Shaping Science with Rhetoric: The Cases of Dobzhansky, Schrodinger, and Wilson

Shaping Science with Rhetoric: The Cases of Dobzhansky, Schrodinger, and Wilson

by Leah Ceccarelli
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226099067

ISBN-13: 9780226099064

Pub. Date: 07/28/2001

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

How do scientists persuade colleagues from diverse fields to cross the disciplinary divide, risking their careers in new interdisciplinary research programs? Why do some attempts to inspire such research win widespread acclaim and support, while others do not?

In Shaping Science with Rhetoric, Leah Ceccarelli addresses such questions through close readings

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Overview

How do scientists persuade colleagues from diverse fields to cross the disciplinary divide, risking their careers in new interdisciplinary research programs? Why do some attempts to inspire such research win widespread acclaim and support, while others do not?

In Shaping Science with Rhetoric, Leah Ceccarelli addresses such questions through close readings of three scientific monographs in their historical contexts—Theodosius Dobzhansky's Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937), which inspired the "modern synthesis" of evolutionary biology; Erwin Schrödinger's What Is Life? (1944), which catalyzed the field of molecular biology; and Edward O. Wilson's Consilience (1998), a so far not entirely successful attempt to unite the social and biological sciences. She examines the rhetorical strategies used in each book and evaluates which worked best, based on the reviews and scientific papers that followed in their wake.

Ceccarelli's work will be important for anyone interested in how interdisciplinary fields are formed, from historians and rhetoricians of science to scientists themselves.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226099064
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
07/28/2001
Edition description:
1
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1Inspiring Interdisciplinarity1
ITheodosius Dobzhansky's Genetics and the Origin of Species
2The Initiator of the Evolutionary Synthesis: Historians and Scientist Weigh In13
3A Text Rhetorically Designed to Unite Competing Fields31
IIErwin Schrodinger's What Is Life? The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell
4The "Uncle Tom's Cabin" of the Molecular Biology Revolution: Assessing the Place of a Text in History61
5A Text Rhetorically Designed to Negotiate Different Interests and Beliefs82
IIIEdward O. Wilson's Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
6The Controversy over Sociobiology: Scholars Offer Conflicting Explanations113
7A Text Rhetorically Designed to Fuel Interdisciplinary Hostilities128
IVSpeaking to Multiple Audiences
8The Genre157
9Contributions to Four Ongoing Conversations168
Bibliography183
Index199

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