions between researchers and instruments that are richer than could be obtained with vision alone. And it is a site for tacit knowledge, providing a resource for the replication of results, and the transmission of knowledge, and the construction of social boundaries within instrumental communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-198
JournalScience Technology & Human Values
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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