The Meanings of ‘Life’: Biology and Biography in the Work of J.S. Haldane (1860-1936)

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Abstract

In the course of his somewhat unorthodox career in science, the physiologist John Scott Haldane occasionally turned to biography to portray the aims and values that he associated with such a career. But the same concerns can also be discerned in his scientific writings which drew, in large part, on experiments he conducted on himself. For Haldane, biology, as the science of life, was inseparable from biography, as the depiction of a life in science; and he embodied both these enterprises in his own autobiological investigations. Analysing these connections in Haldane’s work serves to illuminate the contested role of science in the growth of professional society and the emergence of the intellectual aristocracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-191
Number of pages21
JournalTransactions of the Royal Historical Society
Volume21
Early online date14 Apr 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2011

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