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Landscapes and LabscapesExploring the Lab-Field Border in Biology$
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Robert E. Kohler

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226450094

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226450117.001.0001

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Border Biology: A Transect

Border Biology: A Transect

Chapter:
(p.293) Chapter 9 Border Biology: A Transect
Source:
Landscapes and Labscapes
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226450117.003.0009

The border practices were crucial to this new cultural geography: not just symptomatic of fundamental change but constitutive of it. Mixed practices defined the new provinces of biology, gave them their identities, and distinguished them from the older provinces that lay on either side of the border zone. Practices altered the experience of fieldwork. Traffic between laboratory and field no longer necessarily involved passage across a cultural frontier, or even physical movement from field to laboratory or vice versa. The tension between laboratory and field values did not simply fade away with the appearance of these border practices. Differences of status, defensiveness, and resentment remained familiar features of border life. Career patterns in the border zone show less of the instability that was so striking in the careers of the first new naturalists. There is less lurching between field and laboratory.

Keywords:   border practices, biology, naturalists, laboratory, cultural geography

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