The Self of the Scientist, Material for the Artist: Emergent Distinctions in an Interdisciplinary Collaboration

James Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyzes ethnographic material from several art and science research collaborations that were funded under a single funding scheme in the UK between 2003 and 2006. The material illustrates the way that distinctions between aesthetic value and utility value emerged during the interactions of the participants. It outlines how conceptual positions about the contrasting value of art and of science shaped their collaborative practice. I relate key distinctions that emerged in their statements to the parallel division in intellectual property law between copyright and patent. The intention is to show how seemingly natural and given differences that inform both law and disciplinary practice are generated and regenerated in a manner that divides persons, things, and disciplines in the very practices that these categories reciprocally inform and shape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-163
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Analysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011



  • aesthetics
  • art and science collaboration
  • copyright law
  • interdisciplinary research
  • knowledge
  • patent law
  • utility

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