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The British and American Genetics Communities, 1900-1930: A Quantitative Comparison

Kevles, Daniel J. and Kolden-Dimotakis, Susan (1981) The British and American Genetics Communities, 1900-1930: A Quantitative Comparison. Social Science Working Paper, 382. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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Although the United States became politically independent of Great Britain in 1776, through much of the nineteenth century its science, like its economy and high culture, remained something akin to a colonial dependency of the original mother country. The development of scientific independence varied with discipline. For evolutionary biology, the stirrings of independence began in the late nineteenth century, and by World War I, American genetics, a child of evolutionary biology, had achieved equal rank with its British counterpart. This paper explores that change, principally via a quantitative assessment of genetics in the United States and Britain. Attention is given to the number of practitioners of the discipline, publication rates, the distribution of publishers in terms of productivity and institutional location, and the type of work done. A major conclusion is that American genetics came to challenge, and in certain ways to surpass, British genetics not only because of superiority in number of geneticists, institutions, and funds for research but because of the pluralist character of the American research system.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:Prepared for Delivery at a Conference on Science and Colonialism, Melbourne, Australia, May 25-29, 1981.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:382
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171005-143753488
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:82127
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:06 Oct 2017 18:18
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:51

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