Epistemic and community transition in american evolutionary studies: The 'committee on common problems of genetics, paleontology, and systematics' (1942-1949) [Book Review]

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (2):283-313 (2002)
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Abstract

The Committee on Common Problems of Genetics, Paleontology, and Systematics (United States National Research Council) marks part of a critical transition in American evolutionary studies. Launched in 1942 to facilitate cross-training between genetics and paleontology, the Committee was also designed to amplify paleontologist voices in modern studies of evolutionary processes. During coincidental absences of founders George Gaylord Simpson and Theodosius Dobzhansky, an opportunistic Ernst Mayr moved into the project's leadership. Mayr used the opportunity for programmatic reforms he had been pursuing elsewhere for more than a decade. These are evident in the Bulletins he distributed under Committee auspices. In his brief tenure as Committee leader, Mayr gained his first substantial foothold within the coalescing community infrastructure of evolutionary studies. Carrying this momentum forward led Mayr directly into the project to launch the journal Evolution. The sociology of interdisciplinary activity provides useful tools for understanding the Committee's value in the broad sweep of change in evolutionary studies during the synthesis period.

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Citations of this work

Rethinking the Synthesis Period in Evolutionary Studies.Joe Cain - 2009 - Journal of the History of Biology 42 (4):621 - 648.
What was really synthesized during the evolutionary synthesis? A historiographic proposal.Richard G. Delisle - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (1):50-59.
How the Modern Synthesis Came to Ecology.Philippe Huneman - 2019 - Journal of the History of Biology 52 (4):635-686.
What was really synthesized during the evolutionary synthesis? A historiographic proposal.Richard G. Delisle - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (1):50-59.

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