This book analyses the social contexts in which programmers design neuroimaging software used in brain studies. It shows that in the same way people engage in everyday communication, programmers are involved in a series of communicative processes to realize the negotiations and discussions generated by software development. In this way, highly technical activities such as computer code writing are also underpinned by values, preferences, and power relations.
At the same time, the book sheds new light on scientists’ increasing dependence on software. On the one hand, many scientific tasks can no longer be performed without the help of computational technologies. On the other hand, most scientists have only superficial computing knowledge. As a result, inequalities emerge whereby some scientists take the most strategic methodological decisions whereas other scientists can only rely on the technical help provided by user-friendly computer applications.