Affect and Effect in Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration

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Line Hillersdal, Astrid Pernille Jespersen, Bjarke Oxlund, Birgitte Bruun

Research across disciplines is described as beset with problems of epistemological hierarchies and incommensurable categories. Having worked in two large interdisciplinary research projects on obesity and cholesterol lowering medicine in Denmark, we recognize such tensions. We explore the practice and outcome of interdisciplinary research, however, with a starting point in a different kind of tension that is affective. Based on analysis of four interdisciplinary situations, we suggest that embodied experiences of amusement, boredom or doubt are signposts of both differences and connections between people and concerns. Drawing on Haraway’s (1997) notion of ‘response-ability’ and Verran’s (2001) concept of ‘generative critique’ we propose that attention to affective tensions can be generative of effects not only on modes of collaboration, but also on the knowledge we contribute, and the ways we engage the world as researchers. The article contributes to ongoing discussions within science and technology studies, about affect in scientific knowledge production.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience & Technology Studies
ISSN0786-3012
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

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