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Beyond the Gene : Cytoplasmic Inheritance and the Struggle for Authority in Genetics - Jan Sapp

Beyond the Gene

Cytoplasmic Inheritance and the Struggle for Authority in Genetics

By: Jan Sapp

Hardcover

Published: 14th May 1987
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The scope and significance of cytoplasmic inheritance has been the subject of one of the longest controversies in the history of genetics. In the first major book on the history of this subject, Jan Sapp analyses the persistent attempts of investigators of non-Mendelian inheritance to establish their claims in the face of strong resistance from nucleo-centric geneticists and classical neo-Darwinians. A new perspective on the history of genetics is offered as he explores the conflicts which have shaped theoretical thinking about heredity and evolution throughout the century: materialism vs. vitalism, reductionism vs. holism, preformation vs. epigenesis, neo-Darwinism vs. new-Lamarckism, and gradualism vs. saltationism. In so doing, Sapp highlights competitive struggles for power among individuals and disciplinary groups. He accepts that political interests and general social contexts may directly affect scientific ideas, but develops the stronger thesis that social interests inside science itself are always involved in the content of scientific knowledge. He goes on to show that there are no neutral judges in scientific controversies and investigates the social strategies and methodological rhetoric used by scientists when they defend or oppose a particular theory. At the same time, Sapp illustrates the social constraints that ensure the high cost and risk of entertaining unorthodox theories in the sciences.

"An absorbing account of the development of our ideas on the nature of heredity....A fascinating account of how the participants, and bystanders, too, viewed genetics from Mendel until today."--Cell "Will clearly be an important book in the history of 20th century genetics...it will focus attention on an area that has been woefully neglected."--Science "Historians have given short shrift to theories and research in cytoplasmic inheritance.... Sapp has done a great service in bringing this buried history to light....[He] has unearthed much valuable information and posed a host of important new questions." --Isis "A significant addition to the history of 20th Century genetics. . . . Should be read by biologists interested in their theoretical and institutional heritage. . . . Sapp makes excellent use of archival sources, especially the rich unpublished letters in the Ephrussi and Sonneborn papers. . . . This book is an important achievement, moving us a long way towards a balanced history of 20th Century genetics." --The Quarterly Review of Biology "Sapp covers well the development and relations among. . .differing views of cytoplasmic inheritance and his book is useful in bringing them together. It is also useful in bringing out the frustrations that scientists encounter in trying to demonstrate the phenomena they think they have found." --Journal of the History of Medicine "Sapp has written useful and interesting accounts of biological research that has been ignored in other studies of genetics. He covers research in pre-World War II Germany and his descriptions of the work of Sonneborn in the United States and Ephrussi in France are particularly valuable." --Medical History "In this finely researched study, Sapp has rescued many fascinating scientists and their struggles with ideas, institutions, and competitors from the oblivion into which narrowly focused histories of Mendelian genetics have cast them." --American Historical Review "An absorbing account of the development of our ideas on the nature of heredity....A fascinating account of how the participants, and bystanders, too, viewed genetics from Mendel until today."--Cell "Will clearly be an important book in the history of 20th century genetics...it will focus attention on an area that has been woefully neglected."--Science "Historians have given short shrift to theories and research in cytoplasmic inheritance.... Sapp has done a great service in bringing this buried history to light....[He] has unearthed much valuable information and posed a host of important new questions." --Isis "A significant addition to the history of 20th Century genetics. . . . Should be read by biologists interested in their theoretical and institutional heritage. . . . Sapp makes excellent use of archival sources, especially the rich unpublished letters in the Ephrussi and Sonneborn papers. . . . This book is an important achievement, moving us a long way towards a balanced history of 20th Century genetics." --The Quarterly Review of Biology "Sapp covers well the development and relations among. . .differing views of cytoplasmic inheritance and his book is useful in bringing them together. It is also useful in bringing out the frustrations that scientists encounter in trying to demonstrate the phenomena they think they have found." --Journal of the History of Medicine "Sapp has written useful and interesting accounts of biological research that has been ignored in other studies of genetics. He covers research in pre-World War II Germany and his descriptions of the work of Sonneborn in the United States and Ephrussi in France are particularly valuable." --Medical History "In this finely researched study, Sapp has rescued many fascinating scientists and their struggles with ideas, institutions, and competitors from the oblivion into which narrowly focused histories of Mendelian genetics have cast them." --American Historical Review

1: Defining the Organism 2: Constructing Heredity 3: Challenging the Nuclear Monopoly of the Cell in Germany 4: T.M. Sonneborn: Making Plasmagenes in America 5: Boris Ephrussi and the Birth of Genetics in France 6: The Cold War in Genetics 7: Problems with "Master Molecules" 8: Patterns of Power

ISBN: 9780195042061
ISBN-10: 0195042069
Series: Monographs on the History and Philosophy of Biology
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 282
Published: 14th May 1987
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.7 x 15.8  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.57