ERIC Number: EJ1049775
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 99
Women as Mendelians and Geneticists
Richmond, Marsha L.
Science & Education, v24 n1-2 p125-150 Jan 2015
After the rediscovery of Mendel's laws of heredity in 1900, the biologists who began studying heredity, variation, and evolution using the new Mendelian methodology--performing controlled hybrid crosses and statistically analyzing progeny to note the factorial basis of characters--made great progress. By 1910, the validity of Mendelism was widely recognized and the field William Bateson christened "genetics" was complemented by the chromosome theory of heredity of T. H. Morgan and his group in the United States. Historians, however, have largely overlooked an important factor in the early establishment of Mendelism and genetics: the large number of women who contributed to the various research groups. This article examines the social, economic, and disciplinary context behind this new wave of women's participation in science and describes the work of women Mendelians and geneticists employed at three leading experimental research institutes, 1900-1940. It argues that the key to more women working in science was the access to higher education and the receptivity of emerging interdisciplinary fields such as genetics to utilize the expertise of women workers, which not only advanced the discipline but also provided new opportunities for women's employment in science.
Descriptors: Females, Heredity, Genetics, Biology, Scientists, Participation, Scientific Research, Access to Education, Higher Education, Womens Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A