The Man Who Invented the Chromosome: A Life of Cyril Darlington

The Man Who Invented the Chromosome: A Life of Cyril Darlington

by Oren Solomon Harman
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674013336

ISBN-13: 9780674013339

Pub. Date: 06/28/2004

Publisher: Harvard

Born by mistake, or connivance, to struggling parents in a small Lancashire cotton town in 1903, an uninspired Darlington inadvertently escaped the obscurity of farming life and rose instead, against all odds, to become within a few short years the world's greatest expert on chromosomes, and one of the most penetrating biological thinkers of the twentieth century.

Overview

Born by mistake, or connivance, to struggling parents in a small Lancashire cotton town in 1903, an uninspired Darlington inadvertently escaped the obscurity of farming life and rose instead, against all odds, to become within a few short years the world's greatest expert on chromosomes, and one of the most penetrating biological thinkers of the twentieth century. Harman follows Darlington's path from bleak prospects to world fame, showing how, within the most miniscule of worlds, he sought answers to the biggest questions--how species originate, how variation occurs, how Nature, both blind and foreboding, random and insightful, makes her way from deep past to unknown future. But Darlington did not stop there: Chromosomes held within their tiny confines untold, dark truths about man and his culture. This passionate conviction led the once famed Darlington down a path of rebuke, isolation, and finally obscurity.

As The Man Who Invented the Chromosome unfolds Darlington's forgotten tale--the Nazi atrocities, the Cold War, the crackpot Lysenko, the molecular revolution, eugenics, Civil Rights, the welfare state, the changing views of man's place in nature, biological determinism--all were interconnected. Just as Darlington's work provoked him to ask questions about the link between biology and culture, his life raises fundamental questions about the link between science and society.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674013339
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
06/28/2004
Pages:
342
Sales rank:
764,357
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

I. Adventures in Lancashire

1. An Improbable Birth

2. A Rising Tide

3. Auspicious Beginnings

4. In Search of Tulips and Truth

II. Science

5. From Cytology to Evolution

6. Roots of a Scientific Controversy

7. Method, Discipline and Character

Interlude

III. Politics

8. The Lysenko Affair

9. Marxism and the Slaying of a Mentor

10. Science in a Changing World

IV. Man

11. The Conflict of Science and Society

12. On the Determination of Uncertainty

13. The Breakdown of Classical Genetics

14. On the Uncertainty of Determination

15. One Final Hurrah

Conclusion: Paradoxes

Bibliography

Index

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