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Species and Specificity: An Interpretation of the History of Immunology (Hardback)
  • Species and Specificity: An Interpretation of the History of Immunology (Hardback)
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Species and Specificity: An Interpretation of the History of Immunology (Hardback)

(author)
£113.00
Hardback 476 Pages / Published: 29/09/1995
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In the first hundred years of its history, the problems of species and specificity were the core problems of research and practice in immunology. The old botanical dispute about the nature of species reappeared in the late nineteenth century in the disputes of the bacteriologists, to be followed by their students, the immunologists, immunochemists and blood group geneticists. In the course of this controversy, Mazumdar argues, five generations of scientific protagonists make themselves aggressively plain. Their science is designed only in part to wrest an answer from nature: it is at least as important to wring an admission of defeat from their opponents. One of those on the losing side of the debate was the German immunochemist Karl Landsteiner, whose unitarian views were excluded from the state health and medical institutions of Europe, where specificity and pluralism, the legacies of Robert Koch and Paul Erlich, were entrenched.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521431729
Number of pages: 476
Weight: 870 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
' ... you will have to read this fascinating book'. Richard A. Lake, The Times Higher Education Supplement
'Mazumdar has produced an immensely well-researched account.' Bernard Dixon, New Scientist
'It is perhaps the human cost of such encounters that makes Mazumdar's account of this particular conflict so enthralling.' British Journal for the History of Science
'Mazumdar's thesis is an important and persuasive one that deserves serious attention from anyone interested in 19th and 20th century biology.' John E. Lesch, Science
'This book is abundantly and well illustrated with many photographs.' Fred S. Rosen, Nature
"The book is abundantly and well illustrated with many photographs...ends with an interesting exegesis on the rhesus (Rh) controversy." Fred S. Rosen, Nature
"Mazumdar analyzes the philosophical controversy associated with immunology during the late 19th and early 20th centuries: whether immunology and by extension most life processes, represented a continuum between species, or whether each species was unique....An excellent, in-depth analysis." Choice
"The book's argument is admirably clear and is never lost in the wealth of detail that flows from the author's obvious immersion in the sources....Mazumdar's thesis is an important and persuasive one that deserves serious attention from anyone interested in 19th- and 20th-century biology....[T]here is no doubt that readers will come away from this book with a livelier sense of the controversies that have helped shape modern biology, and of their connections across the generations." John E. Lesch, Science
"Mazumdar has written a valuable history of specific ideas that gives little weight to contemporary continuities of social and intellectual response: her historiographic assumptions thus uncannily mirror Ehrilich's fixed structuralist specificities." Warwick Anderson, Isis

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