Description : The papers in this volume represent original work to celebrate the centenary of the American Society of Zoologists. They illustrate the impressive nature of historical scholarship that has subsequently focused on the development of biology in the United States.
Description : Unifying Biology offers a historical reconstruction of one of the most important yet elusive episodes in the history of modern science: the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s. For more than seventy years after Darwin proposed his theory of evolution, it was hotly debated by biological scientists. It was not until the 1930s that opposing theories were finally refuted and a unified Darwinian evolutionary theory came to be widely accepted by biologists. Using methods gleaned from a variety of disciplines, Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis argues that the evolutionary synthesis was part of the larger process of unifying the biological sciences. At the same time that scientists were working toward a synthesis between Darwinian selection theory and modern genetics, they were, according to the author, also working together to establish an autonomous community of evolutionists. Smocovitis suggests that the drive to unify the sciences of evolution and biology was part of a global philosophical movement toward unifying knowledge. In developing her argument, she pays close attention to the problems inherent in writing the history of evolutionary science by offering historiographical reflections on the practice of history and the practice of science. Drawing from some of the most exciting recent approaches in science studies and cultural studies, she argues that science is a culture, complete with language, rituals, texts, and practices. Unifying Biology offers not only its own new synthesis of the history of modern evolution, but also a new way of "doing history."
Description : Using biographies of three natural scientists--geologist Clarence King, forester Robert Marshall, and biologist Rachel Carson--Science and the Social Good investigates the links between nature's scientific study and social improvement.
Description : Sequencing is often associated with the Human Genome Project and celebrated achievements concerning the DNA molecule. However, the history of this practice comprises not only academic biology, but also the world of computer-assisted information management. The book uncovers this history, qualifying the hype and expectations around genomics.
Description : The early twentieth century, however, witnessed a new burst of public-oriented activity among biologists. Here Pauly chronicles such topics as the introduction of biology into high school curricula, the efforts of eugenicists to alter the "breeding" of Americans, and the influence of sexual biology on Americans' most private lives."--Jacket.
Description : "In preparing this remarkable book, Ernest Hook persuaded an eminent group of scientists, historians, sociologists and philosophers to focus on the problem: why are some discoveries rejected at a particular time but later seen to be valid? The interaction of these experts did not produce agreement on 'prematurity' in science but something more valuable: a collection of fascinating papers, many of them based on new research and analysis, which sometimes forced the author to revise a previously-held opinion. The book should be enthusiastically welcomed by all readers who are interested in how science works."—Stephen G. Brush, co-author of Physics, The Human Adventure: From copernicus to Einstein and Beyond "Prematurity and Scientific Discovery contains interesting and insightful papers by numerous well-known scientists and scholars. It will be of wide interest, not only to science studies scholars but also to working scientists and to science-literate general readers."—Thomas Nickles, editor of Scientific Discovery, Logic, and Rationality
Description : In the 1890s, several initiatives in American botany converged. The creation of new institutions, such as the New York Botanical Garden, coincided with radical reforms in taxonomic practice and the emergence of an experimental program of research on evolutionary problems. Sharon Kingsland explores how these changes gave impetus to the new field of ecology that was defined at exactly this time. She argues that the creation of institutions and research laboratories, coupled with new intellectual directions in science, were crucial to the development of ecology as a discipline in the United States. The main concern of ecology -- the relationship between organisms and environment -- was central to scientific studies aimed at understanding and controlling the evolutionary process. Kingsland considers the evolutionary context in which ecology arose, especially neo-Lamarckian ideas and the new mutation theory, and explores the relationship between scientific research and broader theories about social progress and the evolution of human civilization. By midcentury, American ecologists were leading the rapid development of ecosystem ecology. At the same time, scientists articulated a sharp critique of modern science and society in the postwar context, foreshadowing the environmental critiques of the 1960s. As the ecosystem concept evolved, so too did debates about how human ecology should be incorporated into the biological sciences. Kingsland concludes with an examination of ecology in the modern urban environment, reflecting on how scientists are now being challenged to overcome disciplinary constraints and produce innovative responses to pressing problems. The Evolution of American Ecology, 1890--2000 offers an innovative study not only of the scientific landscape in turn-of-the-century America, but of current questions in ecological science.