Book

Shaping Science with Rhetoric

Leah Ceccarelli

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780226099064
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226099088 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226099088.001.0001
Shaping Science with Rhetoric

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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? This book 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. The book 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.

Keywords: interdisciplinary research; Theodosius Dobzhansky; Erwin Schrödinger; Edward O. Wilson; What is Life; Consilience; evolutionary biology; molecular biology

Book.  216 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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Table of Contents

Inspiring Interdisciplinarity in Shaping Science with Rhetoric

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The Genre in Shaping Science with Rhetoric

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