Reconstructing life. Molecular biology in postwar Britain


Abstract
The Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (formerly the Medical Research Council Unit for the Study of Molecular Structure of Biological Systems) in Cambridge (England) played a key role in the postwar history of molecular biology. The paper, focussing on the early history of the institution, aims to show that the creation of the laboratory and the making of molecular biology were part of a new scientific culture set in place after World War II. In five interlinked parts it deals with the institutional creation of the MRC unit dedicated to the crystallographic analysis of biological molecules; the attraction of postwar biophysics, the heading under which the work of the unit initially fell; the people who joined the laboratory and their appropriation of new technologies, in particular the electronic computer for protein crystal structure determination; the cultural appeal of postwar crystallography, as exemplified in the use of crystal structure diagrams for a wide series of consumer goods at the Festival of Britain in 1951 and the display of molecular models at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958, a key site for the presentation of science and its role in the postwar world.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,483
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Collective Phenomena and the Neglect of Molecules: A Historical Outlook on Biology.U. Deichmann - 2007 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 29 (1):83-86.
Molecular Biology in Postwar Europe: Towards a 'Glocal' Picture.S. Chadarevian & B. Strasser - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (3):361-365.
Institutionalizing Molecular Biology in Post-War Europe: A Comparative Study.J. B. - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (3):515-546.
Molecular Biology in Postwar Europe: Towards a 'Glocal' Picture.Soraya de Chadarevian & Bruno Strasser - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (3):361-365.
Naturalists, Molecular Biologists, and the Challenges of Molecular Evolution.Joel B. Hagen - 1999 - Journal of the History of Biology 32 (2):321 - 341.
National Politics and International Trends: EMBO and the Making of Molecular Biology in Spain (1960-1975).J. M. - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (3):473-487.
Reconstructing Life. Molecular Biology in Postwar Britain.Soraya de Chadarevian - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (3):431-448.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
5 ( #1,069,952 of 2,286,549 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #862,224 of 2,286,549 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature