Border Biology: A Transect

in Landscapes and Labscapes

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780226450094
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226450117 | DOI:
Border Biology: A Transect

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The border practices were crucial to this new cultural geography: not just symptomatic of fundamental change but constitutive of it. Mixed practices defined the new provinces of biology, gave them their identities, and distinguished them from the older provinces that lay on either side of the border zone. Practices altered the experience of fieldwork. Traffic between laboratory and field no longer necessarily involved passage across a cultural frontier, or even physical movement from field to laboratory or vice versa. The tension between laboratory and field values did not simply fade away with the appearance of these border practices. Differences of status, defensiveness, and resentment remained familiar features of border life. Career patterns in the border zone show less of the instability that was so striking in the careers of the first new naturalists. There is less lurching between field and laboratory.

Keywords: border practices; biology; naturalists; laboratory; cultural geography

Chapter.  5996 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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