Institutional Ecology, 'Translations' and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and

Professionals in Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39 STOR
Susan Leigh Star; James R. Griesemer

Social Studies of Science, Volume 19, Issue 3 (Aug., 1989), 387-420.

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•ABSTRACT

Scientific work is heterogeneous, requiring many different actors and
viewpoints. It also requires cooperation. The two create tension between
divergent viewpoints and the need for generalizable findings. We present a
model of how one group of actors managed this tension. It draws on the
work of amateurs, professionals, administrators and others connected to
the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley,
during its early years. Extending the Latour-Callon model of interessement,
two major activities are central for translating between viewpoints:
standardization of methods, and the development of 'boundary objects'.
Boundary objects are both adaptable to different viewpoints and robust
enough to maintain identity across them. We distinguish four types of
boundary objects: repositories, ideal types, coincident boundaries and
standardized forms.

Institutional Ecology, 'Translations'
and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and
Professionals in Berkeley's Museum of
Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39

Susan Leigh Star and James R. Griesemer

Most scientific work is conducted by extremely diverse groups of actors
- researchers from different disciplines, amateurs and professionals,
humans and animals, functionaries and visionaries. Simply put, scientific
work is heterogeneous. At the same time, science requires cooperation
- to create common understandings, to ensure reliability across domains
and to gather information which retains its integrity across time, space
and local contingencies. This creates a 'central tension' in science between
divergent viewpoints and the need for generalizable findings. In this paper
we examine the development of a natural history research museum as
a case in which both heterogeneity and cooperation are central issues
for participants. We develop an analytical framework for interpreting
our historical material, one which can be applied to studies similarly
focused on scientific work in complex institutional settings.

Social Studies of Science (SAGE, London, Newbury Park and New Delhi),
Vol. 19 ( 1989), 387-420

388 Social Studies of Science

The plan of the paper is as follows. First we consider the ramifications
of the heterogeneity of scientific work and the need for cooperation among
participants for the nature of translation among social worlds. We
suggest modifications of the interessetnent model of Latour, Callon and
Law. We urge a more ecological approach and develop the concept of
boundary objects to analyze a case study of a research natural history
museum. We discuss the history of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
at the University of California, Berkeley, and describe conceptions of
it by participants from several distinct social worlds, including those of
professional scientists, amateur naturalists, patrons, hired hands and
administrators. Our discussion is meant to be suggestive rather than
conclusive at this stage, outlining an approach to case studies as well
as providing a partial analysis of the case at hand. We conclude with
further discussion of boundary objects and the allied issue of methods
standardization.

The Problem of Common Representation in Diverse
Intersecting Social Worlds

Common myths characterize scientific cooperation as deriving from
a consensus imposed by nature. But if we examine the actual work
organization of scientific enterprises, we find no such consensus. Instead,
we find that scientific work neither loses its internal diversity nor is
consequently retarded by lack of consensus. Consensus is not necessary
for cooperation nor for the successful conduct of work. This fundamental
sociological finding holds in science no less than in any other kind of
work. 1 However, scientific actors themselves face many problems in
trying to ensure integrity of information in the presence of such diversity.
One way of describing this process is to say that the actors trying to
solve scientific problems come from different social worlds and establish
a mutual modus operandi. 2 A university administrator in charge of
grants and contracts, for example, answers to a different set of audiences
and pursues a different set of tasks, than does an amateur field naturalist
collecting specimens for a natural history museum.
When the worlds of these actors intersect a difficulty appears. The
creation of new scientific knowledge depends on communication as well
as on creating new findings. But because these new objects and methods
mean different things in different worlds, actors are faced with the task
of reconciling these meanings if they wish to cooperate. This reconcilia-
tion requires substantial labour on everyone's part. Scientists and other

. Someone inside the institution acts as an entrepreneur . that is. the viewpoint of the amateurs is not inherently better or worse than that of the professionals. This is an ecology of institutions in the original sense of that term. and the sources of its personnel of various grades and kinds. The n-way nature of the interessement (or let us say. Callon and Law is central to the kind of reconciliation described in this paper. the sources of its funds. not simply the point of view of the university administration or of the professional scientist. as 'obligatory points of passage').Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 389 actors contributing to science translate. a central feature of this situation is that entrepreneurs from more than one social world are trying to conduct such translations simul- taneously. each translator must maintain the integrity of the interests of the other audiences in order to retain them as allies. it requires an ecological analysis of the sort intended in Hughes' description of the ecology of institutions: In some measure an institution chooses its environment. the sources of its clientele (whether they be clients who will buy shoes. We are persuaded by Latour that the important questions concern the flow of objects and concepts through the network of par- ticipating allies and social worlds. The ecological viewpoint is anti- reductionist in that the unit of analysis is the whole enterprise. It is not just a case of interessement from non-scientist to scientist. however. 4 This authority may be either substantive or methodological. Latour and Callon have called this process interessement. Rather. the challenge intersecting social worlds pose to the coherence of translations) cannot be understood from a single viewpoint. 3 In order to create scientific authority. entrepreneurs gradually enlist participants (or in Latour's word. Unless they use coercion. entail understanding the processes of manage- ment across worlds: crafting. Yet this must be done in such a way as to increase the centrality and importance of that entrepreneur's work. one of the things the enterprising element must do is choose within the possible limits the environment to which the institution will react. the choice of clientele and . This is one of the functions of the institution as enterprise. The problem of translation as described by Latour. triangulate and simplify in order to work together. debate. re-interpret their concerns to fit their own programmatic goals and then establish themselves as gatekeepers (in Law's terms. in many cases. 5 An advantage of the ecological analysis is that it does not presuppose an epistemological primacy for any one viewpoint. 'allies') from a range of locations. diplomacy. negotiate. Yet. It does.. education or medicine). for instance. to indicate the translation of the concerns of the non-scientist into those of the scientist.

390 Social Studies of Science personnel. there is an indefinite number of ways entrepreneurs from each cooperating social world may make their own work an obliga- tory point of passage for the whole network of participants.. including scientific entrepreneurs.reframing or mediating the concerns of several actors into a narrower passage point (see Figure 1). First. The problem for all the actors in a network. But it is a many-to-many mapping. translations Passage Point Passage Point Passage Point . in a way analogous to Quine's philosophical dictum about language. therefore. in that the stories of the museum director and sponsor are much more fully fleshed out than those of the amateur collectors or other players. . their model can be seen as a kind of 'funnelling' . FIGURE I Alliance I translation !

"" p~"'j\ Allies Allies Allies Allies FIGURE 2 Coherence/Boundary Objects . The analysis we propose here still contains a managerial bias.usually the manager. Our approach thus differs from the Callon-Latour-Law model of translations and interessement in several ways. 6 That is. The story in this case is necessarily told from the point of view of one passage point .. entrepreneur.. an indeterminate number of coherent sets of translations. translations Allies Allies Allies Allies The coherence of sets of translations depends on the extent to which entrepreneurial efforts from multiple worlds can coexist. or scientist. There is. where several obligatory points of passage are negotiated with several kinds of allies. including manager-to-manager types (see Figure 2). whatever the nature of the processes which produce them. Translation here is indeter- minate.

in part. (A symbol of this tradition of research is the evident pride with which current museum staff draw attention to an advertisement on the front door stating that there are 'NO PUBLIC EXHIBITS'. amateur. The display of wealth. Our interest in problems of coherence and cooperation in science has been shaped. 7 In the nineteenth century. aided by the alliance of an amateur naturalist/patron and an early West Coast professional scien- tist. the reverse is true. the development of the research natural history museum represents an important stage in the professionalization of natural history work. . Many such cabinets were arranged to display. many new museums were developed by amateur naturalists. The MVZ did not take on scientific research as an adjunct to public instruction or popular edification as had many eastern museums. as well as an example of the changing relationship between amateurs and professionals after the professionalization of biology in America had already begun. if anything. Museums of natural history originally arose when private collectors in the 17th century opened their cabinets of curiosities to public view. as well as development of reference collections for physicians and apothecaries.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 391 is to (temporarily) reduce their local uncertainty without risking a loss of cooperation from allies.) As such. Successful pursuit of the research problems through which the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology's scientists hoped to gain recognition depended on an evolving set of practices instituted to manage the particular sort of work occasioned by the intersection of the professional. and evoke wonder at. through their participation in societies for the amateur naturalist. developed as part of popular culture. polite learning and emulation of the aristocracy. Such museums. in other words. by trying to understand the historical development of a particular type of institution: natural history research museums. Berkeley. were common motives for making cabinets. 8 The museum we studied. western biologists had to struggle to gain credibility in the eyes of the already professionalizing biological community in the eastern US itself. the job then becomes to defend it against other translations threatening to displace it. the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) at the University of California. Unlike many well documented cases of eastern institutions which looked to the European scientific community as a model and for legitimation. is important as an example of a museum devoted to scientific research from its inception. Once the process has established an obligatory point of passage. These societies filled an important role in the development of the museum-based science to come. the variety and plenitude of nature or to represent the universe in microcosm. rather than by members of the 'general public'.

bureaucrats and 'mercenaries' . research scientists. but also the content of his scientific claims. It was a lasting legacy. private sponsors and patrons. rainfall and humidity) • the habitats of collected animal species Methods Standardization and Boundary Objects It is normally the case that the objects of scientific inquiry inhabit multiple social worlds. animals. The fact that the objects originate in. Some objects of interest to all these social worlds included: • species and subspecies of mammals and birds • the terrain of the state of California • physical factors in California's environment (such as temperature. Varying degrees of coherence obtain both at different stages of the enterprise and from different points of view in the enterprise. Joseph Grinnell was the first director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Because of the heterogeneous character of scientific work and its requirement for cooperation.392 Social Studies of Science lay and academic worlds. professors. occasional field hands. 10 His elaborate collection and curation guidelines established a management system in which diverse allies could participate concurrently in the heterogeneous work of building a research museum. government officials and members of scientific clubs. Grinnell' s research required the labours of (among others) university administrators. several groups of actors . Grinnell's managerial decisions about the best way to translate the interests of all these disparate worlds not only shaped the character of the institution he built. and continue to inhabit. the management of this diversity cannot be achieved via a simple pluralism or a laissez-faire solution. amateur collectors. professionals. migration and the role of the environment in Darwinian evolution. different worlds reflects the fundamental tension of science: how can findings which incorporate radically different meanings become coherent? In analyzing our case study. curators.succeeded in crafting a coherent problem-solving enterprise. He worked on problems of speciation. Grinnell' s methods are looked upon as quaint and overly fastidious . one thing is clear. However. since all science requires intersectional work.amateurs. 9 There. surviving multiple translations. we see two major factors contributing to the success of the museum: methods standardization and the develop- ment of boundary objects.

The educational and cultural functions of natural history were being subsumed under the research goals of scientists. and become strongly structured in individual- site use. a means of translation. Grinnell and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. 1907-39 The biological sciences in America were undergoing a number of transi- tions during this period. In the next section. This is an analytic concept of those scientific objects which both inhabit several intersecting social worlds (see the list of examples in the previous section) and satisfy the informational requirements of each of them. 16 They have dif- ferent meanings in different social worlds but their structure is common enough to more than one world to make them recognizable. Biological research was increasingly conducted in academic institutions such as universities and specialized research stations rather than in societies formed by amateurs. and the content of the scientific claims made by Grinnell and others at the museum. yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites. Professional biologists sought international credibility by distinguishing themselves from amateurs. establishing specialized journals for the dissemination of results and by increasingly eschewing the public's eclectic interests in science. The second important concept used to explain how museum workers managed both diversity and cooperation is that of boundary objects. For organism-based subdisciplines (for . 11 but they are still taught and practised at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. duration and description. 14 There was an intimate connection between the management of scientific work as exemplified by these precise standards of collection. 15 Boundary objects are objects which are both plastic enough to adapt to local needs and the constraints of the several parties employing them. (They were also adopted by several other museums around the United States during the first part of this century. then turn to a discussion of both methods standardization and boundary objects. 12 ) For example. we provide some background to the museum's evolution. his course handouts for 1913 13 are similar to current field manuals for students in Zoology 107 at Berkeley. establishing advanced degrees as credentials. The creation and management of boundary objects is a key process in developing and maintaining coherence across intersecting social worlds. These objects may be abstract or concrete.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 393 by current generations of museum workers. They are weakly structured in common use.

On the other. From mostly observational and comparative approaches. 20 Joseph Grinnell (1877-1939) extended his work in natural history to include ecological problems during this period of disciplinary shift. With this change of focus. geography (distribu- tion and abundance) and physiology (effects of physical factors such as heat. light. natural selection). to begin to develop general biogeographic principles of animal and plant distribution. 22 . Hart Merriam. As the nineteenth century closed. made a massive effort to chart the flora and fauna of the states and territories. they learned new methods of quantification and analysis and the use of biological indicators. Their data were used. The Bureau of the Biological Survey. for example. soil and humidity on life-history). founded in 1905 as an arm of the US Department of Agriculture. biological methods came to include experimental. New theoretical work was beginning to emerge which distinguished ecology as well. (2) extending physiology to consider the dynamics of interacting groups of organisms and (3) the quantification of the physical (physiographic) environment as it affects the life-histories of organisms. mammology. herpetology).394 Social Studies of Science example. methods and practices diversified. This merger was to become of central concern to evolutionists and ecologists alike later in this century. most notably that of C. He studied at Stanford University under the tutelage of Charles H. 17 At the same time. a number of 'inventorying' efforts of the federal government were coming to fruition in reports of collecting and surveying trips to the west. morphology and genetics. 18 The participation of ecology in these changes meant both distinguishing itself from its basis in descriptive natural history and adopting new methods. for example. 19 Ecology emerged from the last century as a subdiscipline distinct from systematics. these reports were used by their authors and others to go far beyond mere catalogues of materials. On the one hand. ecologists adopted a set of problems originating in evolutionary theory (adaptation. later an important influence on the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology workers. the central transition was a shift from studies of classification and morphology to studies of process and function. 21 At the turn of the century Stanford naturalists were bringing together problems of habitat and distribution along with evolutionary theory to form an emerging geographical conception of speciation. Gilbert and David Starr Jordan. Ecologists are concerned with (1) the bases for adaptation. ornithology. manipulative and quantitative techniques and natural history methods were refined so as to focus on increasingly specialized research problems.

ecology and evolution. Grinnell also contributed important concepts to the literature on geographic distribution. Alexander's contributions alone came to over 20.) When Alexander first met Grinnell in 1907. at that time an instructor at Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena (later to become CalTech). Hart Merriam's life-zone concept to a hierarchical classification system for environments. edited by Grinnell for many years.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 395 Alexander and Grinnell The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology was founded at Berkeley in 1908 by Annie Montague Alexander (1867-1950). Alexander decided to build a museum of natural history. and developed an important and influential concept of the 'niche'. He argued for trinomialism in systematics as essential to studies of speciation. 23 Inspired by paleontology courses she took at Berkeley and by safari experience with her father in Africa. 30 . 26 Grinnell became the founding director of the Museum in 1908. the museum developed into an important repository of regional specimens of vertebrates.member of the Cooper Ornitho- logical Club. for example.000 specimens. His father was a physician who worked with American Indians and he grew up with Oglala Sioux Indian playmates. he had already made significant theoretical contributions and was an established scientist. He extended C. a major western bird-watching and ornithological associa- tion. 27 Beginning with Grinnell's and Alexander's own collecting efforts. 24 He was a founding . she chose Grinnell. Alexander was heir to a Hawaiian shipping and sugar fortune and a dedicated amateur natural- ist. he finished his Stanford PhD and was appointed to the Berkeley Zoology Department. 28 As part of this work. Grinnell and his staff codified a precise set of procedures for collecting and curating specimens. included him in a survey of zoologists supporting his 'general law of distribution'. discussed in his famous 1905 paper. Grinnell had been an enthusiastic and dedicated bird and mammal collector since his boyhood in Indian Territory. He also worked toward a 'two layer' theory of evolution which incorporated evolution of the environment as part of an explanation for natural selection. geography and ecology of birds and mammals are still used today as important reference works. (Their bulletin would later become the journal The Condor. 25 David Starr Jordan. 29 Many of Grinnell' s descriptive monographs on the systematics. In 1913. As her first director.

