Proto-Megascience: Translating interests in a trading zone

Vitaly S. Pron­skikh
Fer­mi Nation­al Accel­er­a­tor Lab­o­ra­to­ry

Pro­to-Mega­science: Trans­lat­ing inter­ests in a trad­ing zone

Abstract. This paper focus­es on the char­ac­ter­is­tics of Pro­to-Mega­science, a type of Mega­science that emerged in the 1970s. Pro­to-Mega­science orig­i­nat­ed in high-ener­gy physics at a stage when, with still rel­a­tive­ly mod­er­ate instru­ment scales, team sizes, costs and dura­tions, exper­i­ments devel­oped such fea­tures of advanced Mega­science as the degen­er­a­tion of exper­i­ments into chains with sim­i­lar sci­en­tif­ic pro­grams, as well as the equal­i­ty of epis­temic and non-epis­temic, in par­tic­u­lar polit­i­cal, inter­ests. The author dis­cuss­es a case study of a series of joint Sovi­et-Amer­i­can accel­er­a­tor exper­i­ments (Dub­na-Fer­mi­lab) aimed at research into small-angle pro­ton scat­ter­ing using a super­son­ic gas tar­get. Fur­ther­more, he ana­lyzes the mutu­al trans­la­tion of epis­temic and polit­i­cal inter­ests, as well as the equal­i­ty of liv­ing and non-liv­ing actors in a trad­ing zone exem­pli­fied by a Pro­to-Mega­science exper­i­ment.

Key­words: pro­to-mega­science, high-ener­gy physics, end of exper­i­ment, inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion, trans­la­tions of inter­ests

DOI: 10.5840/dspl20192219

The author thanks the par­tic­i­pants of the Nizh­ny Nov­gorod research sem­i­nar “Phi­los­o­phy in the Age of Change” (the mod­er­a­tor is Dr. Ilya T. Kasavin, Prof., cor­re­spon­dent mem­ber of the Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Sci­ences) for the fruit­ful dis­cus­sion. The author also thanks the Depart­ment of Phi­los­o­phy and the Fac­ul­ty of Physics at Lobache-vsky State Uni­ver­si­ty for the sem­i­nar and their hos­pi­tal­i­ty.
The author is grate­ful to the RFBR for the finan­cial sup­port with­in the research project no. 18–011-00046.


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