11. The Genetics Revolution



Begin by reading the following chapter from our textbook.

  • Peter J. Bowler and Iwan Rhys Morus, Making Modern Science: a Historical Survey (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 189-212.

Please read the following pieces on editing Wikipedia

Please read the following pieces on Wikipedia and gender bias

Optional Readings:

Reading Questions:

  • What kinds of narratives do we see in Wikipedia, and what does it mean for our understanding of the history of science and technology?


  • Read the following two Wikipedia entries:
  • Ask yourself the following questions
    • What contributions did these women make to our understanding of genetics?
    • In what ways did contemporary social practices and the construction of knowledge limit recognition of their contributions?
    • In what ways has Wikipedia represented their contributions, and how has it dealt with the history of gender discrimination (be sure to read both the article and the “Talk” tab at the top of the screen)?
    • Why do you think that WikiProject Women’s History and WikiProject Women Scientists has given the articles the ratings that they have received?
    • Who are the contributors to the articles and what kinds of changes/additions have they made (see the “View History” tab at the top of the page.
  • Undergraduates: Write a 250-500 word response that answers the following question: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the articles on Rosalind Franklin and Esther Lederberg as they relate to the gender history of science?
  • Graduates: Write a 500-750 word blog that discusses any facet of gender, the history of science, and Wikipedia.



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