Reporting and Describing Technoscience

Elena Cattaneo, Assunta Viteritti


Abstract The debate on the narrative of science featured on these pages draws

on the 4th STS Italia Seminar on “Reporting and Describing Technoscience”, which

was held on June 18, 2010 at the University of Milan. Starting from that seminar,

Elena Cattaneo – the person in charge of the Stem Cell Research Laboratory and

Neurodegenerative Disease Centre of the University of Milan – talks about her

career and life story, and describes the daily management of laboratory, people,

events and objects. She also recounts her experience at the Massachusetts Insti-

tute of Technology, focusing on the significant role of technologies, her involve-

ment with the stem cell research, and the application of this research to the

treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. She talks about her ethical and political

commitment as a scientist, and describes her work as a coordinator of interna-

tional networks. Lastly, she reflects on the relationship between scientific research

and social sciences. Assunta Viteritti’s analysis focuses on how scientists report

their research practice. Starting from Elena Cattaneo’s account, she recalls self-

narratives by other scientists and proposes a reflection on the social construction

of scientists’ narratives.


Keywords scientific research, narrative, stem cells, accounts, scientific discoveries

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