Review Essay: Reporting Large-Scale Qualitative Research: The Ergography


  • Bart Penders Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Annemiek Nelis Radboud University Nijmegen



reporting, large-scale, research programs, ergography, science and technology studies


As social science research programmes tend to increase in scale, reporting their results in a coherent manner is growing more difficult. Andrew WEBSTER's edited volume presents a wealth of social science research and is a pleasant read for many reasons. However, its sheer vastness can hardly be contained in an edited volume. In this article, we review the book itself whilst we also discuss what it means to report about large scale social science research programmes and propose an alternative mode for this reporting: the ergography. The ergography provides a window not so much on the results of the programme but rather on the work that is being done in the context of a research programme. The ergography allows for an active stand from the reader and aims to bring the reader as closely as possible to the laboratory, doctor's office or hospital that has been part of the research. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901182


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Author Biographies

Bart Penders, Radboud University Nijmegen

Bart PENDERS is a post-doctoral research fellow in the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS) at the Centre for Society and Genomics (CSG), Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (ISIS) at the Radboud University Nijmegen, as well as at the Department of Health, Ethics and Society (HES), School for Primary Care and Public Health (CAPHRI) at Maastricht University, both in the Netherlands. He was trained as a biologist and subsequently studied the politics of large-scale nutritional genomics. His recent publications include From Seeking Health to Finding Healths. The Politics of Large-Scale Cooperation in Nutrition Science (Maastricht: Maastricht University Press, 2008). His research deals with the normative effects of large-scale science. He is mainly interested in how facts, knowledge and norms co-evolve, as well as in the political effects of this co-evolution. He currently studies these dynamics in industrial R&D contexts. His other interests include knowledge production on the boundaries of laboratory and computation, as well as the interaction of science, social science and the humanities.

Annemiek Nelis, Radboud University Nijmegen

Annemiek NELIS is Associate Professor and General Director of the Centre for Society and Genomics (CSG), Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (ISIS), Radboud University Nijmegen. The CSG is supported by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI). She has a MA in health science from Maastricht University and a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Twente. She worked in Cambridge (UK) and Amsterdam before coming to Nijmegen. Her publications and research interests concern patient organisation and representation; the role of social scientists in organising public debate and public engagement; and the production of norms and standards in life science laboratories. Her other interests include science and democracy and what STS scholars have to bring to this.




How to Cite

Penders, B., & Nelis, A. (2008). Review Essay: Reporting Large-Scale Qualitative Research: The Ergography. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1).