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  1.  7
    Inevitable Decay: Debates over Climate, Food Security, and Plant Heredity in Nineteenth-Century Britain.John Lidwell-Durnin - 2019 - Journal of the History of Biology 52 (2):271-292.
    Climate change and the failure of crops are significant but overlooked events in the history of heredity. Bad weather and dangerously low harvests provided momentum and urgency for answers to questions about how best to improve and acclimatize staple varieties. In the 1790s, a series of crop failures in Britain led to the popularization of and widespread debate over Thomas Andrew Knight’s suggestion that poor weather was in fact largely unconnected to the bad harvests. Rather, Knight argued, Britain’s older varieties—particularly (...)
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  2.  13
    The production of a physiological puzzle: how Cytisus adami confused and inspired a century’s botanists, gardeners, and evolutionists.John Lidwell-Durnin - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (3):48.
    ‘Adam’s laburnum’, produced by accident in 1825 by Jean-Louis Adam, a nurseryman in Vitry, became a commercial success within the plant trade for its striking mix of yellow and purple flowers. After it came to the attention of members of La Société d’Horticulture de Paris, the tree gained enormous fame as a potential instance of the much sought-after ‘graft hybrid’, a hypothetical idea that by grafting one plant onto another, a mixture of the two could be produced. As I show (...)
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  3.  3
    Cultivating Famine: Data, Experimentation and Food Security, 1795–1848.John Lidwell-Durnin - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Science:1-23.
    Collecting seeds and specimens was an integral aspect of botany and natural history in the eighteenth century. Historians have until recently paid less attention to the importance of collecting, trading and compiling knowledge of their cultivation, but knowing how to grow and maintain plants free from disease was crucial to agricultural and botanical projects. This is particularly true in the case of food security. At the close of the eighteenth century, European diets began shifting from wheat- to potato-dependence. In Britain (...)
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    William Benjamin Carpenter and the Emerging Science of Heredity.John Lidwell-Durnin - 2020 - Journal of the History of Biology 53 (1):81-103.
    In the nineteenth century, farmers, doctors, and the wider public shared a family of questions and anxieties concerning heredity. Questions over whether injuries, mutilations, and bad habits could be transmitted to offspring had existed for centuries, but found renewed urgency in the popular and practical scientific press from the 1820s onwards. Sometimes referred to as “Lamarckism” or “the inheritance of acquired characteristics,” the potential for transmitting both desirable and disastrous traits to offspring was one of the most pressing scientific questions (...)
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    Janet Browne , The Quotable Darwin. Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2018. Pp. Xxix + 348. ISBN 978-0-691-16935-4. $24.95. [REVIEW]John Lidwell-Durnin - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Science 51 (4):711-713.
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