From Medical Chemistry to Biochemistry: The Making of a Biomedical Discipline

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Cambridge University Press, May 31, 1982 - Medical - 399 pages
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This penetrating case study of institution building and entrepreneurship in science shows how a minor medical speciality evolved into a large and powerful academic discipline. Drawing extensively on little-used archival sources, the author analyses in detail how biomedical science became a central part of medical training and practice. The book shows how biochemistry was defined as a distinct discipline by the programmatic vision of individual biochemists and of patrons and competitors in related disciplines. It shows how discipline builders used research programmes as strategies that they adapted to the opportunities offered by changing educational markets and national medical reform movements in the United States, Britain and Germany. The author argues that the priorities and styles of various departments and schools of biochemistry reflect systematic social relationships between that discipline and biology, chemistry and medicine. Science is shaped by its service roles in particular local contexts: This is the central theme. The author's view of the political economy of modern science will be of interest to historians and social scientists, scientific and medical practitioners, and anyone interested in the ecology of knowledge in scientific institutions and professions.

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About the author (1982)

Robert E. Kohler is Professor of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient of an award for lifetime achievement in his field, he is the author of four previous books on the experimental and field sciences, including "Lords of the Fly: Drosophila Genetics and the Experimental Life.

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