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Keeping Track
On Alpine Metrology

Philipp Felsch


1. Metrology

"Facts and machines are like trains [...]: they can go everywhere as long as the track along which they travel is not interrupted", states Bruno Latour on scientific artefacts, which move outside of laboratories [LATOUR 1999, 250]. Against the notion of a necessary diffusion of science into the outside world he reconstructs the multiple acts of conquest and persuasion required to keep scientific laboratories' products alive even outside of their construction sites. What he considers necessary is "metrology": construction and use of networks, which open spaces for science by expanding lab features into non-scientific environments - like tracks, that secure trains their constructor's standard. [ibid., 251]

Reference: Felsch, Philipp. 2002. Keeping Track. On Alpine Metrology.. The Virtual Laboratory (ISSN 1866-4784), http://vlp.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/references?id=art9