DeLTA Center Roundtable - David Peterson (Northwestern University)

DeLTA Center Roundtable - David Peterson (Northwestern University)
Friday, February 17, 2017 - 9:00am to 10:30am
Lindquist Center

David Peterson, a graduate student in Sociology at Northwestern University, will be discussing his research with the DeLTA Center.

In his dissertation, David "conducted the first comparative ethnography of a social and a natural science in order to understand how different fields evaluate research and measure progress." He is also involved currently with a number of projects focusing on the "replication crisis" in science.

From the Department of Sociology, Northwestern University, 24 January 2017.

Title: The Baby Factory: Difficult Research Objects, Disciplinary Standards, and the Production of Statistical Significance.

Abstract: Science studies scholars have shown that the management of natural complexity in lab settings is accomplished through a mixture of technological standardization and tacit knowledge by lab workers. Yet these strategies are not available to researchers who study difficult research objects. Using 16 months of ethnographic data from three laboratories that conduct experiments on infants and toddlers, the author shows how psychologists produce statistically significant results under challenging circumstances by using strategies that enable them to bridge the distance between an uncontrollable research object and a professional culture that prizes methodological rigor. This research raises important questions regarding the value of restrictive evidential cultures in challenging research environments.

+ Coffee, water, and pastries will be provided