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This chapter draws from ethnographic and cognitive-historical studies of laboratories in the bioengineering sciences to examine how cognition and culture are intimately entwined in research practices. It focuses on the hybrid physical simulation models (“devices”) through which biomedical engineers conduct in vitro experiments on selected aspects of in vivo biological phenomena, and examines them as participants in distributed cognitive systems. These devices serve as a site not only of simulation of biological processes but also of the researchers’ epistemic norms and values. Examining how researchers build these cognitive-cultural artifacts enables understanding how culture is built into cognitive processes in science and vice versa.

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