An adequate account of n-way translation in this case awaits the results of tracing our way out and back again. such as the work of commercial specimen houses or taxidermists).396 Social Studies of Science Different Social Worlds and their Perspectives We have been talking so far about the goals and interests of only a few of the people essential for the museum's success as a going concern. in part.for us as scholars. The work at the museum. preparators and taxidermists. Among these were amateur naturalists. Nevertheless. It also requires conducting such tracings from a variety of starting points (that is. philanthropists. like that of scientific establishments every- where. university administrators. we can begin the task of tracing the network into those other social worlds. However. the general public. Grinnell 's Vision One of Grinnell' s passions was the elaboration of Darwinian theory which was to be derived from the work of the museum. conservationists. 31 It is not possible to consider all these visions equally in this essay. conditioned by the historical record . so we are forced to consider most fully those of the entrepreneurs like Grinnell and Alexander. Only with tracings from multiple starting points can we begin to test the robustness of the network. encompassed a range of very different visions stemming from the intersection of participating social worlds. In the following section we adumbrate the central features of several visions of the museum and its work. The more limited work discussed in this paper is. including some starting points which would be considered 'peripheral' or 'subsidiary' on a one-way translation model. it is important not to mistake the search heuristic of starting with the centralized records for a theoretical model of the structure of the network itself. Darwin had argued that . by considering the work of Grinnell and Alexander as a part of a network which spans a number of inter- secting social worlds. and even the animals which became the research specimens. professional biologists. scientific publications are the boundary objects which are also obligatory passage points! Records concerning the entrepreneurs who served as administrators of the museum are kept in the central archives of the university which housed the museum. Records concerning the many other elements of the network of such amateur collectors who contributed specimens to the museum and articles to naturalist society newsletters are not equally centralized.

examples of different sorts of barriers in mammals and birds. fauna! areas. Grinnell and Alexander exchanged many letters in which they expressed their hopes and visions . Grinnell died before he was able to express his views on evolution and speciation in a major theoretical monograph. While in the field. He needed a small army of assistants to collect these data. degrees of isolation as influencing results. species and subspecies in nature defined. those of experimental genetics. Grinnell's overarching theoretical concern was to bring the study of both physical and biotic environmental factors to bear on the problems of evolution. Bird migration as a phase of geographic distribution. He felt that their synthesis would have fulfilled his theoretical programmatic: I. 9.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 397 natural selection is the chief mechanism by which organisms adapt. Prior to the establishment of the museum. say. he did outline such a volume and his research programme is perhaps best characterized by its title. habitats and niches. Distributional areas defined: realms. This vision required vast amounts of highly detailed data about flora. The concept of distributional limitation. (Some of his more important views are excerpted in a book posthumously produced by his students. life-zones. 8. it is clear that Grinnell's approach to questions of evolution differed radically from. 'Plasticity' versus 'conservatism' in different groups of birds and mammals. Kinds of isolation. the ecologic niche. fauna and aspects of the environment. The bearing of geography and evolution upon human problems. 'Orthogenesis' from the standpoint of geographic variation. Geography and Evolution. 34 From these titles. 7. his units of analysis and selection were subspecies and species. The nature of barriers. association. chronological versus spatial conditions. but had said little about the precise nature of the environmental forces of change. His natural world was a large-scale. 33). 10. 2. The chapter titles of his book outline serve to summarize the topics to which Grinnell had devoted his career. topographical one. Reconcilability of geographic concept with that of genetics. 32 Sadly. the significance of geographic variation. The pocket gophers and the song sparrows of California. 3. Grinnell wanted to extend the Darwinian picture by developing a theory of the evolution of the environment as the driving force behind natural selection. 4. 5. 6.

I have more faith. a place distinguished from the east by its great geo- graphical diversity.hence Grinnell's preference for the salaried field man. 35 Grinnell was clearly concerned to ensure that the materials collected by others met his scientific requirements. In other words. . and asked scientific questions which could only be answered by careful consideration of such geographically-based organic diversity on a finer scale than is available in museums pursuing world- wide collections. Moreover. conducting scientific research on problems in ecology and evolu- tion in a museum setting required more than just a change of interests and training on the part of the scientific staff. Grinnell needed accurate information in the form of carefully preserved animal specimens and documented native habitats over tens or hundreds of years.. I take it that was one purpose you had in mind founding the institution. Grinnell focused his collecting efforts on the American west. In one of these letters Grinnell stated his scientific and political goals: First. Grinnell argued that the order and accuracy are the chief aims of the curator (once the specimens are safely preserved). he wrote that. however.398 Social Studies of Science for its future. in the salaried field man who turns in everything he finds. I believe in buying desirable material where definitely in hand and subject to selection and inspection. or which are tailored to particular research problems not well served by collections elsewhere. I will grant that it would take our man. Grinnell clearly had an institutional goal as well as a research goal and that was to build a centre of authority. But in the former case we would be ever so much the stronger and better able to tackle the next problem . We want to establish a center of authority on this coast.36 In an essay titled 'The Museum Conscience'.. as regards the working up of the Alaska mammals. it also required changes in basic collecting and curating procedures. It also required comparisons of samples over time . This placed constraints on the museum's physical organiza- tion. On the subject of order. longer to work up the paper. it seems to me it should be done as far as possible by our own men. This included documenting the presence of groups of animal species in a particular place at the same time of day and season of the year. The odd specimen collected from here or there might serve as backup for work in taxonomy. whoever he may be. One means of doing this would be to build collec- tions of scientific value which are not easily duplicated elsewhere. than the BS [Biological Survey] people. but collection for ecological and evolutionary purposes required more thorough documentation.

. Grinnell. until this scheme is in operation through all the materials in his charge.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 399 To secure a really practicable scheme of arrangement [of specimens. But it ought to be done. Fulfillment of Grinnell' s theoretical vision required that specimens and field notes collected over many years be painstakingly curated. and his scientific goals. for it is taking space somewhere. Any fact. and space is the chief cost initially and currently in any museum. Once he has selected or devised his scheme. card indexes and data on specimen labels] takes the best thought and much experimentation on the part of the keenest museum curator. there is nothing attractive about collecting in a settled-up. specimen. moreover. every item of the general record in the accession catalog. both preservation for posterity and hot new theoretical findings must be protected. or record left out of order is lost. 41 That is. To do this essential work correctly requires an excep- tional genius plus training .. 37 On the second aim. Label-writing having to do with scientific materials is not a chore to be handed over casually to '25-cent-an-hour' girl. 40 but Grinnell was a master at articulating both the 'museum conscience'. had a sense of urgency about 'preserving California'.. reptiles and amphibians. later. perhaps. The second essential in the care of scientific materials is accuracy. Grinnell wrote.. By no means any person that happens to be around is capable of doing such work with reliable results. Alexander. as he called it.. or even to the ordinary clerk. the fewer 'waste lots' there will be in which to trap for native mammals . Grinnell and their associates limited themselves to Californian birds and mammals and. It had. Whereas the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the American Museum in New York had the entire world's natural species for their purview. This concern was not unique to Grinnell or his museum. 39 He designed the museum so that sampling from restricted locations over long periods of time would capture evolu- tion in progress as environments changed. 42 As he wrote to Alexander in the early years of the museum: .. level country. 43 Again in May of the same year. better not exist. too. Many errors in published literature. 38 Grinnell's vision of environmental evolution reinforced his conception of collection and curation. In this fashion comparisons of materials could be made by scientists who would come to work for the museum after Grinnell himself was long gone. his work is not done. are traceable to mistakes on labels.. must be precise as to fact. now practically impossible to 'head off'. accuracy. and the longer we wait. Every item on the label of each specimen. Grinnell continued.

Alexander contributed funds and oversight sufficient virtually to control the museum as an autonomous organization on the Berkeley campus. Her scrapbooks and the museum archives contain pictures of her camping out. 45 Indeed. geese. and it is at least certain that specimens will never be obtainable to better advantage than now. are decreasing in numbers rapidly. many of the former marshy areas are not ditched or diked. All the species. Along with her lifelong companion and partner. She felt that it should be meticulously preserved and recorded. are being cut up into farms. . too.not only would she be preserving a sample of California's native fauna for posterity. where geese grazed. shortly after its founding. 47 As a rich. she conducted many expeditions to gather specimens for the MVZ. not mere specimens used to educate the public about a vanishing wilderness. She intended her museum to serve as a demonstration project to the public about what could be done in conservation and zoological research. saw the flora and fauna of California disappearing under the advance of civilization.400 Social Studies of Science It would surely be a fine thing if we could acquire a collection of fresh-water ducks. The important preserved objects were ecological facts. She was an indefatigable amateur collector. and the great fields. with the possible exception of killdeer and herons. Grinnell simultaneously shaped his research goals and increased the value of Alexander's continued support . the museum decided not to pursue displays of its objects at all. she would be contributing to the establishment of a research centre. 46 As a passionate and single-minded patron of science. Nevertheless. etc. the important feature of preservation was recording information. All thru [sic] San Joaquin Valley. Alexander's trips were primitive by comparison with the 'ladylike' expeditions to Africa made by aristo- cratic women in a somewhat earlier time. By seeking to establish a centre of authority for problems well-served by this regional focus. Alexander's Vision Annie Alexander. 44 However. waders. Grinnell shaped research problems which were suited to work in the region which Alexander wished to document in the form of collections. toting rifles and scaling mountains. it was essential to Grinnell' s success as a research scientist that he continue to attract Alexander's patronage. the Museum of Paleontology and the Herbarium. Alexander had a degree of autonomy unusual for women during this period. unmarried woman. to Grinnell. Louise Kellogg.

Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 401 In addition to collecting. natural history was both a passionate hobby and a civic duty. says one zoologist friend. reported to her and sought her advance approval of expeditions). must be . For her. specimen and equipment purchases and expeditions. preserved and made available to the public. 48 The intrinsic beauty of nature should be shared and protected. She was its primary patron. the Society of Western Naturalists and the Save the Redwoods League. While she read some evolutionary theory. all brought amateurs and academics together for purposes of collecting and conservation. there is a delicate balance between capturing an animal at all costs. In none of these roles was Alexander a theoretical scientist. They sought legitimacy for their conservation efforts. for example. as mentioned above. They shared with both Alexander and Grinnell the sentiment that what was unique to California and the west should be described. Amateur collectors wanted to play a role in the scholarly pursuit of knowledge by professional scientists. The expeditions themselves were at once opportunities for peaceful observation and enjoyment of the natural world and a battle of wits between collectors on the one hand and recalcitrant animals and environments on the other. She was as well a day-to-day administrator who approved expenditures in minute detail. and capturing an animal with the integrity of its valuable information unassailed. California was imbued with a particularly vigorous conservation and nature-loving amateur constituency. The animals must be brought in physically intact. the Cooper Ornithological Club. of making a record of that which was disappearing under the advance of civilization. 'a specimen is just dead meat'. How does one persuade a reluctant and clever animal to participate in science? For the natural historian. reviewing productivity of the staff and approving the nature and location of their expeditions (Grinnell. among other organizations. including operating expenses and budget reports. their habitats must be detailed so that the specimen has scientific meaning. staff salaries. her primary 'take' on the job of the museum came from her commitments to conservation and educational philanthropy. hiring and firing personnel.) The animals. ('Without a label'. funding the museum building. Alexander served the museum in other capacities. The Collector's Vision In addition to its museums. as for many social elites of the period. The museum was a way of preserving a vanishing nature. John Muir and the Sierra Club.

and trappers and traders who could provide them with specimens that were rare or difficult to capture. Such allies are coaxed and managed through containment and a certain amount of brute force. camping places) . the dermestid beetles which clean the captured specimens so that skeletons can be used for research. We left the house at six and went to the Stop Thief traps first. Alexander described a set of problems with a recalcitrant trapper who wanted to sell skins to the museum: You will notice that two of the skulls are broken. probably a civet and a coon were visible . These people were often invaluable sources of information and other sorts of help (food. Animals within the museum present another kind of recalcitrance: they must be preserved against decay. In order to measure changes. Their coin of exchange was money.in the one place the creature had reached through the trap and taken the bait without springing it and in the other had pushed aside a rock and got the bait out from above but in the scuffle the bait was caught in the trap and was found lying on one side partially eaten. The bob cat is in rather . or possibly the exchange of a less scientifically interesting but edible specimen for one valued by the collectors. The bait was eaten from two sets of dipodomys and the others were untouched. information about hunting. It seems next to impossible to persuade a trapper to kill an animal without whacking him on the head. Friction between viewpoints here was smoothed by such exchanges. These included farmers and townspeople on or near whose land the collectors searched for specimens. Both had been robbed of their bait and the tracks of two animals.402 Social Studies of Science caught quickly. eat specimens they should not and eat parts of specimens that are needed for other work. are often the most difficult to discipline! They escape their bounds. The littlest allies. Grinnell and other theorists also needed baseline data from which to proceed. before the larger ecological balances change and they adapt to new conditions. making contact with a host of other social worlds. I caught two microtus out of 21 traps set in the grass.sometimes for a price. 49 The Trappers' Vision In fulfilling their interests in natural history and collecting. For example. the amateur collector was often on the front line. Many of the backwoods trappers being 'interessed' by the amateur collectors or the museum workers had little or no interest in either conservation or science as such. A typical example of the struggles with recalcitrant animal allies may be found in Louise Kellogg's field notebook from an expedition in 1911: March 20.

The university was willing to accommodate a natural history museum as long as Alexander was willing to fund it. I am holding on to Knowles [a trapper] a little longer in the hope that he may get a panther and some coyotes. Their vision of natural history and California was different yet again from that of the staff of the museum and the amateur collectors. and more. You deserve all the credit expressed. lawyers. He will have to set them finer. You must consider his limitations (and those of the Regents) in forming any conception of the methods and aims of such an institution as the Museum. on this score alone. The administration accepted Alexander's funding of the museum as part of this vision. In turn. 3 traps but the coyotes as he expressed it 'did not throw them' although they walked all over them. Here. too. Knowles is about as good as the ordinary run of trappers who can't see anything in a skin except its commercial value . and. Money is the common standard. The different visions and economic values of participating worlds is clear from the sometimes stormy correspondence between Alexander and the Regents and university administration over autonomy for the museum.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 403 a sorry plight that has a history. if their appreciation seems to be prompted only by . She hired and fired museum staff. a pet charity for many of the San Francisco Bay Area elite. He has dogs with him. and was also trying to begin seriously to compete with the eastern universities for scientific resources and prestige. They had similar arrangements with local philanthropists Phoebe Hearst and Jane Sather for charitable research or library endeavours on campus. Alexander enjoyed an administrative power almost unheard of for single individuals at major universities today. Grinnell responds to Alexander's chagrin about the university president's vision of the museum in monetary terms: I think the letter from President Wheeler is fine. national-class university. it is the money that makes the major part of our work possible. 50 The University Administration's Vision Another important participant in the museum enterprise was the university administration. It is nothing to be ashamed of. industrialists and agriculturalists. or to resent. It seems nothing more than natural that these men should measure your work for the University in terms of the dollars involved.and the little extra care in skinning that we demand frets them. It was at the same time clearly a local school. He set the no. The University of California during this period was trying to become a legitimate. chose expedition sites and managed administrative liaison with the Regents of the university. and a training ground for local doctors. measuring the museum's contribution to this goal by its own criteria: level of funding and prestige returned to the university as a whole.

heterogeneous economies of information and materials. as from a library.404 Social Studies of Science a recognition of the money cost of the Museum. plastic. in which needed objects could be bartered. . They don't know any better. 51 The museum was administratively separate from the department of zoology. Different social worlds maintained a good deal of autonomy in parallel work situations. 'extraneous' properties can be deleted or ignored. In this sense it helped meet the university's goal of being a local cultural centre. Analysis of Methods Standardization and Boundary Objects The worlds listed above have both commonalities and differences. or • work in the worlds can proceed in parallel except for limited exchanges of standardized sorts. problems posed by conflicting views could be managed in a variety of ways: • via a 'lowest common denominator' which satisfies the minimal demands of each world by capturing properties that fall within the minimum acceptable range of all concerned worlds. developing. that is. From a purely logical point of view. Only those parts of the work essential to maintaining coherent information were pooled in the intersection of information. traded and bought or sold. or • each participating world can abstract or simplify the object to suit its demands. and generating a series of boundary objects which would maximize both the autonomy and communication between worlds. trappers and other non-scientists. It was publicly active in natural history circles and it was the home for meetings of local natural history clubs such as the Cooper Club and the Society of Western Naturalists. Participants developed extremely flexible. or • work can be staged so that stages are relatively autonomous. Such economies maximized the autonomy of work considerations in inter- secting worlds while ensuring 'trade' across world boundaries. or • via the use of versatile. and the intrinsic value of the Museum and your work for it remain the same. reconfigurable (programmable) objects that each world can mould to its purposes locally. or • via storing a complex of objects from which things necessary for each world can be physically extracted and configured for local purposes. To meet the scientific goals of the museum. teaching and enforcing a clear set of methods to 'discipline' the information obtained by collectors. the trick of translation required two things: first. the others were left alone.

