From Intersubjectivity to Interinstrumentality: The example of Surface Science

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Allamel-Raffin, Catherine
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conference paper description
My aim is to show how a strategy used in the experimental sciences, which I name “interinstrumentality”, can minimize the role of sociological factors when one tries to understand how the debates about the interpretation of data come to an end. To defend this view, two examples are presented. The first is historical – the invention of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) – and the second is collected during an ethnographic study in a surface science laboratory. I would like to emphasize that interinstrumentality contributes to objectivity of the experimental results and constitutes a part of it as well as intersubjectivity.