This chapter details the various techno-cultural assemblages giving rise to data collected to model and measure anthropogenic worlds, arguing that data-based technologies both represent and co-produce the Anthropocene. It begins with a review of scholarship emerging at the intersection of science and technology studies and information studies that advances understanding of data infrastructure and knowledge practices, and their role within the anthropogenic assemblages that shape history. Drawing on a case study describing how vehicle emissions are measured and regulated in the US, I examine the materialities and mutability of technologies designed to produce data about air quality, along with the cultures and politics that shape them. I detail how US environmental health researchers and regulators grapple with the meaning of evidence and the basis for regulatory decisions as they confront the limits of automated data-collecting and modelling technologies. Finally, I meditate on the role of data-based technologies in mediating the environments we inhabit and the knowledge through which we perceive them.
Jerome W. Crowder, Mike Fortun, Rachel Besara, and Lindsay Poirier
In this chapter the editors interview Dr. Deborah Winslow about her work at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the evolution of data management plans (DMPs) in Anthropology and the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE). She outlines what the NSF expects to see in a DMP and what not to include. The conversation moves into how anthropologists collaborate with “adjacent disciplines” and how the ideas and terms for data, and the expectations of data change. She emphasizes thinking about the kind of data you will collect and what you plan to do with those data later, in terms of requirements for sharing and ultimately archiving them. The conversation ends with a discussion about student research and formulating appropriate research questions.
Summary: For more than two decades, anthropologists have wrestled with new digital technologies and their impacts on how their data are collected, managed, and ultimately presented. Anthropological Data in the Digital Age compiles a range of academics in anthropology and the information sciences, archivists, and librarians to offer in-depth discussions of the issues raised by digital scholarship. The volume covers the technical aspects of data management-retrieval, metadata, dissemination, presentation, and preservation-while at once engaging with case studies written by cultural anthropologists and archaeologists returning from the field to grapple with the implications of producing data digitally. Concluding with thoughts on the new considerations and ethics of digital data, Anthropological Data in the Digital Age is a multi-faceted meditation on anthropological practice in a technologically mediated world.
Printing is not supported at the primary Gallery Thumbnail page. Please first navigate to a specific Image before printing.