On the Locality of Data and Claims about Phenomena

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Leonelli, Sabina
conference paper description
Bogen and Woodward (1988) characterise data as embedded in the context in which they are produced (‘local’) and claims about phenomena as retaining their significance beyond that context (‘non-local’). This view does not fit sciences such as biology, which successfully disseminate data via packaging processes that include appropriate labels, vehicles and human interventions. These processes enhance the evidential scope of data and ensure that claims about phenomena are understood in the same way across research communities. I conclude that the degree of locality characterising data and claims about phenomena varies depending on the packaging used to make them travel.