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Why Study Biology by the Sea?$
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Karl S. Matlin, Jane Maienschein, and Rachel A. Ankeny

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226672762

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226673097.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Using Repertoires to Explore Changing Practices in Recent Coral Research

Using Repertoires to Explore Changing Practices in Recent Coral Research

(p.249) Ten Using Repertoires to Explore Changing Practices in Recent Coral Research
Why Study Biology by the Sea?

Rachel A. Ankeny

Sabina Leonelli

University of Chicago Press

In the last three decades of the twentieth century, scientists working in coral reef biology documented unprecedented and extensive changes and degradation of reefs worldwide. This chapter investigates the evolution of coral reef biology research during this critical period, focusing on the emergence and use in the field of an “infection repertoire” which as we document was borrowed from biomedical research. Coral reef biology researchers borrowed and used this repertoire, recognizing and leveraging critical institutional factors such as strategies to align their research with national and global funding priorities, as well as managerial decisions concerning the set-up, infrastructures, and technologies to be prioritized for the production and circulation of data. These institutional and managerial characteristics were as crucial to emerging approaches in the field of coral reef biology as were the conceptual and methodological factors relating to the identification and investigation of the causes of the changes being observed. The fruitfulness of the disease-related explanation of reef damage was not a serendipitous outcome of the application of a theoretical framework, but rather a well-engineered and deliberate choice made by a coalition of marine researchers who actively decided to reproduce a certain way of organizing and conducting research.

Keywords:   coral reef research, repertoires, scientific practice, scientific change

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