Microstudies versus big picture accounts?

Microstudies and big picture accounts are often counterposed. This paper investigates the supposed dichotomy between the two historiographical approaches. In particular it investigates how the discussions are reflected in the historiography of molecular biology and the special questions posed by the disciplinary context. Taking inspiration from the microhistory tradition as exemplified by the works of Carlo Ginzburg, Jacques Revel, and David Sabean among others, the paper highlights the heuristic value of microstudies to reconstruct the multiple contexts that link apparently small events with broader structures. In a parallel fashion, the paper argues for using microstudies to open up the history of molecular biology to other fields of study and thus moving beyond the confines of the disciplinary framework. Such an approach does not dismiss the search for big pictures. Yet rather than opposing big pictures to microstudies, it sees microstudies as a valid way to gain new and broad vistas
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2008.12.003
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.

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Wissenschaftsgeschichte Als Handbuchwissenschaft.Mathias Grote - 2018 - NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 26 (1):91-101.

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