The ‘Domestication’ of Heredity: The Familial Organization of Geneticists at Cambridge University, 1895–1910

Journal of the History of Biology 39 (3):565-605 (2006)
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In the early years of Mendelism, 1900-1910, William Bateson established a productive research group consisting of women and men studying biology at Cambridge. The empirical evidence they provided through investigating the patterns of hereditary in many different species helped confirm the validity of the Mendelian laws of heredity. What has not previously been well recognized is that owing to the lack of sufficient institutional support, the group primarily relied on domestic resources to carry out their work. Members of the group formed a kind of extended family unit, centered on the Batesons' home in Grantchester and the grounds of Newnham College. This case illustrates the continuing role that domestic environments played in supporting scientific research in the early 20th century.



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Marsha Richmond
Wayne State University

References found in this work

The Dimensions of Scientific Controversy: The Biometric—Mendelian Debate.Robert Olby - 1989 - British Journal for the History of Science 22 (3):299-320.
William Bateson, Mendelism and biometry.A. G. Cock - 1973 - Journal of the History of Biology 6 (1):1-36.
William Bateson's Introduction of Mendelism to England: A Reassessment.Robert Olby - 1987 - British Journal for the History of Science 20 (4):399-420.

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