In this detailed historical and sociological study of the development of scientific ideas, Jonathan Harwood argues that there is no such thing as a unitary scientific method driven by an internal logic. Rather, there are national styles of science that are defined by different values, norms, assumptions, research traditions, and funding patterns. The first book-length treatment of genetics in Germany, Styles of Scientific Thought demonstrates the influence of culture on science by comparing the American with the German scientific traditions. Harwood examines the structure of academic and research institutions, the educational backgrounds of geneticists, and cultural traditions, among many factors, to explain why the American approach was much more narrowly focussed than the German.
This tremendously rich book fills a gap between histories of the physical sciences in the Weimar Republic and other works on the humanities and the arts during the intellectually innovative 1920s, and it will interest European historians, as well as sociologists and philosophers of science. 28ill.15tabs.