Toward a History of Epistemic Things: Synthesizing Proteins in the Test Tube

Rheinberger, Hans-Jorg
ISBN:
9780804727853

In this powerful work of conceptual and analytical originality, the author argues for the primacy of the material arrangements of the laboratory in the dynamics of modern molecular biology. In a post-Kuhnian move away from the hegemony of theory, he develops a new epistemology of experimentation in which research is treated as a process for producing epistemic things. A central concern of the book is the basic question of how novelty is generated in the empirical sciences. In addressing this question, the author brings French poststructuralist thinking—notably Jacques Derridas concepts of "différance" and "historiality"—to bear on the construction of epistemic things. Historiographical perspective shifts from the actors minds to their objects of manipulation. These epistemological and historical issues are illuminated in a detailed case study of a particular laboratory, that of the oncologist and biochemist Paul C. Zamecnik and his colleagues, located in a specific setting—the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital of Harvard University at the Massachusetts General Hospital of Boston. The author traces how, between 1945 and 1965, this group developed an experimental system for synthesizing proteins in the test tube that put Zamecniks research team at the forefront of those who led biochemistry into the era of molecular biology. Synopsis: Arguing for the primacy of the material arrangements of the laboratory in the dynamics of modern molecular biology, the author develops a new epistemology of experimentation in which research is treated as a process for producing epistemic things. Synopsis: In this powerful work of conceptual and analytical originality, the author argues for the primacy of the material arrangements of the laboratory in the dynamics of modern molecular biology. In a post-Kuhnian move away from the hegemony of theory, he develops a new epistemology of experimentation in which research is treated as a process for producing epistemic things. A central concern of the book is the basic question of how novelty is generated in the empirical sciences. In addressing this question, the author brings French poststructuralist thinking-notably Jacques Derridas concepts of ?différance" and ?historiality"-to bear on the construction of epistemic things. Historiographical perspective shifts from the actors minds to their objects of manipulation. These epistemological and historical issues are illuminated in a detailed case study of a particular laboratory, that of the oncologist and biochemist Paul C. Zamecnik and his colleagues, located in a specific setting-the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital of Harvard University at the Massachusetts General Hospital of Boston. The author traces how, between 1945 and 1965, this group developed an experimental system for synthesizing proteins in the test tube that put Zamecniks research team at the forefront of those who led biochemistry into the era of molecular biology. Synopsis: In this powerful and original work the author argues for the primacy of the material arrangements of the laboratory in the dynamics of modern molecular biology.

Tag cloud generated by Coginov API
Concepts extracted by AlchemyAPI AlchemyAPI