By Scott Frickel
Frickel (sociology, Tulane U.) examines a scientists' social circulate that turned the research of genetic toxicology. As a bunch of scientists turned acutely aware that man made chemical substances might switch genetic buildings, they grew to become activists, constructing a community of researchers and politicians, constructing investment, and publishing articles and books that got here to outline environmental health and wellbeing technological know-how. Frickel explains how researchers on mutations needed to rigorously differentiate these attributable to man made chemical compounds, constructing new equipment of buying and studying facts. the consequences have been so alarming, and convincing, that the scientists have been capable of enlist the help of others with services right into a distinctive social circulate in keeping with proof instead of mere emotional response; they then started to paintings in the political area to notify those that made environmental coverage. Appendices contain a listing of scientists interviewed during this research and a timeline of occasions from the beginnings of the flow in 1964 via 1976.
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They are terms that are at once synonymous and different, distinct but overlapping. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that it is difﬁcult for participants and observers alike to pin down a moving target. An interdisciplinary ﬁeld-information is one in which multiple competing labels are used to identify it at any given point in time. In some measure, the labels scientists used depended on the audience they were addressing. ” When geneticists spoke to federal science administrators, “environmental mutagenesis” tended to be more commonly used.
I resist this tendency. 29 My analysis suggests that the transformation of mutation research into an environmental health science was more than a professionalization project or intellectual movement. The rise of genetic toxicology cannot be chalked up simply to business as usual. Although there can be little doubt that scientists’ commitments to theories and the defense of professional identities and turf did inﬂuence this process, it is misleading to interpret collective action to create genetic toxicology as a “collective mobility project” motivated solely by disciplinary interests (Larson 1984:28).
Production efﬁciency depended on geneticists’ ability to get positive results, more often than not by using organisms and techniques already at hand and with which laboratory scientists had accumulated considerable experience. Thus local conﬁgurations of skills, knowledge, and resources also shaped deﬁnitions of the scientiﬁc utility and the corresponding value that scientists attributed to chemical mutagens. Disciplinary Values As the term came to be used in genetics research in the 1950s and 1960s, “chemical mutagen” was a label appropriate in theory to any chemical agent that produced alterations in the gene material.
Chemical Consequences by Scott Frickel