In pursuit of a science of agriculture: the role of statistics in field experiments

dc.contributor.authorParolini, Giuditta
dc.date.accessioned2018-04-10T15:42:52Z
dc.date.available2018-04-10T15:42:52Z
dc.date.issued2015
dc.description.abstractSince the beginning of the twentieth century statistics has reshaped the experimental cultures of agricultural research taking part in the subtle dialectic between the epistemic and the material that is proper to experimental systems. This transformation has become especially relevant in field trials and the paper will examine the British agricultural institution, Rothamsted Experimental Station, where statistical methods nowadays popular in the planning and analysis of field experiments were developed in the 1920s. At Rothamsted statistics promoted randomisation over systematic arrangements, factorisation over one-question trials, and emphasised the importance of the experimental error in assessing field trials. These changes in methodology transformed also the material culture of agricultural science, and a new body, the Field Plots Committee, was created to manage the field research of the agricultural institution. Although successful, the vision of field experimentation proposed by the Rothamsted statisticians was not unproblematic. Experimental scientists closely linked to the farming community questioned it in favour of a field research that could be more easily understood by farmers. The clash between the two agendas reveals how the role attributed to statistics in field experimentation defined different pursuits of agricultural research, alternately conceived of as a scientists’ science or as a farmers’ science.en
dc.identifier.eissn1742-6316
dc.identifier.issn0391-9714
dc.identifier.urihttps://depositonce.tu-berlin.de//handle/11303/7534
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.14279/depositonce-6754
dc.language.isoenen
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subject.ddc100 Philosophie und Psychologiede
dc.subject.ddc500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematikde
dc.subject.otherstatisticsen
dc.subject.otherfield experimenten
dc.subject.otherexperimental systemsen
dc.subject.otheragricultureen
dc.subject.otherRothamsted Experimental Stationen
dc.titleIn pursuit of a science of agriculture: the role of statistics in field experimentsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.type.versionacceptedVersionen
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.doi10.1007/s40656-015-0075-9en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.issue3en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.journaltitleHistory and philosophy of the life sciencesen
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.originalpublishernameSpringeren
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.originalpublisherplaceHeidelbergen
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.pageend281en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.pagestart261en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.volume37en
tub.accessrights.dnbdomainen
tub.affiliationFak. 1 Geistes- und Bildungswissenschaften>Inst. Philosophie-, Literatur-, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte>FG Wissenschaftsgeschichtede
tub.affiliation.facultyFak. 1 Geistes- und Bildungswissenschaftende
tub.affiliation.groupFG Wissenschaftsgeschichtede
tub.affiliation.instituteInst. Philosophie-, Literatur-, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichtede
tub.publisher.universityorinstitutionTechnische Universität Berlinen
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