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CSCW Practice Talks - Stephanie Steinhardt and Gilly Leshed, 2/11/14

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 10:00am
Gates Hall room 310

Stephanie Steinhardt
Reconciling Rhythms: Plans and Temporal Alignment in Collaborative Scientific Work
Plans and planning assume a central role and challenge of collaborative scientific work, bridging and coordinating often discordant rhythms and events emanating from the organizational, infrastructural, biographical and phenomenal dimensions of collaborative life. Plans align rhythms embedded in local practice with those operating at larger institutional levels, and establish shared temporal baselines around which local choice and action may be calibrated. Through ethnographic study of the Ocean Observatories Initiative, a prominent U.S.-based large-scale long-term collaborative research program in the ocean sciences, we emphasize the intersection between rhythms and plans at two crucial moments: formation ("plans-in-the-making"), and enactment ("plans-in-action") across complex fields of practice. Our findings hold important implications for CSCW research and practice around scientific and large-scale collaborative efforts, and for federal science policies meant to support productive forms of cooperation and discovery.

Gilly Leshed
“Our Life is the Farm and Farming is Our Life”: Home–Work Coordination in Organic Farm Families
Gilly Leshed, Maria Håkansson, & Jofish Kaye
We present a qualitative study of 13 farm families who intentionally merge their home and work lives. This is in contrast to most families studied in CSCW, who are urban/ suburban, white-collar and often dual-income, where the goal is to balance separate home and work spheres. We analyze the farm families’ coordination practices along three dimensions – space, time, and roles – and contrast their experiences to what is known in CSCW about family coordination practices. Through this, we reveal blind spots in CSCW’s study of and support for family coordination toward building better tools to support such activities. We emphasize considering co-location rather than assuming geographic distribution across life spheres, the value of natural rhythms in understanding and supporting family life, and how taking on simultaneous roles can be viewed as a life goal rather than a source of conflict.