Co-PI of the project: Prof. Peter Mättig, Physics Department, Univ. Bonn.
This project is one of six individual projects that cooperate closely within the DFG/FWF Research Unit “The Epistemology of the Large Hadron Collider”, established in 2016. The Research Unit’s main objective is to analyse the scientific practice of experiments that are currently conducted at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, CERN, in Geneva. The Research Unit has forged a unique cooperation between physicists, philosophers, historians, and social scientists with the aim of collectively investigating how physicists produce knowledge in LHC experiments. The present project, which investigates these experiments from the perspective of social studies of science, is benefiting greatly from this interdisciplinary setting.
In the last decades, experiments in particle physics have undergone dramatic changes toward increasing centralisation, size, and complexity. This project is motivated by the thesis that these changes have induced important transformations in work organisation and thus affect how, and under which conditions, physicists produce knowledge. In this context, the project raises two important questions: (1) how do scientists go about generating new results and (2) what do they do to ensure that these results are reliable and credible?