Historians agree that the second half of the twentieth century saw widespread changes in the structure of biological science in universities. This shift was, and continues to be, characterized by the de-differentiation of nineteenth and early twentieth century disciplines, with increasing emphasis on the methods and authority of molecular fields. Yet we currently lack appreciation of the dynamics that underpinned these changes, and of their tangible effects on the working practices of those involved. In this article we examine the wholesale (...) reform of biological science at the University of Manchester, England, that occurred in two successive steps in 1986 and 1993. We examine how reform was enabled by economic and political factors, as staff seized upon national pressures; in so doing, we emphasize how this reform was shaped by a generational view of the biological sciences as a one field, unified by molecular techniques. We assess how the success of these reforms was tied to new management policies that rewarded research activity in molecular fields, and refigured teaching as a punishment for research inactivity. We close by showing how our analysis fits amongst, and can contribute to, ‘big picture’ debates in the history and sociology of knowledge. (shrink)
This essay examines the origin of genotype-environment interaction, or G×E. "Origin" and not "the origin" because the thesis is that there were actually two distinct concepts of G×E at this beginning: a biometric concept, or \[G \times E_B\], and a developmental concept, or \[G \times E_D \]. R. A. Fisher, one of the founders of population genetics and the creator of the statistical analysis of variance, introduced the biometric concept as he attempted to resolve one of the main problems in (...) the biometric tradition of biology - partitioning the relative contributions of nature and nurture responsible for variation in a population. Lancelot Hogben, an experimental embryologist and also a statistician, introduced the developmental concept as he attempted to resolve one of the main problems in the developmental tradition of biology - determining the role that developmental relationships between genotype and environment played in the generation of variation. To argue for this thesis, I outline Fisher and Hogben's separate routes to their respective concepts of G × E; then these separate interpretations of G × E are drawn on to explicate a debate between Fisher and Hogben over the importance of G × E, the first installment of a persistent controversy. Finally, Fisher's \[G \times E_B\] and Hogben's \[G \times E_D \] are traced beyond their own work into mid-2Oth century population and developmental genetics, and then into the infamous IQ Controversy of the 1970s. (shrink)
The admiration of the Soviet Union amongst Britain's interwar scientific left is well known. This article reveals a parallel story. Focusing on the biologists Julian Huxley and Lancelot Hogben and the scientific journalist J.G. Crowther, I show that a number of scientific thinkers began to look west, to the US. In the mid- to late 1930s and into the 1940s, Huxley, Crowther and Hogben all visited the US and commented favourably on Roosevelt's New Deal, in particular its experimental approach (...) to politics. Huxley was first to appreciate the significance of the experiment; he looked to the Tennessee Valley Authority as a model of democratic planning by persuasion that could also be applied in Britain. Crowther, meanwhile, examined the US through the lens of history of science. In Famous American Men of Science and in lectures at Harvard University, he aimed to shed light on the flaws in the Constitution which were frustrating the New Deal. Finally, Hogben's interest in the US was related to his long-standing opposition to dialectical materialism, and when he finally saw the US at first hand, he regarded it as a model for how to bring about a planned socialist society through peaceful persuasion. (shrink)
Until recently the British zoologist Lancelot Hogben has usually appeared as a campaigning socialist, an anti-eugenicist or a popularizer of science in the literature. The focus has mainly been on Hogben after he became a professor of social biology at the London School of Economics in 1930. This paper focuses on Hogben’s life in the 1920s. Early in the decade, while based in London, he focused on cytology, but in 1922, after moving to Edinburgh, he turned his focus on (...) experimental zoology, first concentrating on vertebrate endocrinology and later moving over to the comparative physiology of invertebrate muscle. In the early 1920s Hogben played an active role in the development of experimental zoology in Britain. As such he was a fearless critic of evolutionary and metaphysical speculations. But in this period Hogben’s career prospects were seriously hampered by his confrontational nature and serious depression. As a result he was forced to leave Britain in 1925. He first accepted a position in Canada and in the period 1927–1930 he was a professor of zoology in South Africa. This paper will also add crucial new material to James Tabery’s recent discussion of the history behind Hogben’s ideas about the interaction of heredity and environment in individual development. In addition a previously unknown Lamarckian controversy will be discussed. (shrink)
In “Les deux pas de Lancelot,” the late Eugène Vinaver argued for the restoration of two lines that are lacking in the text of the Chevalier de la Charrete as transcribed by Guiot, the well-known copyist of one of the best surviving manuscripts of Chrétien de Troyes's collected works. Following is the “complete” passage with brackets around the two lines missing in Guiot.
In an article recently published in this journal Prof. David F. Hult argues that a distich absent from Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS fonds français 794 , is superfluous to a proper understanding of Chrétien de Troyes's Le Chevalier de la Charrette . Quite possibly, Hult argues, it represents a scribal accretion that can make no irrefutable claim to be indispensable to a modern scholarly edition of this text. The distich in question was printed by Wendelin Foerster in his edition of (...) the Charrette . Here is Foerster's text. (shrink)