Reinventing Biology: Respect for Life and the Creation of Knowledge (Race, Gender, and Science)

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9780253209818: Reinventing Biology: Respect for Life and the Creation of Knowledge (Race, Gender, and Science)

"Much more than a book about animal welfare, it explores how the scientific questions and answers would be different if biology operated from a paradigm of respect for the objects of study. Thirteen contributions are arranged in four distinct sections; individual topics vary extensively but each is first-rate." —Choice

"Ruth Hubbard and Lynda Birke have asked an important question: how would the practices of biology change if organisms were considered subjects with agency? They have gathered an array of excellent scholars and a broad spectrum of perspectives.... this is a fresh and important question." —Londa Schiebinger

Essays explore how the practice of biology could change if scientists treated the organisms they use in their experiments respectfully: what it means to raise animals or plants as experimental resources; what guides decisions about which animals to breed for experimental purposes.

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About the Author:

LYNDA BIRKE a biologist at the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender at the University of Warwick, is the author of Women, Feminism and Biology: The Feminist Challenge and Feminism, Animals and Science: The Naming of the Shrew. RUTH HUBBARD is Professor Emerita of Biology at Harvard University. Her most recent books are The Politics of Women’s Biology, Exploding the Gene Myth (co-authored with Elijah Wald) and Profitable Promises: Essays on Women, Science and Health.

Review:

In many ways an exploration of human-other boundaries, Reinventing Biology explores the paradox of animals being similar enough to humans to serve as models but different enough to justify using and killing them. Much more than a book about animal welfare, it explores how the scientific questions and answers would be different if biology operated from a paradigm of respect for the objects of study. Thirteen contributions are arranged in four distinct sections; individual topics vary extensively but each is first-rate. The consequences of the distancing of objectivity are explored in the first section. The biographical accounts in the second section provide a refreshing contrast to much scientific writing and encourage readers to explore their own relationships to other organisms. The practice of biology is reviewed with authors asking what is really learned from some research, and is the knowledge worth the pain and suffering. The last section explores how boundaries between humans and others are being breached. A welcome addition to the literature critiquing science and an excellent resource for courses on the conceptual framework of science or objectivity in science. All levels.G. E. Stratton, Rhodes College, 1996mar CHOICE.

(G. E. Stratton, Rhodes College, 1996mar CHOICE.)

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Editorial: Indiana University Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0253209811 ISBN 13: 9780253209818
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Editorial: Indiana University Press (1995)
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Lynda Birke (Editor), Ruth Hubbard (Editor)
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