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Götz Hoeppe wins the Melvin Pollner Prize in Ethnomethodology

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Goetz HoeppeGötz Hoeppe, Associate Professor of Anthropology, was awarded the 2017 Melvin Pollner Prize in Ethnomethodology for his article “Working Data Together: The Accountability and Reflexivity of Digital Astronomical Practice”, which appeared in the journal Social Studies of Science. Awarded by the Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis Section of the American Sociological Association, the prize honors the memory of Melvin Pollner (1940-2007), who was one of the founding scholars of ethnomethodology, a sociological approach to the study of human sense-making practices rooted in phenomenology. The nominating committee concluded that Hoeppe’s article is “a meticulous and illuminating study of how observational astronomers reconcile diverse data sources, and how, at the same time, scientists-in-training are inducted into a paradigm which guides their interpretation of what counts as trustworthy data and reportable findings. Far from passively trusting their instruments, the article shows how astronomers constantly scrutinize their data for implausible findings and work to reconcile recent discoveries with previous findings that have stabilized into the benchmark truth. In addition to its many independent merits, the article resonates with Pollner’s fundamental concern with mundane reasoning, grappling with the question of how reality is buttressed as a collective act.”

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