Why Study Biology by the Sea?

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Karl S. Matlin, Jane Maienschein, Rachel A. Ankeny
University of Chicago Press, Dec 8, 2020 - Science - 365 pages
For almost a century and a half, biologists have gone to the seashore to study life. The oceans contain rich biodiversity, and organisms at the intersection of sea and shore provide a plentiful sampling for research into a variety of questions at the laboratory bench: How does life develop and how does it function? How are organisms that look different related, and what role does the environment play?

From the Stazione Zoologica in Naples to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, the Amoy Station in China, or the Misaki Station in Japan, students and researchers at seaside research stations have long visited the ocean to investigate life at all stages of development and to convene discussions of biological discoveries. Exploring the history and current reasons for study by the sea, this book examines key people, institutions, research projects, organisms selected for study, and competing theories and interpretations of discoveries, and it considers different ways of understanding research, such as through research repertoires. A celebration of coastal marine research, Why Study Biology by the Sea? reveals why scientists have moved from the beach to the lab bench and back.

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About the author (2020)

Karl S. Matlin is a cell biologist and professor in the Department of Surgery and a member of the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science at the University of Chicago. He is coeditor, most recently, of Visions of Cell Biology: Reflections Inspired by Cowdry’s “General Cytology, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Jane Maienschein is University Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University and fellow and director of the History and Philosophy of Science Project at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. She is coeditor, most recently, of The Ark and Beyond: The Evolution of Zoo and Aquarium Conservation, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Rachel Ankeny is professor of history at the University of Adelaide, Australia, and honorary visiting professor in the College of Social Science and International Studies (Philosophy) at the University of Exeter, UK.

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