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
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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