Anthropologist of technosciences and postdoctoral researcher in the Animals as Objects project
Historically, natural history museums have been central in shaping the work of natural scientists, providing growing collections of materials needed for their research. Over the last decades, this role transformed again thanks to the increasing digitization and datafication of natural history and its objects of study. My research focuses on the historical and contemporary practices that allow us to understand animals and other lively matters by turning them into data and objects of technoscientific interest - which, in turn, take on lives of their own, through servers, databases, publications, and Big Data policies and practices. In particular, collaborating with my colleagues at the Humboldt University and at Berlin's Zoo and Tierpark, our project will trace the historical movements and transformations animals went and go through in the practices of our institutions - and their role in shaping our understandings of the natural world. My task focuses especially on charting the data ecologies and landscapes that bring local, concrete lives of animals and technoscientific objects into global data practices and worlds. Better understanding the lives of data natures can help grasping the current transformations that are giving new form to technoscientific disciplines and practices. In turn, data have an important role in mediating between society and science; developing frameworks that articulate them not as frictionless, immaterial, and objective ideals of a disembodied and abstract information, but as materialsemiotic and situated concrete actors in practices of knowing and living the world is crucial, if we are to navigate the current storms that loom large on the horizon of our societies, and our technosciences too.