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1997 Seminar: Making Choices, Organisms in the History of Biology

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The seminar participants looked at case studies as well as more general considerations to explore the range of diverse influences that have shaped biologists’ choices of, and about, organisms. With a collecting and dredging trip, laboratory experiences, and discussion of assigned reading packets, the group considered areas such as: 19th century comparative natural historical study of diversity in morphology and embryology, communities in ecology, 20th century emphases on biodiversity, concepts of “model organism,” efficiency of concentrating on accessible and familiar organisms such as fruit flies or C. elegans, or the discarding of the whole organism with study squid axons, or molecular or chemical extractions.
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