Studies of Nature, 2017, Honour board, lectern, bound book. 110 x 250 x 175 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Studies of Nature memorialises the scientific papers that have been retracted (withdrawn) from the journals of the Nature research group since 2014. The phenomenon of retracting papers can be stigmatised within scientific communities, where honest mistakes and quality assurance can be construed as fraudulent practice. Once retracted, a paper exists in ‘no-man’s land’, where it is unfit for scientific use, but remains as an artefact of the authors’ labour and craft. Studies of Nature commemorates these papers, valuing their labour and the small stories that exist within each artefact. By collecting these papers together, the work moves to examine these curious ’errata’ of a knowledge system, while also gathering a cultural practice of standard-making and keeping. To examine the retraction notices (looking past the deliberately technical language) and viewing the papers as cultural narratives reveals them as sites of highly complex cultural negotiation and the shared commitment of the scientific community.