PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Time-Scales of Data Use: On the Life Cycles, Ontology and Understanding of Biological Data

This paper considers the epistemic implications of the temporal dimensions of data use within biology. Existing analyses of data use have focused on synchronous aspects of research, without considering how the diverse time-scales of data and phenomena affect inference and knowledge production. I argue that the ways in which biologists time data collection, storage, dissemination, retrieval and analysis (which I refer to as Data time, or Dt) affect how data is used as evidence for claims, and are therefore fundamental to the ontology of data. Moreover, Dt affects researchers’ understandings of the phenomena for which data serve as evidence.

Author Information:

Sabina Leonelli    
Exeter Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences (Egenis)
University of Exeter


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