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Radiation, a Tumor and the ANT: An Actor-Network-Theory Approach to a Medical Spin-off Creation

Author(s): Hugo Pinto

Journal: Eä : Revista de Humanidades Médicas & Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología
ISSN 1852-4680

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Actor-Network-Theory | translation | knowledge transfer | spin-off

Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) is currently under discussion in Science and Technology Studies because it is reconstructing how social should be seen by social scientists. In the core of ANT is the concept of translation underlining how actors constantly engage in a process to translate their languages, their problems, their identities and their interests into the others. Understanding the social as an adjective is not adequate. The social cannot be constructed as a kind of material or domain and to dispute the project of providing a 'social explanation' of some other state of affairs. Focusing the knowledge transfer process, in particular the case of a medical spin-off firm creation, this article stresses the usefulness of ANT in analyzing complex objects by travelling wherever new heterogeneous associations are shaped. The role of a tumor is underlined as the actor that stabilizes the Actor-Network and transformed the services of this spin-off in an obligatory passage point.

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