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Life Out of SequenceA Data-Driven History of Bioinformatics$
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Hallam Stevens

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226080178

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226080345.001.0001

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Organizing Space

Organizing Space

(p.71) 3 Organizing Space
Life Out of Sequence

Hallam Stevens

University of Chicago Press

What do the spaces in which bioinformatic knowledge is produced look like? How are they arranged? How do people move around in them? What difference does this make to the knowledge that is produced? The dynamics of data exchange have driven a spatial reorganization of biological work. That is, data work demands that people and laboratories are arranged and organized in specific ways. The arrangements of walls, hallways, offices, benches and the movements amongst them are crucial in certifying and authorizing bioinformatic knowledge – the motion of data through space and between people renders it more or less valuable, more or less plausible. Because of this, spatial motion is also bound up with struggles between different kinds of work and the value of different kinds of knowledge in contemporary biology.

Keywords:   production, consumption, Erving Goffman, architecture, kanban, 5S, Six Sigma, lean production

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