52 Specimens are preserved in a highly standardized way. exact and easily get-at-able records. this is an attempt to detect parallels between the extent of presence of the animal and of some appreciable environmental feature or set of features. to compare all the records of occurrence with what we know in various respects of the portion of the section inhabited. Whether soft parts (internal organs and fatty tissues) are preserved depends on the availability of techniques. Colour of pelage. to consider the observed actual instances of restriction of individuals of each kind of animal. scales. first. Methods and Collectors What do you think of the system? It seems complex at first reading. 54 Thus. and so on. handling and storage whether the limbs are 'frozen' at the sides of the body or outstretched. And the better the records the more valuable the specimens. But it means detailed. the animal must usually be taken apart to expose them.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 405 The strategies of the different participants in the museum world share several of these attributes. straight or bent. are usually not preservable. below. for example. This creates a tension or potential incoherence between collectors and theorists. For example. the conventions for preserving external structures and the parts commonly studied. If precise measurements of long bones are desired. the method used in this survey to get at the causes for differential occurrence as observed was. it makes a great deal of difference to ease of measurement. it is necessary to translate specimens into ecological units via a set of field notes. The objects of interest are collections of taxa represented in a particular geographical location. so that specific information can be recovered later on when the specimen is stored in a museum. Let us examine the process of preservation of information. and more especially for the ecological problem of inferring environmental factors limiting species' ranges from distributional data. 53 For geographical distribution work. Study of the factors responsible for presence or absence of particular taxa from a local area proceeds according to a method outlined by Grinnell and his colleagues: In practice. and second. the taxa to which specimens belong must be linked to a geographical location and to each other. we focus on two major varieties. Once faunas are represented as lists of species (and . and colour photographs or accurate notes may be the only feasible solution to this preservation problem.

for example. standardized methods of collecting. maps of environmental factor isoclines (quantitatively or qualitatively expressed) can be constructed from field notes and geo- graphic maps. preserving. Reports of field work begin with an itinerary and often a topographical map of the region explored. labelling and taking field notes is a testament to his skilful management of the complex multiple translations involved in natural history work. The precise set of standardized methods for labelling and collecting played a critical part in their success.they could be learned by amateurs who might have little understanding of taxonomic. These methods were both stringent and simple . These collections must in turn be linked to a dis- tribution of potentially responsible environmental factors. they rendered the information collected by amateurs amenable to analysis by professionals. for the most part. an ecological map of these units can be constructed. lists of factors) from concrete. In parallel.the check-lists of taxa represented in a local area are. and success with. The professional biologists convinced the amateur collectors. Grinnell and Alexander were able to mobilize a network of collectors. and if they also serve as indicators of life-zones. faunas or associations. conventionalized ones (locations. in addition to the translation work of creating abstract objects (lists of species. to clearly specify the habitat and time of capture of a specimen in a standard format notebook. specimens.406 Social Studies of Science subspecies) linked to a location. Then the environmental factors maps can be superimposed on the maps of ecological units. 55 The specimens per se are not the primary objects of ecological study . and the . ecological or evolutionary theory. At the same time. These check- lists are then mapped into ecological units (geographically identified groups of species and subspecies) by finding subsets of the check-list which are limited to a geographical subarea. their distributional limits are established in terms of the overlapping ranges of their member taxa (or a subset of indicator species). cooperating scientists and administrators to ensure the integrity of the information they collected for archiving and research purposes. a series of increasingly abstract maps must be created which link these objects together. They thus did not require an education in professional biology to understand or to execute. A map is constructed in terms of ranges of the ecological units set by the species ranges (within the geographical area studied) of species taken to be indicators for the zones. The methods protocols themselves. Taxa represented by specimens can be plotted on these maps. Hence. and the strongest concordances used to rank environmental factors as delimiters of species distributions. Grinnell's insistence on. field notes). to adhere to these conventions .

but of the conflicts between the various participating worlds. and not what or why. In working with amateur collectors. . In this sense. It is only gradually that a scientist in Grinnell' s position comes to be an authority. Part of this authority is exercized through the standardization of methods. By emphasizing how. The standardized specimens. Each world is willing . Grinnell created a mesh through which their products must pass if they want money or scientific recognition.to grant autonomy to the museum and to conform to Grinnell's information-gathering standards.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 407 injunctions implied. are a record not only of the kinds of information Grinnell needed to capture for his theoretical developments. Potential differences in beliefs about evolution or higher-order questions tend to be displaced by a focus on 'how'. but not so narrow a mesh that the products of their labour cannot be easily used. precise manual tasks. capturing sneaky little animals or bribing reluctant farmers to preserve intact their saleable specimens. that the collectors give enough information about where they got the beasts from so that the locations can be precisely identified. but cannot be overly-disciplined. not 'why'.the basic activities of going on camping trips. each protocol is a record of the process of reconciliation. Propagating methods is not an easy task. The methods thus provided a useful 'lingua franca' between amateurs and professionals. a major problem is to ensure that the data coming back in from the field is of reliable quality. They also allowed amateurs to make a substantial contribution both to science and to conservation. that it does not decay en route through sloppy collecting or preserving techniques. methods standardization allowed both collectors and professional biologists to find a common ground in clear. directions for collectors cannot be made so complicated that they interfere with the already- difficult job of camping out in the wilderness. adding to personal hobby collections and preserving California remained virtually untouched.for a price . Standardizing methods is different from standardizing theory. Collectors do not need to learn theoretical biology in order to contribute to the enterprise. and perhaps most important. With respect to the collectors. Grinnell was thus able to accomplish several things at once. fieldnotes and techniques provided consistent information for future generations or for researchers at a distance. On the other hand. methods standardization both makes information compatible and allows for a longer 'reach' across divergent worlds. First. Another way of saying this is that the allies enrolled by the scientist must be disciplined. Grinnell' s methods emphasis thus translated the concerns of his allies in such a way that their pleasure was not impaired .

Their boundary nature is reflected by the fact that they are simultaneously concrete and abstract. The intersectional nature of the museum's shared work creates objects which inhabit multiple worlds simultaneously. they create various sorts of boundary objects. Those that do not share this goal participate in the economy via a neutral medium . We have. As a sponsor. both for posterity and as a demonstration of good scientific practice. These were not engineered as such by any one individual or group. literal concrete preservation is only the beginning of a long process of making arguments . Alexander was concerned with preserving a representative collection of Californiana. While necessary for the sort of sweeping ecological work undertaken by the MVZ. His carefully crafted relationship with Alexander involved them both in making a commitment to methods and preservation techniques. museums and maps of particular territories. general public. as intact and as well-tagged as possible. 'methods control' alone was not sufficient. As groups from different worlds work together. Among these objects are specimens. for some participants (amateur collectors. con- ventionalized and customized. They are often internally heterogeneous. field notes. Other means were necessary to ensure cooperation across divergent social worlds. theorists and amateurs collaborate to produce representations of nature. specific and general. It is clear from their correspondence that Alexander had little concern for the contents of the scientific theory - but that she was quite concerned with curation and preservation methods. university administration). 4.408 Social Studies of Science One consequence of this strategy is that Grinnell created a large area of autonomy for himself from which he could move into more theoretical arenas. all participants come to agree literally to preserve samples of its flora and fauna. but rather emerged through the process of the work. and which must meet the demands of each one. for others (Grinnell. 2. in the management strategies of the MVZ. trappers and farmers) this literal. concrete preservation of animals is sufficient for their purposes.direct monetary exchange (note: this includes the university administration!). boundary objects are produced when sponsors. 3. Boundary Objects In natural history work. a situation with the following characteristics: 1. many participants share a common goal: preserve California's nature.

How does this happen? In building the theories and in building the organization. he had to overcome the conventionality in order to make his objects scientifically interesting. geographical focus. He needed a baseline for his geographical theories and comparisons. Grinnell then transformed this agreement into a resource for getting more money. For the university administration. These shared goals are lined up in such a way that everybody has satisfying work to perform in each world. The concerns and technologies of the amateurs. California became a delimitable 'laboratory in the field' giving his research questions a regional. nor arguing with other parts of science. (As one current member of the museum staff has wryly stated: 'When you get to the Nevada border. the regional focus supported its mandate to serve the people of the state. It would not be enough if all the worlds collected objects which were in some sense challenging old ways of thinking about nature. farmers. as . For the amateur naturalists concerned with the flora and fauna of their state. an object which lives in multiple social worlds and which has different identities in each. This first constraint is a weak one with many advantages. in the case of the museum. nature-lovers. the different worlds share goals of conserving California and nature. and so on. needed to be preserved if they were to continue fully par- ticipating. He made extensive alliances with conservation groups. Furthermore. and of making an orderly array out of natural variety. sponsors and local social elites): draw a line around the west (sometimes even around the state) and declare it a nature preserve. then. research conducted within its bounds also served their goals of preservation and conservation. the geographical concepts he wanted to advance were built on this kernel of support for California preservation.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 409 to professional audiences and establishing themselves as 'experts' in some theoretical domain. So. turn around and drive the other way!') For Grinnell. It gives California itself the status of a boundary object. Grinnell had to maintain the conventionality of the objects so that future collecting could go on. How did Grinnell balance the need for argument with the need for building on the very conventional understandings about California that the amateur collectors and clubs had? How did he escape being limited by their concerns? Grinnell and Alexander quite brilliantly began their enterprise by building on a goal they shared with several participants (the university presidents. This provided him with a definite but still weakly-constrained and weakly- structured base. At the same time. He became one of the primary people in charge of preserving California.

2. which incorporated both concrete and theoretical data and which served as a means of communicating across both worlds. in the sense that we are really dealing here with systems of boundary objects which are themselves heterogeneous. And from this library of specimens. with boundaries from several different worlds which coincide. we found four types of boundary objects. Repositories are built to deal with problems of heterogeneity caused by differences in unit of analysis. 1. These coincident boundaries. An example of an ideal type is the species. This is a concept which in fact described no specimen. around a loosely-structured. atlas or other description which in fact does not accurately describe the details of any one locality or thing. 3. Coincident boundaries.a 'good enough' road map for all parties. with a strong empirical base and strikingly strong support from participating worlds. Ideal types arise with differences in degree of abstraction. In analyzing these translation tasks represented by the MVZ under- taking. It is abstracted from all domains. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. They result in the deletion of local contingencies from the common object and have the advantage of adaptability. provide an anchor for more widely-ranging. 56 From the standardized information which Grinnell collected. An example of a repository is a library or museum. Ideal type. he was able to build ecological theories different from those being developed in the rest of the country. His autonomy in this regard rested on solving the problems of boundary tensions posed by the multiple intersections of the worlds which met in the museum. At the core and beginning of his work. However. These are common objects which have the same boundaries but different internal contents.410 Social Studies of Science the conservation movement needed and wanted information about the natural baseline threatened by development interests. These are ordered 'piles' of objects which are indexed in a standardized fashion. It has the advantage of modularity. Grinnell's work was highly abstract. Repositories. People from different worlds can use or borrow from the 'pile' for their own purposes without having directly to negotiate differences in purpose. he built an orderly repository. it serves as a means of communicating and cooperating symbolically . and may be fairly vague. riskier claims. it is adaptable to a local site precisely because it is fairly vague. These are only analytic distinctions. They arise in the presence of different means of aggregating data and when work is distributed . boundary object. he placed a common goal and conventional understanding. This is an object such as a diagram. then.

Because the natural history work took place at highly distributed sites by a number of different people. An example of coincident boundaries is the creation of the state of California itself as a boundary object for workers at the museum. oscillating - provide a provocative source of metaphors for understanding objects with multiple memberships.passing. standardized in the information it collected. The maps created by the professional biologists. The advantages of such objects are that local uncertainties (for instance. they were provided with a form to fill out when they obtained an animal.marginal people - face an analogous situation. People who inhabit more than one social world . however. 4. the . The result is that work in different sites and with different perspectives can be conducted autonomously while cooperating parties share a common referent. The maps of California created by the amateur collectors and the conservationists resembled traditional roadmaps familiar to us all. Standardized forms. The advantage is the resolution of different goals. Can we find similar strategies among those creating or managing joint objects across social world boundaries? A social world. These are boundary objects devised as methods of common communication across dispersed work groups. shared the same outline of the state (with the same geo-political boundaries). In the case of the amateur collectors. If a state of war does not prevail. as discussed above. a person whose mother is white and father is black. The strategies employed by marginal people to manage their identities . 'stakes out' territory. The results of this type of boundary object are standardized indexes and what Latour would call 'immutable mobiles' (objects which can be transported over a long distance and convey unchanging information). problems of identity and loyalty.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 411 over a large-scale geographic area. either literal or conceptual. and emphasized campsites. trying to shift into a single world. ecologically-based series of shaded areas representing 'life zones'. Traditionally. in the collecting of animal species) are deleted. 58 Marginality has been a critical concept for understanding the ways in which the boundaries of social worlds are constructed. 57 Park's classic work on the 'marginal man' discusses the tensions imposed by such multiple membership. then institutionalized negotiations manage ordinary affairs when different social worlds share the same territory (for instance. standardized methods were essential. and the kinds of navigation and articulation performed by those with multiple member- ships. trails and places to collect. but were filled in with a highly abstract. such as the world of amateur natural history collectors. an ecological concept. the concept of marginality has referred to a person who has membership in more than one social world: for example.

is conducted by scientists. navigating in more than one world is a non-trivial mapping exercise. Such negotiations include conflict and are constantly challenged and refined. have discussed the complex management of such overlapping place perspectives. The objects thus come to form a common boundary between worlds by inhabiting them both simul- taneously. and mismatches caused by the overlap become problems for negotiation. Everett Hughes has talked about such overlaps and has described organizations which manage collisions in space sovereignty as 'intertribal centers'. drawing on Hughes' earlier work.objects marginal to those worlds. skill and sentiment.412 Social Studies of Science United States Government and the Mafia). 59 Gerson' s analysis of resources and commitments provides a general model of sovereignties based on commitments of time. or confusing. we are interested in the kinds of translations scientists perform in order to craft objects containing elements which are different in different worlds . denying one side. People resolve problems of marginality in a variety of ways: by passing on one side or another. oscillating between worlds. Because more than one world or set of concerns is using and making the representation. there are crucial differences. or voluntarily manage membership problems. people coming together from different social worlds frequently have the experience of addressing an object that has a different meaning for each of them.including construction of them . elusive. Unlike the situation of marginal people who reflexively face problems of identity and membership. we are interested in that sort of n-way translation which includes scientific objects. the central cooperative task of social worlds which share the same space but different perspectives is the 'translation' of each others' perspectives. In particular. Intersections place particular demands on representations. managing multiple memberships can be volatile. Scientists manage boundary objects via a set of strategies only loosely comparable to those practised by marginal people. 60 Gerson and Gerson. 62 In conducting collec- tive work. For people. In this paper. 61 In their analysis. or what we call boundary objects. or by forming a new social world composed of others like themselves. and on the integrity of information arising from and being used in more than one world. it has to satisfy more than one set of concerns. . the objects with multiple memberships do not change them- selves reflexively. Each social world has partial jurisdiction over the resources represented by that object. collectors and adminis- trators only when their work coincides. However. money. management of these scientific objects . While these objects have some of the same properties as marginal people. however.

money and complex negotiations: money in exchange for furs and animals from trappers. and becomes more efficient. food and bait in traps in exchange for animals' unwitting cooperation. 64 Gokalp has described some of the processes of colli- sions which arise when multiple fields come together. scientific classification in exchange for specimens donated by amateur naturalists.in the sense that a fuzzy image is resolved by a microscope. Gerson and Star have discussed a similar collision in an office workplace. their different commitments and perceptions are resolved into representations . contain at every stage the traces of multiple viewpoints. silencing and fragmentation. In the case of museum work. the scientists have made headway in standardizing the interfaces between different worlds. . prestige and legitimacy for economic support. 65 The production of boundary objects is one means of satisfying these potentially conflicting sets of concerns.a problem which computer scientist Carl Hewitt has called 'due process'. As the museum matures. and were in the habit of dissolving them in liquid and drinking them! 67 The sacred fossil beds were well-protected against foraging paleontologists. Andrews has a compelling example of this from a natural history expedi- tion of the period to Mongolia: natives there used fossils for fang shui (geomancy). The economy of the museum thus evolves as a mixture of barter. representa- tions. coercion. he calls these 'borderland' disciplines. Rather. translations and incomplete battles. who considered them equally valuable but for different reasons. Other means include imperialist imposition of representations. 63 and considered the problem of evaluating the standards which apply as reconciliation takes place . different participating worlds establish protocols which go beyond mere trading across unjoined world boundaries. animals in exchange for other animals from other museums and collectors. They begin to devise a common coin which makes possible new kinds of joint endeavour. This resolution does not mean consensus. this comes from the standardization of collecting and preparation methods. or inscriptions.the functioning of mixed economies of information with different values and only partially overlapping coin.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 413 When participants in the intersecting worlds create representations together. 66 Summary The different commitments of the participants from different social worlds reflects a fascinating phenomenon . By reaching agreements about methods.

they are sure to fail. Elihu M. including the history of evolutionary theory and the design of complex computer systems. 'Scientific Work and Social Worlds'. IN: Indiana University Press. In the strategies used by its participants are several sophisticated answers to problems of complexity. in T. We would also like to thank The Bancroft Library. for example. John Law and Anselm Strauss for their helpful comments and discussions of many of these ideas. Bruno Latour. 1970). Joan Fujimura. 'A Social Worlds Research Adventure: The Case of Reproductive Science'. 1987). Annetta Carter. 29-48. •NOTES We would like to thank our colleague Elihu Gerson of Tremont Research Institute for many helpful conversations about the content of this paper. Frank Pitelka. however temporary. Anselm Strauss. boundary objects act as anchors or bridges. for access to the papers of Joseph Grinnell. Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar. CA: Sage Publications. and with what consequences for managing information? The museum is in a sense a model of information processing. The central analytical question raised by this study is: how do hetero- geneity and cooperation coexist. Gieryn and S. Susan Leigh Star. 357-77. Rather. 1985). 1988). Adele Clarke. this finding can most clearly be seen in the studies of workplaces by Chicago school sociologists. I.414 Social Studies of Science But the protocols are not simply the imposition of one world's vision on the rest. See. Gerson. Hughes. Martin Rudwick. 'A Social World Perspective'. forthcoming). Vol. 4 (1983). 1 (1978). We would also like to thank Michel Callon. University of California. Joseph Gregory and Gene Crisman have provided valuable firsthand information about Alexander and Grinnell. Studies in Symbolic Interaction. 2. 1870-1906'. Cozzens (eds). MA: Harvard University Press. Vol. IL & London: The University of Chicago Press. Star's work on this paper was supported in part by a generous grant from the Fondation Fyssen. preservation and coordination. Carl Hewitt. Paris. Science in Action (Cambridge. 24 (1986). For evidence of this in science. Annie Alexander and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Vol. In general social science. see David Hull. Theories of Science in Society (Bloomington. if they are. . David Wake and Barbara Stein of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology have graciously allowed us access to the museum's archives and assisted us in locating material. Knowledge. Everett C. The Sociological Eye (Chicago. Science as a Process (Chicago. Adele Clarke. 1979). Howard Hutchinson of the Berkeley University Museum of Paleontology generously provided access to the Alexander-Merriam correspon- dence in the archives there. 'Triangulating Clinical and Basic Research: British Localizationists. 119-28. Our future work will examine these answers in different domains. Latour. IL: Aldine. The Great Devonian Controversy (Chicago. History of Science. Laboratory Life (Beverly Hills. IL & London: The University of Chicago Press.

