Assembling Open Hardware at CERN
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Description: Under the rubric of “Open Science,” new models of coordination and collaboration have been increasingly taken up by research institutions for the development scientific software and hardware. Yet “open” research instruments have understudied socioeconomic, organizational, and political dynamics, describing distinctive modes of participation in scientific knowledge infrastructures. In this paper, I describe the CERN “Open Hardware” initiative with a focus on the exchange practices and technologies of participation that were mobilized to assemble a critical infrastructure with distributed teams at research centers, companies, and Internet-based projects. Drawing from ethnographic and archival research of collaborative and competitive dynamics around “Open Hardware” at CERN, I examine how “open” scientific tools and infrastructures are designed, disputed, and implemented following Free and Open Source development models. In questioning “openness” both at the level of technical objects and their technical collectives, I examine the usage of Open Hardware for validating and assessing research results as well as rendering scientific projects more permeable to new modes of participation in the making of the“technoscience by other means.” --- Paper submitted for the "Colloque annuel de l’IFRIS 2018," Université Paris VI, France.