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Cultures of care? Animals and science in Britain

Friese, Carrie (2019) Cultures of care? Animals and science in Britain. British Journal of Sociology. ISSN 0007-1315 (In Press)

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It is becoming increasingly common to hear life scientists say that high quality life science research relies upon high quality laboratory animal care. However, the idea that animal care is a crucial part of scientific knowledge production is at odds with previous social science and historical scholarship regarding laboratory animals. How are we to understand this discrepancy? To begin to address this question, this paper seeks to disentangle the values of scientists in identifying animal care as important to the production of high quality scientific research. To do this, we conducted a survey of scientists working in the United Kingdom who use animals in their research. The survey found that being British is associated with thinking that animal care is a crucial part of conducting high quality science. To understand this finding, we draw upon the concept of ‘civic epistemologies’ (Jasanoff, 2005; Prainsack, 2006) and argue that ‘animals’ and ‘care’ in Britain may converge in taken for granted assumptions about what constitutes good scientific knowledge. These ideas travel through things like state regulations or the editorial policies of science journals, but do not necessarily carry the embodied civic epistemology of ‘animals’ and ‘science’ from which such modes of regulating laboratory animal welfare comes from.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 London School of Economics and Political Science
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2019 15:36
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2020 00:08

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