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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 56, Issue 4, 2019

Vitaly S. Pronskikh
Pages 165-182

Ontology of the Collective Experimentalist
From Alvarez’s Group to Megascience

In this article, the collective experimenter, arising in scientific projects from those modeled on the Alvarez group to megascience, is studied in the framework of the model of trading zones, as well as Actor-Network Theory. The collective experimenter is defined as a network of actors whose forms are trading zones, including the core – the empirical collective subject of cognition – and the peripheral part. The multitude of actors of the collective experimenter includes the core, as well as the community of intentions and the external actors that are part of the periphery of the collective experimenter. Attention is focused on the differences between the author of epistemic claims, the subject of cognition and scientific collaboration. A classification of collective experimentalists is proposed that includes four types of ontologies. The classification is applied to JINR scientific projects, and within its framework projects of the Alvarez type, big science, proto-megascience and megascience are distinguished. Ways of developing projects to the megascience-level through the formation of cores-communicative communities in the structure of the collective experimenter are proposed. Premised on the results obtained, recommendations are formulated for the development of the JINR experiments program.

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