Data-Centric BiologyA Philosophical Study

Data-Centric BiologyA Philosophical Study

Sabina Leonelli

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226416335

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


The convergence of new technologies for the production, dissemination and analysis of scientific data and new regulatory regimes has provoked a reshuffling of priorities in research practices and outcomes, with important consequences for what is viewed as scientific knowledge and how that knowledge is obtained, legitimated and used. This book investigates how databases are set up and used to generate biological knowledge, and the practical difficulties and challenges confronted by database curators when attempting to package data for travel. These insights inform debate on four fundamental issues: what counts as knowledge at a time of significant technological and institutional changes; what counts as data, and how this relates to existing conceptions of the role and use of evidence in the life sciences and elsewhere; what does it mean to organize and interpret data to generate new knowledge of living systems; and under what conditions is such a systematization achieved.