Consequences of the Computerization of Science and Technology


The issue of computerization concerns the extensive reshaping of science and technology through the method of computer simulation as a new instrument for generating knowledge, through the infrastructural network and via the globalization of research, and through the transformation of empirical data caused by computer-based methods of measuring and experimenting. The consequences of digitalization, algorithms, and networking influence current research questions about epistemology, methods, organization, and science policy. These affect nearly every branch of science and technology, all the way up to the latest developments in medicine (systematic medicine) and in the humanities and social sciences (Digital Humanities). Moreover, recent approaches in artificial intelligence are targeting the automation of research methods.

As of yet, there is no coherent theory of science and technology that not only looks at singular aspects, but focuses on the phenomenon of computerization as a whole. The core question is: How can different tendencies such as “Engineering of Science” (with synthetic biology as a current example), the “GitLab-ification” of science, the automation of research, and the increasing flood of data be grasped and evaluated from a science studies perspective (Computational Science Studies Lab). And then there is the basic question of the topic of today's scientific research: “natural” or technological phenomena, data or algorithms?