Sociological Review Monograph No. Kohlstedt. 9. 11. 'The Structure of Ill-Structured Solutions: Boundary Objects and Heterogeneous Distributed Problem Solving'. cit. Vol. 1985). Vol. 452-67. SD: Buteo Books. Additional analysis of the role of amateur naturalists can be found in David Allen. note l. Berkeley. 1989). Hughes (eds). 381-84. K. The Sociological Eye. R. 0. Nancy Cartwright and H. see S. See manuals of instruction by Grinnell' s student E. Quine. The Pasteurization of French Society (Cambridge. V. Bruno Latour. 26 (1986). 14 (1981). in G. Delaney and G. Garland Allen. cit. Kohlstedt. 5. op. 1960). op. 1989).Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 415 3. Science and its Public (Dordrecht. Joseph Grinnell Papers. 'Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St. 1962). Huhs and L. op. 79 (1988). Jane Maienschein. 15. 'The Factual Sensibility'. Social Studies of Science. 6. Benson. 14. 13. Kohlstedt (1976). University of California. Mendell. Blanpied (eds). 'On Interests and Their Transformation: Enrollment and Counter- Enrollment'. Journal of the History of Biology. CA: Morgan Kaufmann. 173-90. MA: Harvard University Press. W. cit. Brieuc Bay'. Griesemer. Latour. Susan Leigh Star. for example. 4. John Law. and S. 405-26. Hughes. Holland: D. Cushing. 1988). (submitted. Daston. Controlling Life. 17. 615-25. cit. Hall.). E. Everett C. for example. Ron Rainger and Keith Benson. Vol. C. op. note 9. 83-87. Readings in Distributed Artificial Intelligence 3 (Menlo Park. Hall. 1984). Word and Object (Cambridge. 'The Nineteenth-Century Amateur Tradition: The Case of the Boston Society of Natural History'. 79 (1988). Michel Callon. Michel Callon and Law. op. On the distinction of amateur naturalist from the public and from professional scientists. Gasser (eds). in John Law (ed. 'What Makes Physics' Objects Abstract?'. cit. op. in Wiebe Bijker. 52-72.Oologist. 111-34. note I. 'Going Concerns: The Study of American Institutions'. Science in Action. 1978). note 8. 'Modeling in the Museum: On the Role of Remnant Models in the Work of Joseph Grinnell'. MA: MIT Press. 'Concluding Remarks: American Natural History and Biology in the Nineteenth Century'. 196-230. note 8. 7. Jacques Loeb & the Engineering Ideal in Biology (New York: Oxford . A Manual of Instruction Based on a System Established by Joseph Grinnell (Vermillion. Although it has frequently been claimed that the rise of scientific biology coincided with the demise of natural history at the turn of the twentieth century. Griesemer. personal communication to Griesemer. Collecting and Preparing Study Specimens of Vertebrates (Lawrence. Benson. See Greisemer. 12 (1982). The Bancroft Library. Sally G. cit. in M. Vol. some have argued that natural history was 'refined' rather than replaced. American Z. Action and Belief. 'Curiosities and Cabinets: Natural History Museums and Education on the Antebellum Campus'. note 13. See. Gutting (eds). R. 10. Power. 'Introduction: Were American Morphologists in Revolt?'. 1976). KS: University of Kansas. For an assessment of the effects on the structure of theoretical models produced. 16. Reidel. 32 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1987). 12. 8. The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History (London: Allen Lane. Holton and W. Philip Pauly. Life Science in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ibid. Vol. The Social Construction of Technological System' (Cambridge. 'Technology. 1986). Science and Reality (Notre Dame. 1976). at 62. MA: MIT Press. The Naturalist's Field Journal. See the excellent review by L. IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Isis. in J. Isis. See. see also James R. Closure and Heterogeneous Engineering: The Case of the Portuguese Expansion'. Herman. 134-52. Trevor Pinch and Thomas P. Frank Pitelka.

1983).. 16 (1899). Vol. K. E. 'Laws of Temperature Control of the Geographic Distribution of Terrestrial Animals and Plants'. 175. George Gaylord Simpson and Ernst Mayr (eds). 1 (1919). Modeling Nature: Episodes in the History of Population Ecology (Chicago. David Lack. 'Joseph Grinnell'. W. in R. N. Moore. ibid. 731-32. California Scientists and the Environment. Ronald Rainger. Vol. 1987). Dimensions of Darwinism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vol. 'Zoology of the Pacific Railroad Surveys'. ibid.). 1880-1910'. Cittadino. which was largely interested in the exposition of ideas about nature as part of the general culture. M. Sterling. cit. Principles of Animal Ecology (Philadelphia & London: W. Vol. 'Results of a Biological Survey of Mount Shasta. The American Development of Biology (Philadelphia. Studies in History of Biology. 159-76. 'The Significance of Ecological Isolation'. See also Kingsland. note 19. in Glenn L. T. 'Ecology and the Professionalization of Botany in America. William Kimler. Genetics. Benson and J. Norton. 1988).. Emerson. J. on the Bureau of the Biological Survey. See Hilda W. 1890-1905'. ibid. and eventually amateurs such as Alexander virtually disappeared from scientific academia. 1949). 1966). 1850-1915 (New Haven. B. 195-249. Mcintosh. CT: Yale University Press. S. 21. (1980). 1977. 24. 22. Merriam. Merriam. Alden Miller. Amateurs were more interested in scientific investigation than the general public. Journal of Mammology. Nature's Economy (New York: Cambridge University Press. op. 229-41. Last of the Naturalists: The Career of C. See Grinnell. op. The Condor. 26 (1986). Allee. 1 (1947). 3-34. see Donald Worster. 5 (1897). 20. Jepsen. 'Speciation and Systematics'. 'Criteria for the Recognition of Species and Genera'. Maienschein (eds). 6 (1894). California'. Hilda Grinnell. A. 19. Paleontology and Evolution (Princeton. 'Organism and Environment: Fredric Clements's Vision of a Unified Physiological Ecology'. Spencer. 263-88. 'The Continuation of the Morphological Tradition: American Paleontology. 299-308. North American Fauna. The dependence on amateur/patrons declined as universities and governments took over the financial stewardship of science. That she was an amateur naturalist. cit. Ernst Mayr. 'Ecological Factors in Speciation'. ibid. E. Schmidt. Vol. 18. 1988). Vol. 1949). 1958). 3 (1964). 'Morphology and Twentieth-Century Biology: A Response'. Bureau of the Biological Survey. Hart Merriam. ibid. Vol.. Vol. PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Rainger. Merriam. The National Geographic Magazine. American 'Zoologist. 371-80. C. The Background of Ecology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. R. 0. 42 (1940). Saunders.. CA: Grinnell Naturalists Society. See W. Macintosh. 129-58. Park and K. Annie Montague Alexander (Berkeley. Keir B. but amateurs typically had a broad vision of the aims and nature of scientific research: Kohlstedt. Evolution. in Marjorie Grene (ed. C. note 8. Vol. Systematic 'Zoology. Journal of the History of Biology.. Garland Allen. revised edition). Exploration & Empire (New York: W. 1987). IL: The University of Chicago Press. Science. 'Mimicry: Views of Naturalists and Ecologists Before the Modem Synthesis'. 14 (1981). 171-98. 23. 97-128. Grinnell. 'Joseph Grinnell: 1877-1939'. 1987). 4.416 Social Studies of Science University Press. Sharon Kingsland. Hart Merriam (New York: Amo Press. and not merely a financial backer is clear from Kohlstedt's (1976) discussion of the amateur tradition. Smith. 281-98. Mayr. Park. Pacific Visions. 257-80. 'Filling in the Gaps: A Survey of Nineteenth Century Institutions Associated with the Exploration and Natural History of the American West'. 6-9. . 'Type Specimens in Natural History'. 331-41. L. Vol. William Goetzmann. NJ: Princeton University Press. Joel Hagen. 1985).

see Richard Eakin. D. Coleman. cit. note 27. 3-14. op. op. 77 (1910). (ed. K. etc. 1 (1907).. Vol. op. 'Some of the Advantages of an Ecological Organization of a Natural History Museum'. 4 (1961). 'Henry A. note 12.. Cheek pouch contents. Kohlstedt.. 30. George Stocking. S. Jr. op. That Grinnell could become director of the Museum without appointment in the Zoology Department suggests that credentials for museum naturalists were not identical with those required for academic appointment. Jordan. Vol. Kohlstedt. used in Grinnell's natural history course. Berkeley'. Kohlstedt (1988). 647-61. 'Natural History on Campus: From Informal Collecting to College Museums'. Vol. See also. with labels inserted. and so on. note 8. see E. 26. and such containers packed in a stout box to prevent crushing'. Benson. The handout was emended and used by a number of Grinnell' s successors at Berkeley and elsewhere. Laurence V. J. 3 Volumes (Washington DC: The American Association of Museums. 176-214. 170-78. Vol. Popular Science Monthly. note 20.. note 9. Biographical Memoirs.. see C. 27 (1956). Curator.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 417 25. 1983). 'The Origin of Species Through Isolation'. Vol. National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Colbert. 9 (1980). 15-47. Grinnell' s career marks a transition phase in the incorporation of research natural history into academic science. in Rainger et al. Hall. 33 (1973). Vol. On museums in general. 'The Methods and Uses of a Research Museum'. Vol.. Adams. op. when notes and collection are worked up . 'Alden Holmes Miller'. to ·Attend minutely to proper punctuation'.). 1939). Berkeley. 'road-kills'. and most importantly. WA: September 1986). Vol. cit. Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums (Nashville. 66-92.) 28. Science. TN: American Association for State and Local History. nests. Stocking. 545-62. 364-65. The Museum in America. Ronald Rainger. in Rainger et al. 1979). The Auk. feces. 368-78. Be alert for new ideas and new facts'. in G. 'Museums on Campus: A Tradition of Inquiry and Teaching'. 21 (1904). wet preservations. eggs. These procedures included directives such as: to use a single serial set of identification numbers for all specimens collected during an expedition regardless of type.. WI: University of Wisconsin Press. op cit. Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History. •Just Before Simpson: William Diller Matthew's Understanding of . University of California. 'History of Zoology at the University of California. 138-46. including the MVZ. Joseph Grinnell. Zoology 113. Proceedings of the American Association of Museums. Objects and Others: Essays on Museums and Material Culture (Madison. Grinnell Correspondence and Papers.. to observe the proper order for reporting data on both field tags and in field notebooks. 31. even at risk of entering much information of apparently little value. 'What is a Museum?'. Grinnell. to 'Write full notes. cit. cit. note 20. Bios. 27. See Eakin. Ernst Mayr. 29. 'Suggestions as to Collecting'. These quotations were taken from a handout. For histories of the Berkeley Zoology Department. Alexander. 'Essays on Museums and Material Culture'. E. (Reprint available from the Department of Zoology at Berkeley. 22 (1905). cit. paper delivered to the West Coast History of Science Association (Friday Harbor. Bancroft Library. 49-83. should be placed in small envelopes or boxes. Kohlstedt. On natural history museums in particular. with as great care as skins or skulls. Ward: The Merchant Naturalist and American Museum Development'. 'From Museum Research to Laboratory Research: The Transformation of Natural History into Academic Biology'. See Griesemer. to give precise data on the location of capture of a specimen including altitude and county. 163-69. One cannot anticipate the needs of the future. 'The Origin and Distribution of the Chestnut-Backed Chickadee'. to pack 'Miscellaneous material .

CA: University of California Press. 11 May 1911. cit. note 33. Vol. University of California. note 20. See Rainger. 'An Account of the Mammals and Birds of the Lower Colorado Valley with Especial Reference to the Distributional Problems Presented'. The Bancroft Library. Ibid. 'The Methods and Uses of a Research Museum'. Berkeley. See also Annie Alexander. 27 March 1911. 'Audiences and Allies: The Transformation of American Zoology. University of California. note 33. op. note 31. 1968). Joseph Grinnell Papers. See E. Annie M.418 Social Studies of Science Evolution'. 41. The Bancroft Library. 1963). Alexander Papers (Collection 67/121 c).. 44. cit. 21 February 1911. Joseph Grinnell. cit. op. Ruthven. Annie Alexander to Joseph Grinnell. A. 33. cit. 40. 219-56. MI: University of Michigan Alumni Press. 50. 1911 field notebook. Annie Alexander to Joseph Grinnell. Alexander Papers (Collection 67 /121 c). Gerson. The Bancroft Library. The American Naturalist. Matthew in the American Museum. A Naturalist in a University Museum (Ann Arbor. See Grinnell. See Grinnell. 1911 field notebook. 48. Annie M. Grinnell. originally a director's report to the President of the University of California. 45. reprinted by Freeport. Berkeley. for similar considerations by W. Joseph Grinnell Papers. 130 (1986). The Bancroft Library. 'Significance of Fauna! Analysis for General Biology'. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. 13-18. was later published in The Popular Science Monthly as an article outlining Grinnell 's vision titled. cit. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. Berkeley. Grinnell. 1943. for similar observations. Berkeley. cit. viii. The Sacred Grove: Essays on Museums (New York: Simon & Schuster. Ibid. op. The Bancroft Library. University of California Publications in Zoology. Selected Writing of a Western Naturalist (Berkeley & Los Angeles. M. Berkeley.. Louise Kellogg. Berkeley. op. Eakin. 36. 38. Berkeley. University of California. Vol. Vol. 43. 37. op. Vol. 32. 'Just Before Simpson'. cit. note 27. 47. 1969). 453-74. University of California. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. Joseph Grinnell. 12 (1914). Rainger. See also Smith. in Rainger et. op. University of California. This essay. 13 February 1911. 'Vertebrate Paleontology as Biology: Henry Fairfield Osborn and the American Museum of Natural History'. 248-54. For another early example. Grinnell. 107-09. see Adams. 46. University of California. reports the possibly apocryphal story that Jordan and Grinnell agreed that Stanford would get fishes and Berkeley would get birds and mammals. note 31. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. June 1987). Joseph Grinnell Papers. 32 (1928). note 23. cit. note 31. 'Barriers to Distribution as Regards Birds and Mammals'. 49. 39. VA. al. NY: Books for Libraries Press. op. D. University of California. paper presented to the conference on the History. 51-294. Joseph Grinnell Papers. 42. Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (Blacksburg. Joseph Grinnell. Joseph Grinnel/'s Philosophy of Nature. . University of California Publications in Zoology. Dillon Ripley. 6 January 1911. op. cit. Fieldnote Room. 34. 14 November 1907. 1880-1930'. 35. in op. 7. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. 48 (1914). at 108. The Bancroft Library. Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. 'The Museum Conscience' (1922). note 18. 51 .

