John Ziman argues that to “understand the nature of science, we must look at the way in which scientists behave toward one another, how they are organized, and how information passes between them” (page 5). He continues, “science stands in the region where the intellectual, the psychological, and sociological coordinate axes intersect. It is knowledge, therefore intellectual, conceptual, and abstract. It is inevitably created by individual men and women, and therefore has a strong psychological aspect. It is public, and therefore molded and determined by the social relations between the individuals” (page 6).
Considering the movie Particle Fever, analyze how the psychological aspects of the search for the Higgs Boson differ between the experimentalists and theorists. What are the psychological aspects? Give specific examples from the movie, making sure to identify the theorists or experimentalists by name. How do the differences in the psychological aspects of the search affect the social relations among the scientists? Finally, how does looking at the search for the Higgs Boson in this way — in terms of Ziman’s ideas — enrich our understanding of science? That is, what does it help us see that we might otherwise overlook?