The end of genes? Writing with new metaphors…

Evelyn Keller was always brilliant at dissecting the assumptions imported into scientific description in the form of metaphors – whether in scientific o rpopular discourse. This (quite long) essay on how we write about genes when they keep shape shifting under the inspection of new scientific techniques doesn’t mention her book The Century of the […]

A feminist take on molecular biology: Impartial Science – Bonnie Spanier

Feminist science studies was unfailingly interesting in the 1980s and 1990s, though sometimes promised more than it delivered…. Molecular biology is one of the hard cases for a would-be science critic. The approaches, tools and techniques of the molecular biologists, which mainly means the molecular geneticists, are so far in the ascendant in the life […]

Dorothy Nelkin and Susan Lindee – The DNA Mystique

One of the several books that came out in the ’90s on media and cultural images of DNA and genes. Celeste Condit’s offering is complementary. Tomorrow’s Children, a film first seen in the US in 1934, features a courtroom battle over sterilisation. An evil-looking young man with a violent history is spared the operation because […]

Celeste Condit – The Meanings of the Gene

Public understanding of science types (I was one for quite a while) are easily diverted by topics in the news. Genetics was big in the ’80s and ’90s, for example. There were other, good reasons for this as well. Lots of science going on, and some medical and other application. And there were some good […]