Vol. 'Vertebrate Natural History of a Section of Northern California through the Lassen Peak Region'. 'Robustness. cit. Environmental Knowing: Theories. Current research interests are the organizational aspects of computer design and of medical classification systems. E. C. Hutchinson & Ross. Hughes. cit. Elihu M. in G. 'The Social Framework of Place Perspectives'. ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems. 53. 5-13. Susan Leigh Star is Assistant Professor of Information and Computer Science and Sociology at the University of California. 'On "Quality of Life"'. Wimsatt. 67. We are grateful to an anonymous referee for drawing our attention to the limits of the cooperation model. 35 (1930).Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 419 52. Appleton. 60. note 1. William C. in his The Sociological Eye. Brewer and B. 55. 271-87. Davis. 'Report on an Ongoing Research: Investigation on Turbulent Combustion as an Example of an Interfield Research Area'. T. CA: Jossey-Bass. op. 56. Research and Methods (Stroudsberg. 63. Gerson and M. 124-63. 1928. 'Human Migration and the Marginal Man'. 'The Ecological Aspect of Institutions'. 62. op. See also Everett V. Vol. J. James Richard Griesemer is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California. note 9. Joseph Grinnell Papers. 14 November 1907. Stonequist. Berkeley. 1-594 and i-v. 257-70. 4 (1986). 4 (1986). cit. 793-806. paper presented at the Society for the Social Studies of Science (Troy. Reliability and Overdetermination'. cit. Park. Vol. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. 65. 64. 61. 'Analyzing Due Process in the Workplace'. Sue Gerson. cit. Gerson. 1937. Vol. op. Joseph Grinnell. 41 (1976). op. The Bancroft Library. Robert E. 66. Irvine. See Hall. Dixon and Jean Linsdale. See Star. Moore and R. note 1. 196-205. See Griesemer. 58. 1921). November 1985). C. 'Offices are Open Systems'. note 15. University of California. 1981). Hughes. Golledge (eds). Collins (eds). 345-56. PA: Dowden. 1976). in M. Roy Chapman Andrews. 'Social Change and Status Protest: An Essay on the Marginal Man'. Scientific Inquiry and the Social Sciences (San Francisco. Across Mongolian Plains (New York: D. note 12. Elihu M. 220-28. reprinted 1950). NY. Her latest work is Regions of the Mind: Brain Research and the Quest for Scientific Certainty (Stanford University Press: [October] 1989). E. op. Elihu M. His latest . lskander Gokalp. 54. The Marginal Man: A Study in Personality and Culture Conflict (New York: Russell & Russell. 59. American Sociological Review. for a full discussion of these preparation and preservation techniques. reprinted 1961). ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems. Gerson and Susan Leigh Star. in his Race and Culture (New York: The Free Press. University of California Publica- tions in :zoology. and the importance of conflict and authority in science-making. in his The Sociological Eye. 57. Carl Hewitt.

) What the Philosophy of Biology Is: Essays for David Hull (Dordrecht. California 92717. Current research interests include an analysis of the concept of replication. 1989). Ruse (ed. USA. Irvine. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. University of California. . and a theory of material model-building in biology. the history of the niche concept. Davis. in M. California 95616. the nature of theories in quantitative genetics. USA. Authors' addresses (respectively): (SLS) Department of Information and Computer Science.420 Social Studies of Science work is (with William Wimsatt) 'Picturing Weismannism: A Case Study of Conceptual Evolution'. (JRG) Department of Philosophy. University of California.

Related Interests

"" p~"'j\ Allies Allies Allies Allies FIGURE 2 Coherence/Boundary Objects . The analysis we propose here still contains a managerial bias.usually the manager. Our approach thus differs from the Callon-Latour-Law model of translations and interessement in several ways. 6 That is. The story in this case is necessarily told from the point of view of one passage point .. entrepreneur.. an indeterminate number of coherent sets of translations. translations Allies Allies Allies Allies The coherence of sets of translations depends on the extent to which entrepreneurial efforts from multiple worlds can coexist. or scientist. There is. where several obligatory points of passage are negotiated with several kinds of allies. including manager-to-manager types (see Figure 2). whatever the nature of the processes which produce them. Translation here is indeter- minate.

in part. (A symbol of this tradition of research is the evident pride with which current museum staff draw attention to an advertisement on the front door stating that there are 'NO PUBLIC EXHIBITS'. amateur. The display of wealth. Our interest in problems of coherence and cooperation in science has been shaped. 7 In the nineteenth century. aided by the alliance of an amateur naturalist/patron and an early West Coast professional scien- tist. the reverse is true. the development of the research natural history museum represents an important stage in the professionalization of natural history work. . Many such cabinets were arranged to display. many new museums were developed by amateur naturalists. The MVZ did not take on scientific research as an adjunct to public instruction or popular edification as had many eastern museums. as well as an example of the changing relationship between amateurs and professionals after the professionalization of biology in America had already begun. if anything. Museums of natural history originally arose when private collectors in the 17th century opened their cabinets of curiosities to public view. as well as development of reference collections for physicians and apothecaries.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 391 is to (temporarily) reduce their local uncertainty without risking a loss of cooperation from allies.) As such. Successful pursuit of the research problems through which the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology's scientists hoped to gain recognition depended on an evolving set of practices instituted to manage the particular sort of work occasioned by the intersection of the professional. and evoke wonder at. through their participation in societies for the amateur naturalist. developed as part of popular culture. polite learning and emulation of the aristocracy. Such museums. in other words. by trying to understand the historical development of a particular type of institution: natural history research museums. Berkeley. were common motives for making cabinets. 8 The museum we studied. western biologists had to struggle to gain credibility in the eyes of the already professionalizing biological community in the eastern US itself. the job then becomes to defend it against other translations threatening to displace it. the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) at the University of California. Unlike many well documented cases of eastern institutions which looked to the European scientific community as a model and for legitimation. is important as an example of a museum devoted to scientific research from its inception. Once the process has established an obligatory point of passage. These societies filled an important role in the development of the museum-based science to come. the variety and plenitude of nature or to represent the universe in microcosm. rather than by members of the 'general public'.

bureaucrats and 'mercenaries' . research scientists. but also the content of his scientific claims. It was a lasting legacy. private sponsors and patrons. rainfall and humidity) • the habitats of collected animal species Methods Standardization and Boundary Objects It is normally the case that the objects of scientific inquiry inhabit multiple social worlds. animals. The fact that the objects originate in. Some objects of interest to all these social worlds included: • species and subspecies of mammals and birds • the terrain of the state of California • physical factors in California's environment (such as temperature. Varying degrees of coherence obtain both at different stages of the enterprise and from different points of view in the enterprise. Joseph Grinnell was the first director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Because of the heterogeneous character of scientific work and its requirement for cooperation.392 Social Studies of Science lay and academic worlds. professors. occasional field hands. 10 His elaborate collection and curation guidelines established a management system in which diverse allies could participate concurrently in the heterogeneous work of building a research museum. government officials and members of scientific clubs. Grinnell' s research required the labours of (among others) university administrators. several groups of actors . Grinnell's managerial decisions about the best way to translate the interests of all these disparate worlds not only shaped the character of the institution he built. and continue to inhabit. the management of this diversity cannot be achieved via a simple pluralism or a laissez-faire solution. amateur collectors. professionals. migration and the role of the environment in Darwinian evolution. different worlds reflects the fundamental tension of science: how can findings which incorporate radically different meanings become coherent? In analyzing our case study. curators.succeeded in crafting a coherent problem-solving enterprise. He worked on problems of speciation. Grinnell' s methods are looked upon as quaint and overly fastidious . one thing is clear. However. since all science requires intersectional work.amateurs. 9 There. surviving multiple translations. we see two major factors contributing to the success of the museum: methods standardization and the develop- ment of boundary objects.

The educational and cultural functions of natural history were being subsumed under the research goals of scientists. and become strongly structured in individual- site use. a means of translation. Grinnell and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. 1907-39 The biological sciences in America were undergoing a number of transi- tions during this period. In the next section. This is an analytic concept of those scientific objects which both inhabit several intersecting social worlds (see the list of examples in the previous section) and satisfy the informational requirements of each of them. 16 They have dif- ferent meanings in different social worlds but their structure is common enough to more than one world to make them recognizable. Biological research was increasingly conducted in academic institutions such as universities and specialized research stations rather than in societies formed by amateurs. and the content of the scientific claims made by Grinnell and others at the museum. yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites. Professional biologists sought international credibility by distinguishing themselves from amateurs. establishing specialized journals for the dissemination of results and by increasingly eschewing the public's eclectic interests in science. The second important concept used to explain how museum workers managed both diversity and cooperation is that of boundary objects. For organism-based subdisciplines (for . 11 but they are still taught and practised at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. duration and description. 14 There was an intimate connection between the management of scientific work as exemplified by these precise standards of collection. 15 Boundary objects are objects which are both plastic enough to adapt to local needs and the constraints of the several parties employing them. (They were also adopted by several other museums around the United States during the first part of this century. then turn to a discussion of both methods standardization and boundary objects. 12 ) For example. we provide some background to the museum's evolution. his course handouts for 1913 13 are similar to current field manuals for students in Zoology 107 at Berkeley. establishing advanced degrees as credentials. The creation and management of boundary objects is a key process in developing and maintaining coherence across intersecting social worlds. These objects may be abstract or concrete.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 393 by current generations of museum workers. They are weakly structured in common use.

On the other. From mostly observational and comparative approaches. 20 Joseph Grinnell (1877-1939) extended his work in natural history to include ecological problems during this period of disciplinary shift. With this change of focus. geography (distribu- tion and abundance) and physiology (effects of physical factors such as heat. light. natural selection). to begin to develop general biogeographic principles of animal and plant distribution. 22 . Hart Merriam. As the nineteenth century closed. made a massive effort to chart the flora and fauna of the states and territories. they learned new methods of quantification and analysis and the use of biological indicators. Their data were used. The Bureau of the Biological Survey. for example. soil and humidity on life-history). founded in 1905 as an arm of the US Department of Agriculture. biological methods came to include experimental. New theoretical work was beginning to emerge which distinguished ecology as well. (2) extending physiology to consider the dynamics of interacting groups of organisms and (3) the quantification of the physical (physiographic) environment as it affects the life-histories of organisms. mammology. herpetology).394 Social Studies of Science example. methods and practices diversified. This merger was to become of central concern to evolutionists and ecologists alike later in this century. most notably that of C. He studied at Stanford University under the tutelage of Charles H. 17 At the same time. a number of 'inventorying' efforts of the federal government were coming to fruition in reports of collecting and surveying trips to the west. morphology and genetics. 18 The participation of ecology in these changes meant both distinguishing itself from its basis in descriptive natural history and adopting new methods. for example. 19 Ecology emerged from the last century as a subdiscipline distinct from systematics. these reports were used by their authors and others to go far beyond mere catalogues of materials. On the one hand. ecologists adopted a set of problems originating in evolutionary theory (adaptation. later an important influence on the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology workers. the central transition was a shift from studies of classification and morphology to studies of process and function. 21 At the turn of the century Stanford naturalists were bringing together problems of habitat and distribution along with evolutionary theory to form an emerging geographical conception of speciation. Gilbert and David Starr Jordan. Ecologists are concerned with (1) the bases for adaptation. ornithology. manipulative and quantitative techniques and natural history methods were refined so as to focus on increasingly specialized research problems.

ecology and evolution. Grinnell also contributed important concepts to the literature on geographic distribution. Alexander's contributions alone came to over 20.) When Alexander first met Grinnell in 1907. at that time an instructor at Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena (later to become CalTech). Hart Merriam's life-zone concept to a hierarchical classification system for environments. edited by Grinnell for many years.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 395 Alexander and Grinnell The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology was founded at Berkeley in 1908 by Annie Montague Alexander (1867-1950). Alexander decided to build a museum of natural history. and developed an important and influential concept of the 'niche'. He argued for trinomialism in systematics as essential to studies of speciation. 23 Inspired by paleontology courses she took at Berkeley and by safari experience with her father in Africa. 30 . 26 Grinnell became the founding director of the Museum in 1908. the museum developed into an important repository of regional specimens of vertebrates.member of the Cooper Ornitho- logical Club. for example.000 specimens. His father was a physician who worked with American Indians and he grew up with Oglala Sioux Indian playmates. he had already made significant theoretical contributions and was an established scientist. He extended C. a major western bird-watching and ornithological associa- tion. 27 Beginning with Grinnell's and Alexander's own collecting efforts. 24 He was a founding . she chose Grinnell. Alexander was heir to a Hawaiian shipping and sugar fortune and a dedicated amateur natural- ist. he finished his Stanford PhD and was appointed to the Berkeley Zoology Department. 28 As part of this work. Grinnell and his staff codified a precise set of procedures for collecting and curating specimens. included him in a survey of zoologists supporting his 'general law of distribution'. discussed in his famous 1905 paper. Grinnell had been an enthusiastic and dedicated bird and mammal collector since his boyhood in Indian Territory. He also worked toward a 'two layer' theory of evolution which incorporated evolution of the environment as part of an explanation for natural selection. geography and ecology of birds and mammals are still used today as important reference works. (Their bulletin would later become the journal The Condor. 25 David Starr Jordan. 29 Many of Grinnell' s descriptive monographs on the systematics. In 1913. As her first director.

An adequate account of n-way translation in this case awaits the results of tracing our way out and back again. such as the work of commercial specimen houses or taxidermists).396 Social Studies of Science Different Social Worlds and their Perspectives We have been talking so far about the goals and interests of only a few of the people essential for the museum's success as a going concern. in part.for us as scholars. The work at the museum. preparators and taxidermists. Among these were amateur naturalists. Nevertheless. It also requires conducting such tracings from a variety of starting points (that is. philanthropists. like that of scientific establishments every- where. university administrators. we can begin the task of tracing the network into those other social worlds. However. the general public. Grinnell 's Vision One of Grinnell' s passions was the elaboration of Darwinian theory which was to be derived from the work of the museum. conservationists. 31 It is not possible to consider all these visions equally in this essay. conditioned by the historical record . so we are forced to consider most fully those of the entrepreneurs like Grinnell and Alexander. Only with tracings from multiple starting points can we begin to test the robustness of the network. encompassed a range of very different visions stemming from the intersection of participating social worlds. In the following section we adumbrate the central features of several visions of the museum and its work. The more limited work discussed in this paper is. including some starting points which would be considered 'peripheral' or 'subsidiary' on a one-way translation model. it is important not to mistake the search heuristic of starting with the centralized records for a theoretical model of the structure of the network itself. Darwin had argued that . by considering the work of Grinnell and Alexander as a part of a network which spans a number of inter- secting social worlds. and even the animals which became the research specimens. professional biologists. scientific publications are the boundary objects which are also obligatory passage points! Records concerning the entrepreneurs who served as administrators of the museum are kept in the central archives of the university which housed the museum. Records concerning the many other elements of the network of such amateur collectors who contributed specimens to the museum and articles to naturalist society newsletters are not equally centralized.

examples of different sorts of barriers in mammals and birds. fauna! areas. Grinnell and Alexander exchanged many letters in which they expressed their hopes and visions . Grinnell died before he was able to express his views on evolution and speciation in a major theoretical monograph. While in the field. He needed a small army of assistants to collect these data. degrees of isolation as influencing results. species and subspecies in nature defined. those of experimental genetics. Grinnell's overarching theoretical concern was to bring the study of both physical and biotic environmental factors to bear on the problems of evolution. Bird migration as a phase of geographic distribution. He felt that their synthesis would have fulfilled his theoretical programmatic: I. 9.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 397 natural selection is the chief mechanism by which organisms adapt. Prior to the establishment of the museum. say. he did outline such a volume and his research programme is perhaps best characterized by its title. habitats and niches. Distributional areas defined: realms. This vision required vast amounts of highly detailed data about flora. The concept of distributional limitation. (Some of his more important views are excerpted in a book posthumously produced by his students. life-zones. 8. it is clear that Grinnell's approach to questions of evolution differed radically from. 'Plasticity' versus 'conservatism' in different groups of birds and mammals. Kinds of isolation. the ecologic niche. fauna and aspects of the environment. The bearing of geography and evolution upon human problems. 'Orthogenesis' from the standpoint of geographic variation. Geography and Evolution. 34 From these titles. 7. his units of analysis and selection were subspecies and species. The nature of barriers. association. chronological versus spatial conditions. but had said little about the precise nature of the environmental forces of change. His natural world was a large-scale. 33). 10. 2. The chapter titles of his book outline serve to summarize the topics to which Grinnell had devoted his career. topographical one. Reconcilability of geographic concept with that of genetics. 32 Sadly. the significance of geographic variation. The pocket gophers and the song sparrows of California. 3. Grinnell wanted to extend the Darwinian picture by developing a theory of the evolution of the environment as the driving force behind natural selection. 4. 5. 6.

