One of the key tenets of work in the social studies of science and technology (ssst) is that the conditions of scientific and engineering knowledge determine their contents (Bijker et al., 1987; Bijker & Law, 1992; Woolgar, 1991; Pickering, 1992; Hacking, 1999; Latour, 1999). In other words, the content of knowledge is not a mirror of what is. Rather it is a constructed and contingent network of representations, artifacts, processes and skills that could have been otherwise if social, cultural, economic and cognitive1 conditions were otherwise. In the context of ssst, these networks have been called actor2 networks (Callon, 1986; Callon et al., 1986; Callon, 1991; Callon et al., 1997; Latour, 1987; Latour, 1991; Latour, 1996). For the purposes of this paper, actor networks in which scientific and engineering knowledge is established, maintained and extended are referred to as knowledge networks. The aim of our work in progress is to study knowledge networking and to participate in a potential, emerging software engineering knowledge network. One outcome of the work will be to produce a case study of the potential software technology transition network we are helping to establish. Additionally, we plan to evaluate and adopt new methodologies and tools that support the development and study of knowledge networks.
Monarch, Ira and Levine, Linda, "Knowledge Networks: A Case Study in Establishing a Domain of Software Engineering Knowledge" (2000). AMCIS 2000 Proceedings. 219.