I have more faith. a place distinguished from the east by its great geo- graphical diversity.hence Grinnell's preference for the salaried field man. 35 Grinnell was clearly concerned to ensure that the materials collected by others met his scientific requirements. In other words. . and asked scientific questions which could only be answered by careful consideration of such geographically-based organic diversity on a finer scale than is available in museums pursuing world- wide collections. Moreover. conducting scientific research on problems in ecology and evolu- tion in a museum setting required more than just a change of interests and training on the part of the scientific staff. Grinnell needed accurate information in the form of carefully preserved animal specimens and documented native habitats over tens or hundreds of years.. I take it that was one purpose you had in mind founding the institution. Grinnell focused his collecting efforts on the American west. In one of these letters Grinnell stated his scientific and political goals: First. Grinnell argued that the order and accuracy are the chief aims of the curator (once the specimens are safely preserved). he wrote that. however.398 Social Studies of Science for its future. in the salaried field man who turns in everything he finds. I believe in buying desirable material where definitely in hand and subject to selection and inspection. or which are tailored to particular research problems not well served by collections elsewhere. I will grant that it would take our man. Grinnell clearly had an institutional goal as well as a research goal and that was to build a centre of authority. But in the former case we would be ever so much the stronger and better able to tackle the next problem . We want to establish a center of authority on this coast.36 In an essay titled 'The Museum Conscience'.. as regards the working up of the Alaska mammals. it also required changes in basic collecting and curating procedures. It also required comparisons of samples over time . This placed constraints on the museum's physical organiza- tion. On the subject of order. longer to work up the paper. it seems to me it should be done as far as possible by our own men. This included documenting the presence of groups of animal species in a particular place at the same time of day and season of the year. The odd specimen collected from here or there might serve as backup for work in taxonomy. whoever he may be. One means of doing this would be to build collec- tions of scientific value which are not easily duplicated elsewhere. than the BS [Biological Survey] people. but collection for ecological and evolutionary purposes required more thorough documentation.

. Grinnell. until this scheme is in operation through all the materials in his charge.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 399 To secure a really practicable scheme of arrangement [of specimens. But it ought to be done. Fulfillment of Grinnell' s theoretical vision required that specimens and field notes collected over many years be painstakingly curated. and his scientific goals. for it is taking space somewhere. Any fact. and space is the chief cost initially and currently in any museum. Once he has selected or devised his scheme. card indexes and data on specimen labels] takes the best thought and much experimentation on the part of the keenest museum curator. there is nothing attractive about collecting in a settled-up. specimen. moreover. every item of the general record in the accession catalog. both preservation for posterity and hot new theoretical findings must be protected. or record left out of order is lost. 41 That is. To do this essential work correctly requires an excep- tional genius plus training .. 37 On the second aim. Label-writing having to do with scientific materials is not a chore to be handed over casually to '25-cent-an-hour' girl. 40 but Grinnell was a master at articulating both the 'museum conscience'. had a sense of urgency about 'preserving California'.. reptiles and amphibians. later. perhaps. The second essential in the care of scientific materials is accuracy. Grinnell wrote.. By no means any person that happens to be around is capable of doing such work with reliable results. Alexander. as he called it.. or even to the ordinary clerk. the fewer 'waste lots' there will be in which to trap for native mammals . Grinnell and their associates limited themselves to Californian birds and mammals and. It had. Whereas the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the American Museum in New York had the entire world's natural species for their purview. This concern was not unique to Grinnell or his museum. 39 He designed the museum so that sampling from restricted locations over long periods of time would capture evolu- tion in progress as environments changed. 42 As he wrote to Alexander in the early years of the museum: .. level country. 43 Again in May of the same year. better not exist. too. Many errors in published literature. 38 Grinnell's vision of environmental evolution reinforced his conception of collection and curation. In this fashion comparisons of materials could be made by scientists who would come to work for the museum after Grinnell himself was long gone. his work is not done. are traceable to mistakes on labels.. must be precise as to fact. now practically impossible to 'head off'. accuracy. and the longer we wait. Every item on the label of each specimen. Grinnell continued.

Alexander contributed funds and oversight sufficient virtually to control the museum as an autonomous organization on the Berkeley campus. Her scrapbooks and the museum archives contain pictures of her camping out. 45 Indeed. geese. and it is at least certain that specimens will never be obtainable to better advantage than now. are decreasing in numbers rapidly. many of the former marshy areas are not ditched or diked. All the species. Along with her lifelong companion and partner. She felt that it should be meticulously preserved and recorded. are being cut up into farms. . too.not only would she be preserving a sample of California's native fauna for posterity. where geese grazed. shortly after its founding. 47 As a rich. she conducted many expeditions to gather specimens for the MVZ. not mere specimens used to educate the public about a vanishing wilderness. She intended her museum to serve as a demonstration project to the public about what could be done in conservation and zoological research. saw the flora and fauna of California disappearing under the advance of civilization.400 Social Studies of Science It would surely be a fine thing if we could acquire a collection of fresh-water ducks. The important preserved objects were ecological facts. She was an indefatigable amateur collector. and the great fields. with the possible exception of killdeer and herons. Grinnell simultaneously shaped his research goals and increased the value of Alexander's continued support . the museum decided not to pursue displays of its objects at all. she would be contributing to the establishment of a research centre. 46 As a passionate and single-minded patron of science. Nevertheless. etc. the important feature of preservation was recording information. All thru [sic] San Joaquin Valley. Alexander's trips were primitive by comparison with the 'ladylike' expeditions to Africa made by aristo- cratic women in a somewhat earlier time. By seeking to establish a centre of authority for problems well-served by this regional focus. Alexander's Vision Annie Alexander. 44 However. waders. Grinnell shaped research problems which were suited to work in the region which Alexander wished to document in the form of collections. toting rifles and scaling mountains. it was essential to Grinnell' s success as a research scientist that he continue to attract Alexander's patronage. the Museum of Paleontology and the Herbarium. Alexander had a degree of autonomy unusual for women during this period. unmarried woman. to Grinnell. Louise Kellogg.

Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 401 In addition to collecting. natural history was both a passionate hobby and a civic duty. says one zoologist friend. reported to her and sought her advance approval of expeditions). must be . For her. specimen and equipment purchases and expeditions. preserved and made available to the public. 48 The intrinsic beauty of nature should be shared and protected. She was its primary patron. the Society of Western Naturalists and the Save the Redwoods League. While she read some evolutionary theory. all brought amateurs and academics together for purposes of collecting and conservation. there is a delicate balance between capturing an animal at all costs. In none of these roles was Alexander a theoretical scientist. They sought legitimacy for their conservation efforts. for example. as mentioned above. They shared with both Alexander and Grinnell the sentiment that what was unique to California and the west should be described. Amateur collectors wanted to play a role in the scholarly pursuit of knowledge by professional scientists. The expeditions themselves were at once opportunities for peaceful observation and enjoyment of the natural world and a battle of wits between collectors on the one hand and recalcitrant animals and environments on the other. She was as well a day-to-day administrator who approved expenditures in minute detail. and capturing an animal with the integrity of its valuable information unassailed. California was imbued with a particularly vigorous conservation and nature-loving amateur constituency. The animals must be brought in physically intact. the Cooper Ornithological Club. of making a record of that which was disappearing under the advance of civilization. 'a specimen is just dead meat'. How does one persuade a reluctant and clever animal to participate in science? For the natural historian. reviewing productivity of the staff and approving the nature and location of their expeditions (Grinnell. among other organizations. including operating expenses and budget reports. their habitats must be detailed so that the specimen has scientific meaning. staff salaries. her primary 'take' on the job of the museum came from her commitments to conservation and educational philanthropy. hiring and firing personnel.) The animals. ('Without a label'. funding the museum building. Alexander served the museum in other capacities. The Collector's Vision In addition to its museums. as for many social elites of the period. The museum was a way of preserving a vanishing nature. John Muir and the Sierra Club.

and trappers and traders who could provide them with specimens that were rare or difficult to capture. Such allies are coaxed and managed through containment and a certain amount of brute force. camping places) . the dermestid beetles which clean the captured specimens so that skeletons can be used for research. We left the house at six and went to the Stop Thief traps first. Alexander described a set of problems with a recalcitrant trapper who wanted to sell skins to the museum: You will notice that two of the skulls are broken. probably a civet and a coon were visible . These people were often invaluable sources of information and other sorts of help (food. Animals within the museum present another kind of recalcitrance: they must be preserved against decay. In order to measure changes. Their coin of exchange was money.in the one place the creature had reached through the trap and taken the bait without springing it and in the other had pushed aside a rock and got the bait out from above but in the scuffle the bait was caught in the trap and was found lying on one side partially eaten. The bob cat is in rather . or possibly the exchange of a less scientifically interesting but edible specimen for one valued by the collectors. The bait was eaten from two sets of dipodomys and the others were untouched. information about hunting. It seems next to impossible to persuade a trapper to kill an animal without whacking him on the head. Friction between viewpoints here was smoothed by such exchanges. These included farmers and townspeople on or near whose land the collectors searched for specimens. Both had been robbed of their bait and the tracks of two animals.402 Social Studies of Science caught quickly. eat specimens they should not and eat parts of specimens that are needed for other work. are often the most difficult to discipline! They escape their bounds. The littlest allies. Grinnell and other theorists also needed baseline data from which to proceed. before the larger ecological balances change and they adapt to new conditions. making contact with a host of other social worlds. I caught two microtus out of 21 traps set in the grass.sometimes for a price. 49 The Trappers' Vision In fulfilling their interests in natural history and collecting. For example. the amateur collector was often on the front line. Many of the backwoods trappers being 'interessed' by the amateur collectors or the museum workers had little or no interest in either conservation or science as such. A typical example of the struggles with recalcitrant animal allies may be found in Louise Kellogg's field notebook from an expedition in 1911: March 20.

The university was willing to accommodate a natural history museum as long as Alexander was willing to fund it. I am holding on to Knowles [a trapper] a little longer in the hope that he may get a panther and some coyotes. Their vision of natural history and California was different yet again from that of the staff of the museum and the amateur collectors. and more. You deserve all the credit expressed. lawyers. He will have to set them finer. You must consider his limitations (and those of the Regents) in forming any conception of the methods and aims of such an institution as the Museum. on this score alone. The administration accepted Alexander's funding of the museum as part of this vision. In turn. 3 traps but the coyotes as he expressed it 'did not throw them' although they walked all over them. Here. too. Knowles is about as good as the ordinary run of trappers who can't see anything in a skin except its commercial value . and. Money is the common standard. The different visions and economic values of participating worlds is clear from the sometimes stormy correspondence between Alexander and the Regents and university administration over autonomy for the museum.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 403 a sorry plight that has a history. if their appreciation seems to be prompted only by . She hired and fired museum staff. a pet charity for many of the San Francisco Bay Area elite. He has dogs with him. and was also trying to begin seriously to compete with the eastern universities for scientific resources and prestige. They had similar arrangements with local philanthropists Phoebe Hearst and Jane Sather for charitable research or library endeavours on campus. Alexander enjoyed an administrative power almost unheard of for single individuals at major universities today. Grinnell responds to Alexander's chagrin about the university president's vision of the museum in monetary terms: I think the letter from President Wheeler is fine. national-class university. it is the money that makes the major part of our work possible. 50 The University Administration's Vision Another important participant in the museum enterprise was the university administration. It is nothing to be ashamed of. industrialists and agriculturalists. or to resent. It seems nothing more than natural that these men should measure your work for the University in terms of the dollars involved.and the little extra care in skinning that we demand frets them. It was at the same time clearly a local school. He set the no. The University of California during this period was trying to become a legitimate. chose expedition sites and managed administrative liaison with the Regents of the university. and a training ground for local doctors. measuring the museum's contribution to this goal by its own criteria: level of funding and prestige returned to the university as a whole.

heterogeneous economies of information and materials. as from a library.404 Social Studies of Science a recognition of the money cost of the Museum. plastic. in which needed objects could be bartered. . They don't know any better. 51 The museum was administratively separate from the department of zoology. Different social worlds maintained a good deal of autonomy in parallel work situations. 'extraneous' properties can be deleted or ignored. In this sense it helped meet the university's goal of being a local cultural centre. Analysis of Methods Standardization and Boundary Objects The worlds listed above have both commonalities and differences. or • work in the worlds can proceed in parallel except for limited exchanges of standardized sorts. problems posed by conflicting views could be managed in a variety of ways: • via a 'lowest common denominator' which satisfies the minimal demands of each world by capturing properties that fall within the minimum acceptable range of all concerned worlds. developing. that is. From a purely logical point of view. Only those parts of the work essential to maintaining coherent information were pooled in the intersection of information. traded and bought or sold. or • each participating world can abstract or simplify the object to suit its demands. and generating a series of boundary objects which would maximize both the autonomy and communication between worlds. trappers and other non-scientists. It was publicly active in natural history circles and it was the home for meetings of local natural history clubs such as the Cooper Club and the Society of Western Naturalists. Participants developed extremely flexible. or • work can be staged so that stages are relatively autonomous. Such economies maximized the autonomy of work considerations in inter- secting worlds while ensuring 'trade' across world boundaries. or • via the use of versatile. and the intrinsic value of the Museum and your work for it remain the same. reconfigurable (programmable) objects that each world can mould to its purposes locally. or • via storing a complex of objects from which things necessary for each world can be physically extracted and configured for local purposes. To meet the scientific goals of the museum. teaching and enforcing a clear set of methods to 'discipline' the information obtained by collectors. the trick of translation required two things: first. the others were left alone.

52 Specimens are preserved in a highly standardized way. exact and easily get-at-able records. this is an attempt to detect parallels between the extent of presence of the animal and of some appreciable environmental feature or set of features. to compare all the records of occurrence with what we know in various respects of the portion of the section inhabited. Whether soft parts (internal organs and fatty tissues) are preserved depends on the availability of techniques. Colour of pelage. to consider the observed actual instances of restriction of individuals of each kind of animal. scales. first. Methods and Collectors What do you think of the system? It seems complex at first reading. 54 Thus. and so on. handling and storage whether the limbs are 'frozen' at the sides of the body or outstretched. And the better the records the more valuable the specimens. But it means detailed. the animal must usually be taken apart to expose them.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 405 The strategies of the different participants in the museum world share several of these attributes. straight or bent. are usually not preservable. below. for example. This creates a tension or potential incoherence between collectors and theorists. For example. the conventions for preserving external structures and the parts commonly studied. If precise measurements of long bones are desired. the method used in this survey to get at the causes for differential occurrence as observed was. it makes a great deal of difference to ease of measurement. it is necessary to translate specimens into ecological units via a set of field notes. The objects of interest are collections of taxa represented in a particular geographical location. so that specific information can be recovered later on when the specimen is stored in a museum. Let us examine the process of preservation of information. and more especially for the ecological problem of inferring environmental factors limiting species' ranges from distributional data. 53 For geographical distribution work. Study of the factors responsible for presence or absence of particular taxa from a local area proceeds according to a method outlined by Grinnell and his colleagues: In practice. and second. the taxa to which specimens belong must be linked to a geographical location and to each other. we focus on two major varieties. Once faunas are represented as lists of species (and . and colour photographs or accurate notes may be the only feasible solution to this preservation problem.

for example. standardized methods of collecting. maps of environmental factor isoclines (quantitatively or qualitatively expressed) can be constructed from field notes and geo- graphic maps. preserving. Reports of field work begin with an itinerary and often a topographical map of the region explored. labelling and taking field notes is a testament to his skilful management of the complex multiple translations involved in natural history work. The precise set of standardized methods for labelling and collecting played a critical part in their success.they could be learned by amateurs who might have little understanding of taxonomic. These methods were both stringent and simple . These collections must in turn be linked to a dis- tribution of potentially responsible environmental factors. they rendered the information collected by amateurs amenable to analysis by professionals. for the most part. an ecological map of these units can be constructed. lists of factors) from concrete. In parallel.the check-lists of taxa represented in a local area are. and success with. The professional biologists convinced the amateur collectors. Grinnell and Alexander were able to mobilize a network of collectors. and if they also serve as indicators of life-zones. faunas or associations. conventionalized ones (locations. in addition to the translation work of creating abstract objects (lists of species. to clearly specify the habitat and time of capture of a specimen in a standard format notebook. specimens.406 Social Studies of Science subspecies) linked to a location. Then the environmental factors maps can be superimposed on the maps of ecological units. 55 The specimens per se are not the primary objects of ecological study . and the . ecological or evolutionary theory. At the same time. These check- lists are then mapped into ecological units (geographically identified groups of species and subspecies) by finding subsets of the check-list which are limited to a geographical subarea. their distributional limits are established in terms of the overlapping ranges of their member taxa (or a subset of indicator species). cooperating scientists and administrators to ensure the integrity of the information they collected for archiving and research purposes. a series of increasingly abstract maps must be created which link these objects together. They thus did not require an education in professional biology to understand or to execute. A map is constructed in terms of ranges of the ecological units set by the species ranges (within the geographical area studied) of species taken to be indicators for the zones. The methods protocols themselves. Taxa represented by specimens can be plotted on these maps. Hence. and the strongest concordances used to rank environmental factors as delimiters of species distributions. Grinnell's insistence on. field notes). to adhere to these conventions .

but of the conflicts between the various participating worlds. and not what or why. In working with amateur collectors. . In this sense. It is only gradually that a scientist in Grinnell' s position comes to be an authority. Part of this authority is exercized through the standardization of methods. By emphasizing how. The standardized specimens. Each world is willing . Grinnell created a mesh through which their products must pass if they want money or scientific recognition.to grant autonomy to the museum and to conform to Grinnell's information-gathering standards.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 407 injunctions implied. are a record not only of the kinds of information Grinnell needed to capture for his theoretical developments. Potential differences in beliefs about evolution or higher-order questions tend to be displaced by a focus on 'how'. but not so narrow a mesh that the products of their labour cannot be easily used. precise manual tasks. capturing sneaky little animals or bribing reluctant farmers to preserve intact their saleable specimens. that the collectors give enough information about where they got the beasts from so that the locations can be precisely identified. but cannot be overly-disciplined. not 'why'.the basic activities of going on camping trips. each protocol is a record of the process of reconciliation. Propagating methods is not an easy task. The methods thus provided a useful 'lingua franca' between amateurs and professionals. a major problem is to ensure that the data coming back in from the field is of reliable quality. They also allowed amateurs to make a substantial contribution both to science and to conservation. that it does not decay en route through sloppy collecting or preserving techniques. methods standardization allowed both collectors and professional biologists to find a common ground in clear. directions for collectors cannot be made so complicated that they interfere with the already- difficult job of camping out in the wilderness. adding to personal hobby collections and preserving California remained virtually untouched.for a price . Standardizing methods is different from standardizing theory. Collectors do not need to learn theoretical biology in order to contribute to the enterprise. and perhaps most important. With respect to the collectors. Grinnell was thus able to accomplish several things at once. fieldnotes and techniques provided consistent information for future generations or for researchers at a distance. On the other hand. methods standardization both makes information compatible and allows for a longer 'reach' across divergent worlds. First. Another way of saying this is that the allies enrolled by the scientist must be disciplined. Grinnell' s methods emphasis thus translated the concerns of his allies in such a way that their pleasure was not impaired .

Their boundary nature is reflected by the fact that they are simultaneously concrete and abstract. The intersectional nature of the museum's shared work creates objects which inhabit multiple worlds simultaneously. they create various sorts of boundary objects. Those that do not share this goal participate in the economy via a neutral medium . We have. As a sponsor. both for posterity and as a demonstration of good scientific practice. These were not engineered as such by any one individual or group. literal concrete preservation is only the beginning of a long process of making arguments . Alexander was concerned with preserving a representative collection of Californiana. While necessary for the sort of sweeping ecological work undertaken by the MVZ. His carefully crafted relationship with Alexander involved them both in making a commitment to methods and preservation techniques. museums and maps of particular territories. general public. as intact and as well-tagged as possible. 'methods control' alone was not sufficient. As groups from different worlds work together. Among these objects are specimens. for some participants (amateur collectors. con- ventionalized and customized. They are often internally heterogeneous. field notes. Other means were necessary to ensure cooperation across divergent social worlds. theorists and amateurs collaborate to produce representations of nature. specific and general. It is clear from their correspondence that Alexander had little concern for the contents of the scientific theory - but that she was quite concerned with curation and preservation methods. university administration). 4.408 Social Studies of Science One consequence of this strategy is that Grinnell created a large area of autonomy for himself from which he could move into more theoretical arenas. all participants come to agree literally to preserve samples of its flora and fauna. but rather emerged through the process of the work. and which must meet the demands of each one. for others (Grinnell. 2. in the management strategies of the MVZ. trappers and farmers) this literal. concrete preservation of animals is sufficient for their purposes.direct monetary exchange (note: this includes the university administration!). boundary objects are produced when sponsors. 3. Boundary Objects In natural history work. a situation with the following characteristics: 1. many participants share a common goal: preserve California's nature.

How does this happen? In building the theories and in building the organization. he had to overcome the conventionality in order to make his objects scientifically interesting. geographical focus. He needed a baseline for his geographical theories and comparisons. Grinnell then transformed this agreement into a resource for getting more money. For the university administration. These shared goals are lined up in such a way that everybody has satisfying work to perform in each world. The concerns and technologies of the amateurs. California became a delimitable 'laboratory in the field' giving his research questions a regional. nor arguing with other parts of science. (As one current member of the museum staff has wryly stated: 'When you get to the Nevada border. the regional focus supported its mandate to serve the people of the state. It would not be enough if all the worlds collected objects which were in some sense challenging old ways of thinking about nature. farmers. as . For the amateur naturalists concerned with the flora and fauna of their state. an object which lives in multiple social worlds and which has different identities in each. This first constraint is a weak one with many advantages. in the case of the museum. nature-lovers. the different worlds share goals of conserving California and nature. and so on. needed to be preserved if they were to continue fully par- ticipating. He made extensive alliances with conservation groups. Furthermore. and of making an orderly array out of natural variety. sponsors and local social elites): draw a line around the west (sometimes even around the state) and declare it a nature preserve. then. research conducted within its bounds also served their goals of preservation and conservation. the geographical concepts he wanted to advance were built on this kernel of support for California preservation.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 409 to professional audiences and establishing themselves as 'experts' in some theoretical domain. So. turn around and drive the other way!') For Grinnell. It gives California itself the status of a boundary object. Grinnell had to maintain the conventionality of the objects so that future collecting could go on. How did Grinnell balance the need for argument with the need for building on the very conventional understandings about California that the amateur collectors and clubs had? How did he escape being limited by their concerns? Grinnell and Alexander quite brilliantly began their enterprise by building on a goal they shared with several participants (the university presidents. This provided him with a definite but still weakly-constrained and weakly- structured base. At the same time. He became one of the primary people in charge of preserving California.

2. which incorporated both concrete and theoretical data and which served as a means of communicating across both worlds. in the sense that we are really dealing here with systems of boundary objects which are themselves heterogeneous. And from this library of specimens. with boundaries from several different worlds which coincide. we found four types of boundary objects. Repositories are built to deal with problems of heterogeneity caused by differences in unit of analysis. 1. These coincident boundaries. An example of an ideal type is the species. This is a concept which in fact described no specimen. around a loosely-structured. atlas or other description which in fact does not accurately describe the details of any one locality or thing. 3. Coincident boundaries.a 'good enough' road map for all parties. with a strong empirical base and strikingly strong support from participating worlds. Ideal types arise with differences in degree of abstraction. In analyzing these translation tasks represented by the MVZ under- taking. It is abstracted from all domains. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. They result in the deletion of local contingencies from the common object and have the advantage of adaptability. provide an anchor for more widely-ranging. 56 From the standardized information which Grinnell collected. An example of a repository is a library or museum. Ideal type. he was able to build ecological theories different from those being developed in the rest of the country. His autonomy in this regard rested on solving the problems of boundary tensions posed by the multiple intersections of the worlds which met in the museum. At the core and beginning of his work. However. These are common objects which have the same boundaries but different internal contents.410 Social Studies of Science the conservation movement needed and wanted information about the natural baseline threatened by development interests. These are ordered 'piles' of objects which are indexed in a standardized fashion. It has the advantage of modularity. Grinnell's work was highly abstract. Repositories. People from different worlds can use or borrow from the 'pile' for their own purposes without having directly to negotiate differences in purpose. he built an orderly repository. it serves as a means of communicating and cooperating symbolically . and may be fairly vague. riskier claims. it is adaptable to a local site precisely because it is fairly vague. These are only analytic distinctions. They arise in the presence of different means of aggregating data and when work is distributed . boundary object. he placed a common goal and conventional understanding. This is an object such as a diagram. then.

Because the natural history work took place at highly distributed sites by a number of different people. An example of coincident boundaries is the creation of the state of California itself as a boundary object for workers at the museum. oscillating - provide a provocative source of metaphors for understanding objects with multiple memberships.passing. standardized in the information it collected. The maps created by the professional biologists. The advantages of such objects are that local uncertainties (for instance. they were provided with a form to fill out when they obtained an animal.marginal people - face an analogous situation. People who inhabit more than one social world . however. 4. the . The result is that work in different sites and with different perspectives can be conducted autonomously while cooperating parties share a common referent. The maps of California created by the amateur collectors and the conservationists resembled traditional roadmaps familiar to us all. Standardized forms. The advantage is the resolution of different goals. Can we find similar strategies among those creating or managing joint objects across social world boundaries? A social world. These are boundary objects devised as methods of common communication across dispersed work groups. shared the same outline of the state (with the same geo-political boundaries). In the case of the amateur collectors. If a state of war does not prevail. as discussed above. a person whose mother is white and father is black. The strategies employed by marginal people to manage their identities . 'stakes out' territory. The results of this type of boundary object are standardized indexes and what Latour would call 'immutable mobiles' (objects which can be transported over a long distance and convey unchanging information). problems of identity and loyalty.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 411 over a large-scale geographic area. either literal or conceptual. and emphasized campsites. trying to shift into a single world. ecologically-based series of shaded areas representing 'life zones'. Traditionally. in the collecting of animal species) are deleted. 58 Marginality has been a critical concept for understanding the ways in which the boundaries of social worlds are constructed. 57 Park's classic work on the 'marginal man' discusses the tensions imposed by such multiple membership. then institutionalized negotiations manage ordinary affairs when different social worlds share the same territory (for instance. standardized methods were essential. and the kinds of navigation and articulation performed by those with multiple member- ships. trails and places to collect. but were filled in with a highly abstract. such as the world of amateur natural history collectors. an ecological concept. the concept of marginality has referred to a person who has membership in more than one social world: for example.

is conducted by scientists. navigating in more than one world is a non-trivial mapping exercise. Such negotiations include conflict and are constantly challenged and refined. have discussed the complex management of such overlapping place perspectives. The objects thus come to form a common boundary between worlds by inhabiting them both simul- taneously. and mismatches caused by the overlap become problems for negotiation. Everett Hughes has talked about such overlaps and has described organizations which manage collisions in space sovereignty as 'intertribal centers'. drawing on Hughes' earlier work.objects marginal to those worlds. skill and sentiment.412 Social Studies of Science United States Government and the Mafia). 59 Gerson' s analysis of resources and commitments provides a general model of sovereignties based on commitments of time. or confusing. we are interested in the kinds of translations scientists perform in order to craft objects containing elements which are different in different worlds . denying one side. People resolve problems of marginality in a variety of ways: by passing on one side or another. oscillating between worlds. Because more than one world or set of concerns is using and making the representation. there are crucial differences. or voluntarily manage membership problems. people coming together from different social worlds frequently have the experience of addressing an object that has a different meaning for each of them.including construction of them . elusive. Unlike the situation of marginal people who reflexively face problems of identity and membership. we are interested in that sort of n-way translation which includes scientific objects. the central cooperative task of social worlds which share the same space but different perspectives is the 'translation' of each others' perspectives. In particular. Intersections place particular demands on representations. managing multiple memberships can be volatile. Scientists manage boundary objects via a set of strategies only loosely comparable to those practised by marginal people. 60 Gerson and Gerson. 62 In conducting collec- tive work. For people. In this paper. 61 In their analysis. or what we call boundary objects. or by forming a new social world composed of others like themselves. and on the integrity of information arising from and being used in more than one world. it has to satisfy more than one set of concerns. . the objects with multiple memberships do not change them- selves reflexively. Each social world has partial jurisdiction over the resources represented by that object. collectors and adminis- trators only when their work coincides. However. money. management of these scientific objects . While these objects have some of the same properties as marginal people. however.

money and complex negotiations: money in exchange for furs and animals from trappers. and becomes more efficient. food and bait in traps in exchange for animals' unwitting cooperation. 64 Gokalp has described some of the processes of colli- sions which arise when multiple fields come together. scientific classification in exchange for specimens donated by amateur naturalists.in the sense that a fuzzy image is resolved by a microscope. Gerson and Star have discussed a similar collision in an office workplace. their different commitments and perceptions are resolved into representations . contain at every stage the traces of multiple viewpoints. silencing and fragmentation. In the case of museum work. the scientists have made headway in standardizing the interfaces between different worlds. . prestige and legitimacy for economic support. 65 The production of boundary objects is one means of satisfying these potentially conflicting sets of concerns.a problem which computer scientist Carl Hewitt has called 'due process'. As the museum matures. and were in the habit of dissolving them in liquid and drinking them! 67 The sacred fossil beds were well-protected against foraging paleontologists. Andrews has a compelling example of this from a natural history expedi- tion of the period to Mongolia: natives there used fossils for fang shui (geomancy). The economy of the museum thus evolves as a mixture of barter. representa- tions. coercion. he calls these 'borderland' disciplines. Rather. translations and incomplete battles. who considered them equally valuable but for different reasons. Other means include imperialist imposition of representations. 63 and considered the problem of evaluating the standards which apply as reconciliation takes place . different participating worlds establish protocols which go beyond mere trading across unjoined world boundaries. animals in exchange for other animals from other museums and collectors. They begin to devise a common coin which makes possible new kinds of joint endeavour. This resolution does not mean consensus. this comes from the standardization of collecting and preparation methods. or inscriptions.the functioning of mixed economies of information with different values and only partially overlapping coin.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 413 When participants in the intersecting worlds create representations together. 66 Summary The different commitments of the participants from different social worlds reflects a fascinating phenomenon . By reaching agreements about methods.

they are sure to fail. Elihu M. including the history of evolutionary theory and the design of complex computer systems. 'Scientific Work and Social Worlds'. IN: Indiana University Press. In the strategies used by its participants are several sophisticated answers to problems of complexity. in T. We would also like to thank The Bancroft Library. for example. John Law and Anselm Strauss for their helpful comments and discussions of many of these ideas. Bruno Latour. 1970). Joan Fujimura. 'A Social Worlds Research Adventure: The Case of Reproductive Science'. 1987). Annetta Carter. 29-48. •NOTES We would like to thank our colleague Elihu Gerson of Tremont Research Institute for many helpful conversations about the content of this paper. Frank Pitelka. however temporary. Anselm Strauss. boundary objects act as anchors or bridges. for access to the papers of Joseph Grinnell. Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar. CA: Sage Publications. and with what consequences for managing information? The museum is in a sense a model of information processing. The central analytical question raised by this study is: how do hetero- geneity and cooperation coexist. Gieryn and S. Susan Leigh Star. 357-77. Rather. 1985). 1988). Adele Clarke. this finding can most clearly be seen in the studies of workplaces by Chicago school sociologists. I.414 Social Studies of Science But the protocols are not simply the imposition of one world's vision on the rest. See. Gerson. Hughes. Martin Rudwick. 'A Social World Perspective'. forthcoming). Vol. 4 (1983). 1 (1978). We would also like to thank Michel Callon. University of California. Joseph Gregory and Gene Crisman have provided valuable firsthand information about Alexander and Grinnell. Studies in Symbolic Interaction. 2. 1870-1906'. Cozzens (eds). MA: Harvard University Press. Vol. IL & London: The University of Chicago Press. Star's work on this paper was supported in part by a generous grant from the Fondation Fyssen. preservation and coordination. Carl Hewitt. Paris. Science in Action (Cambridge. 24 (1986). For evidence of this in science. Annie Alexander and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Vol. In general social science. see David Hull. Theories of Science in Society (Bloomington. if they are. . David Wake and Barbara Stein of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology have graciously allowed us access to the museum's archives and assisted us in locating material. Knowledge. Everett C. The Sociological Eye (Chicago. Science as a Process (Chicago. Adele Clarke. 1979). Howard Hutchinson of the Berkeley University Museum of Paleontology generously provided access to the Alexander-Merriam correspon- dence in the archives there. 'Triangulating Clinical and Basic Research: British Localizationists. 119-28. Our future work will examine these answers in different domains. Latour. IL: Aldine. The Great Devonian Controversy (Chicago. History of Science. Laboratory Life (Beverly Hills. IL & London: The University of Chicago Press.

Sociological Review Monograph No. Kohlstedt. 9. 11. 'The Structure of Ill-Structured Solutions: Boundary Objects and Heterogeneous Distributed Problem Solving'. cit. Vol. 1985). Vol. 452-67. SD: Buteo Books. Additional analysis of the role of amateur naturalists can be found in David Allen. note l. Berkeley. 1989). Hughes (eds). 381-84. K. The Sociological Eye. R. 0. Nancy Cartwright and H. see S. See manuals of instruction by Grinnell' s student E. Quine. The Pasteurization of French Society (Cambridge. V. Bruno Latour. 26 (1986). 14 (1981). in G. Delaney and G. Garland Allen. cit. Kohlstedt. 5. op. 1960). op. 1989).Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 415 3. Science and its Public (Dordrecht. Joseph Grinnell Papers. 'Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St. 1962). Huhs and L. op. 79 (1988). Jane Maienschein. 15. 'The Factual Sensibility'. Social Studies of Science. 6. Benson. 14. 13. Kohlstedt (1976). University of California. Mendell. Blanpied (eds). 'On Interests and Their Transformation: Enrollment and Counter- Enrollment'. Journal of the History of Biology. CA: Morgan Kaufmann. 173-90. MA: Harvard University Press. W. cit. Brieuc Bay'. Griesemer. Latour. Susan Leigh Star. for example. 4. John Law. and S. 405-26. Hughes. Holland: D. Cushing. 1988). (submitted. Daston. Controlling Life. 17. 615-25. cit. Hall.). E. Everett C. for example. Ron Rainger and Keith Benson. Vol. C. op. note 9. 83-87. Readings in Distributed Artificial Intelligence 3 (Menlo Park. Hall. 1984). Word and Object (Cambridge. 'The Nineteenth-Century Amateur Tradition: The Case of the Boston Society of Natural History'. 79 (1988). Michel Callon. Michel Callon and Law. op. On the distinction of amateur naturalist from the public and from professional scientists. Gasser (eds). in John Law (ed. 'What Makes Physics' Objects Abstract?'. cit. op. in Wiebe Bijker. 52-72.Oologist. 111-34. note I. 'Going Concerns: The Study of American Institutions'. Science in Action. 1978). note 8. 'Modeling in the Museum: On the Role of Remnant Models in the Work of Joseph Grinnell'. MA: MIT Press. 'Concluding Remarks: American Natural History and Biology in the Nineteenth Century'. 196-230. note 8. 7. Jacques Loeb & the Engineering Ideal in Biology (New York: Oxford . A Manual of Instruction Based on a System Established by Joseph Grinnell (Vermillion. Although it has frequently been claimed that the rise of scientific biology coincided with the demise of natural history at the turn of the twentieth century. Griesemer. personal communication to Griesemer. Collecting and Preparing Study Specimens of Vertebrates (Lawrence. Benson. See Greisemer. 12 (1982). The Bancroft Library. Sally G. cit. in M. Vol. some have argued that natural history was 'refined' rather than replaced. American Z. Action and Belief. 'Curiosities and Cabinets: Natural History Museums and Education on the Antebellum Campus'. note 13. See. Gutting (eds). R. 10. Power. 'Introduction: Were American Morphologists in Revolt?'. 1976). KS: University of Kansas. For an assessment of the effects on the structure of theoretical models produced. 16. Reidel. 32 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1987). 12. 8. The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History (London: Allen Lane. Holton and W. Philip Pauly. Life Science in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ibid. Vol. The Social Construction of Technological System' (Cambridge. 'Technology. 1986). Science and Reality (Notre Dame. 1976). at 62. MA: MIT Press. The Naturalist's Field Journal. See the excellent review by L. IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Isis. in J. Isis. See. see also James R. Closure and Heterogeneous Engineering: The Case of the Portuguese Expansion'. Herman. 134-52. Trevor Pinch and Thomas P. Frank Pitelka.

1983).. 16 (1899). Vol. K. E. 'Laws of Temperature Control of the Geographic Distribution of Terrestrial Animals and Plants'. 175. George Gaylord Simpson and Ernst Mayr (eds). 1 (1919). Modeling Nature: Episodes in the History of Population Ecology (Chicago. David Lack. 'Joseph Grinnell'. W. in R. N. Moore. ibid. 731-32. California Scientists and the Environment. Ronald Rainger. Vol. 1987). Dimensions of Darwinism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vol. 'Zoology of the Pacific Railroad Surveys'. ibid.). 1880-1910'. Cittadino. which was largely interested in the exposition of ideas about nature as part of the general culture. M. Sterling. cit. Principles of Animal Ecology (Philadelphia & London: W. Vol. 'Results of a Biological Survey of Mount Shasta. The American Development of Biology (Philadelphia. Studies in History of Biology. 159-76. 'The Significance of Ecological Isolation'. See also Kingsland. note 19. in Glenn L. T. 'Ecology and the Professionalization of Botany in America. William Kimler. Genetics. Benson and J. Norton. 1988).. Emerson. J. on the Bureau of the Biological Survey. See Hilda W. 1890-1905'. ibid. and eventually amateurs such as Alexander virtually disappeared from scientific academia. 1949). 1966). 1850-1915 (New Haven. B. 195-249. Mcintosh. CT: Yale University Press. S. 21. (1980). 1977. 24. 22. Merriam. Merriam. Alden Miller. Amateurs were more interested in scientific investigation than the general public. Journal of Mammology. Nature's Economy (New York: Cambridge University Press. op. 229-41. Last of the Naturalists: The Career of C. See Grinnell. op. The Condor. 26 (1986). Allee. 1 (1947). 3-34. see Donald Worster. 5 (1897). 20. Jepsen. 'Speciation and Systematics'. 'Criteria for the Recognition of Species and Genera'. Maienschein (eds). 6 (1894). California'. Hilda Grinnell. A. 19. Paleontology and Evolution (Princeton. 'Organism and Environment: Fredric Clements's Vision of a Unified Physiological Ecology'. Spencer. 263-88. 'The Continuation of the Morphological Tradition: American Paleontology. 299-308. North American Fauna. The dependence on amateur/patrons declined as universities and governments took over the financial stewardship of science. That she was an amateur naturalist. cit. Ernst Mayr. 'Ecological Factors in Speciation'. ibid. E. Schmidt. Vol. 18. 1988). Vol. 1949). 1958). 3 (1964). 'Morphology and Twentieth-Century Biology: A Response'. Bureau of the Biological Survey. Hart Merriam. ibid. Vol.. Vol. PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Rainger. Merriam. The National Geographic Magazine. American 'Zoologist. 371-80. C. The Background of Ecology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. R. 0. 42 (1940). Saunders.. CA: Grinnell Naturalists Society. See W. Macintosh. 129-58. Park and K. Annie Montague Alexander (Berkeley. Keir B. but amateurs typically had a broad vision of the aims and nature of scientific research: Kohlstedt. Evolution. in Marjorie Grene (ed. C. note 8. Vol. Systematic 'Zoology. Journal of the History of Biology.. Garland Allen. revised edition). Exploration & Empire (New York: W. 1987). IL: The University of Chicago Press. Science. 'Mimicry: Views of Naturalists and Ecologists Before the Modem Synthesis'. 14 (1981). 171-98. 23. 97-128. Grinnell. 'Joseph Grinnell: 1877-1939'. 1987). 4.416 Social Studies of Science University Press. Sharon Kingsland. Hart Merriam (New York: Amo Press. and not merely a financial backer is clear from Kohlstedt's (1976) discussion of the amateur tradition. Smith. 281-98. Mayr. Park. Pacific Visions. 257-80. 'Filling in the Gaps: A Survey of Nineteenth Century Institutions Associated with the Exploration and Natural History of the American West'. 6-9. . 'Type Specimens in Natural History'. 331-41. L. Vol. William Goetzmann. NJ: Princeton University Press. Joel Hagen. 1985).

see Richard Eakin. D. Coleman. cit. note 27. 3-14. op. op. 77 (1910). (ed. K. etc. 1 (1907).. Vol. op. 'Some of the Advantages of an Ecological Organization of a Natural History Museum'. 4 (1961). 'Henry A. note 12.. Cheek pouch contents. Kohlstedt.. 30. George Stocking. S. Jr. op. That Grinnell could become director of the Museum without appointment in the Zoology Department suggests that credentials for museum naturalists were not identical with those required for academic appointment. Jordan. Vol. Kohlstedt. used in Grinnell's natural history course. Berkeley'. Kohlstedt (1988). 647-61. 'Natural History on Campus: From Informal Collecting to College Museums'. Vol. See also. with labels inserted. and so on. note 8. see E. 26. and such containers packed in a stout box to prevent crushing'. Benson. The handout was emended and used by a number of Grinnell' s successors at Berkeley and elsewhere. Laurence V. J. 3 Volumes (Washington DC: The American Association of Museums. 176-214. 170-78. Vol. Popular Science Monthly. note 20.. note 9. Biographical Memoirs.. see C. 27 (1956). Curator.Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 417 25. 1983). 'The Origin of Species Through Isolation'. Vol. National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Colbert. 9 (1980). 15-47. Grinnell' s career marks a transition phase in the incorporation of research natural history into academic science. in Rainger et al. Hall. 33 (1973). Vol. On museums in general. 'The Methods and Uses of a Research Museum'. Vol.. Adams. op. when notes and collection are worked up . 'Alden Holmes Miller'. to ·Attend minutely to proper punctuation'.). 1939). Berkeley. 'road-kills'. and most importantly. WA: September 1986). Vol. cit. Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums (Nashville. 66-92.) 28. Science. TN: American Association for State and Local History. nests. Stocking. 545-62. 364-65. The Museum in America. Ronald Rainger. in Rainger et al. 1979). The Auk. feces. 368-78. Be alert for new ideas and new facts'. in G. 'Museums on Campus: A Tradition of Inquiry and Teaching'. 21 (1904). wet preservations. eggs. These procedures included directives such as: to use a single serial set of identification numbers for all specimens collected during an expedition regardless of type.. WI: University of Wisconsin Press. op cit. Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History. •Just Before Simpson: William Diller Matthew's Understanding of . University of California. 'History of Zoology at the University of California. 138-46. including the MVZ. Joseph Grinnell. Zoology 113. Proceedings of the American Association of Museums. Objects and Others: Essays on Museums and Material Culture (Madison. Grinnell Correspondence and Papers.. to observe the proper order for reporting data on both field tags and in field notebooks. 31. even at risk of entering much information of apparently little value. 'What is a Museum?'. Grinnell. to 'Write full notes. cit. cit. note 20. Bios. 27. See Eakin. Ernst Mayr. 29. 'Suggestions as to Collecting'. These quotations were taken from a handout. For histories of the Berkeley Zoology Department. Alexander. 'Essays on Museums and Material Culture'. E. (Reprint available from the Department of Zoology at Berkeley. 22 (1905). cit. paper delivered to the West Coast History of Science Association (Friday Harbor. Bancroft Library. 49-83. should be placed in small envelopes or boxes. Kohlstedt. On natural history museums in particular. with as great care as skins or skulls. Ward: The Merchant Naturalist and American Museum Development'. 'From Museum Research to Laboratory Research: The Transformation of Natural History into Academic Biology'. See Griesemer. to give precise data on the location of capture of a specimen including altitude and county. 163-69. One cannot anticipate the needs of the future. 'The Origin and Distribution of the Chestnut-Backed Chickadee'. to pack 'Miscellaneous material .

CA: University of California Press. 11 May 1911. cit. note 33. Vol. University of California. note 20. See Rainger. 'An Account of the Mammals and Birds of the Lower Colorado Valley with Especial Reference to the Distributional Problems Presented'. The Bancroft Library. Ibid. 'The Methods and Uses of a Research Museum'. Berkeley. See also Annie Alexander. 27 March 1911. 'Audiences and Allies: The Transformation of American Zoology. University of California. note 33. op. note 31. 1968). Joseph Grinnell Papers. See E. Annie M.418 Social Studies of Science Evolution'. 41. The Bancroft Library. 1963). Alexander Papers (Collection 67/121 c).. 44. cit. 21 February 1911. Joseph Grinnell. cit. op. Ruthven. Annie Alexander to Joseph Grinnell. A. 33. cit. 40. 219-56. MI: University of Michigan Alumni Press. 50. 1911 field notebook. Annie Alexander to Joseph Grinnell. Alexander Papers (Collection 67 /121 c). Gerson. The Bancroft Library. The American Naturalist. Matthew in the American Museum. A Naturalist in a University Museum (Ann Arbor. See Grinnell. See Grinnell. 1911 field notebook. 48. Annie M. Grinnell. originally a director's report to the President of the University of California. 45. reprinted by Freeport. Berkeley. for similar considerations by W. Joseph Grinnell Papers. 130 (1986). The Bancroft Library. 'Significance of Fauna! Analysis for General Biology'. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. 13-18. was later published in The Popular Science Monthly as an article outlining Grinnell 's vision titled. cit. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. Berkeley. Grinnell. 1943. for similar observations. Berkeley. cit. viii. The Sacred Grove: Essays on Museums (New York: Simon & Schuster. Ibid. op. The Bancroft Library. University of California Publications in Zoology. Selected Writing of a Western Naturalist (Berkeley & Los Angeles. M. Berkeley.. Louise Kellogg. Berkeley. op. Eakin. 36. 38. Berkeley. University of California. Vol. Vol. 43. 37. op. Vol. 32. 'Just Before Simpson'. cit. note 27. 47. 1969). 453-74. University of California. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. Joseph Grinnell. 12 (1914). Rainger. See also Smith. in Rainger et. op. University of California. This essay. 13 February 1911. 'Vertebrate Paleontology as Biology: Henry Fairfield Osborn and the American Museum of Natural History'. 248-54. For another early example. Grinnell. 107-09. see Adams. 46. University of California. reports the possibly apocryphal story that Jordan and Grinnell agreed that Stanford would get fishes and Berkeley would get birds and mammals. note 31. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. June 1987). Joseph Grinnell Papers. 32 (1928). note 23. cit. note 31. 'Barriers to Distribution as Regards Birds and Mammals'. 49. 39. VA. al. NY: Books for Libraries Press. op. D. University of California. paper presented to the conference on the History. 51-294. Joseph Grinnell Papers. 42. Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (Blacksburg. Joseph Grinnell. Joseph Grinnel/'s Philosophy of Nature. . University of California Publications in Zoology. Dillon Ripley. 6 January 1911. op. cit. Fieldnote Room. 34. 14 November 1907. 1880-1930'. 35. in op. 7. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. 48 (1914). at 108. The Bancroft Library. Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. 'The Museum Conscience' (1922). note 18. 51 .

Vol. 'Vertebrate Natural History of a Section of Northern California through the Lassen Peak Region'. 'Robustness. cit. Environmental Knowing: Theories. Current research interests are the organizational aspects of computer design and of medical classification systems. E. C. Hutchinson & Ross. Hughes. cit. Elihu M. in G. 'The Social Framework of Place Perspectives'. ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems. 53. 5-13. Susan Leigh Star is Assistant Professor of Information and Computer Science and Sociology at the University of California. 'On "Quality of Life"'. Wimsatt. 67. We are grateful to an anonymous referee for drawing our attention to the limits of the cooperation model. 35 (1930).Star & Griesemer: 'Translations' & Boundary Objects 419 52. Appleton. 60. note 1. William C. in his The Sociological Eye. Brewer and B. 55. 271-87. Davis. 'Report on an Ongoing Research: Investigation on Turbulent Combustion as an Example of an Interfield Research Area'. T. CA: Jossey-Bass. op. 56. Research and Methods (Stroudsberg. 63. Gerson and M. 124-63. 1928. 'Human Migration and the Marginal Man'. 'The Ecological Aspect of Institutions'. 62. op. See also Everett V. Vol. J. James Richard Griesemer is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California. note 9. Joseph Grinnell Papers. 14 November 1907. Stonequist. Berkeley. 1-594 and i-v. 257-70. 4 (1986). 4 (1986). cit. 793-806. paper presented at the Society for the Social Studies of Science (Troy. Reliability and Overdetermination'. cit. Park. Vol. Joseph Grinnell to Annie Alexander. 65. 64. 61. 'Analyzing Due Process in the Workplace'. Sue Gerson. cit. Gerson. 1937. Vol. op. Joseph Grinnell. 41 (1976). op. The Bancroft Library. Robert E. 66. Irvine. See Hall. Dixon and Jean Linsdale. See Star. Moore and R. note 1. 196-205. See Griesemer. 58. 1921). November 1985). C. 'Offices are Open Systems'. note 15. University of California. 1981). Hughes. Golledge (eds). Collins (eds). 345-56. PA: Dowden. 1976). in M. Roy Chapman Andrews. 'Social Change and Status Protest: An Essay on the Marginal Man'. Scientific Inquiry and the Social Sciences (San Francisco. Across Mongolian Plains (New York: D. note 12. Elihu M. 220-28. reprinted 1950). NY. Her latest work is Regions of the Mind: Brain Research and the Quest for Scientific Certainty (Stanford University Press: [October] 1989). E. op. Elihu M. His latest . lskander Gokalp. 54. The Marginal Man: A Study in Personality and Culture Conflict (New York: Russell & Russell. 59. American Sociological Review. for a full discussion of these preparation and preservation techniques. reprinted 1961). ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems. Gerson and Susan Leigh Star. in his Race and Culture (New York: The Free Press. University of California Publica- tions in :zoology. and the importance of conflict and authority in science-making. in his The Sociological Eye. 57. Carl Hewitt.

) What the Philosophy of Biology Is: Essays for David Hull (Dordrecht. California 92717. Current research interests include an analysis of the concept of replication. 1989). Ruse (ed. USA. Irvine. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. University of California. . and a theory of material model-building in biology. the history of the niche concept. Davis. in M. California 95616. the nature of theories in quantitative genetics. USA. Authors' addresses (respectively): (SLS) Department of Information and Computer Science.420 Social Studies of Science work is (with William Wimsatt) 'Picturing Weismannism: A Case Study of Conceptual Evolution'. (JRG) Department of Philosophy. University of California.

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