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Project knowledge and its resituation in the design of research projects: Seymour Benzer's behavioral genetics, 1965-1974

Meunier, Robert (2018) Project knowledge and its resituation in the design of research projects: Seymour Benzer's behavioral genetics, 1965-1974. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.

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Abstract

The article introduces a framework for analyzing the knowledge that researchers draw upon when designing a research project by distinguishing four types of “project knowledge”: goal knowledge, which concerns possible outcomes, and three forms of implementation knowledge that concern the realization of the project: 1) methodological knowledge that specifies possible experimental and non-experimental strategies to achieve the chosen goal; 2) representational knowledge that suggests ways to represent data, hypotheses, or outcomes; and 3) organizational knowledge that helps to build or navigate the material and social structures that enable a project. In the design of research projects such knowledge will be transferred from other successful projects and these processes will be analyzed in terms of modes of resituating knowledge. The account is developed by analyzing a case from the history of biology. In a reciprocal manner, it enables a better understanding of the historical episode in question: around 1970, several researchers who had made successful careers in the emerging field of molecular biology, working with bacterial model systems, attempted to create a molecular biology of the physiological processes in multicellular organisms. One of them was Seymour Benzer, who designed a research project addressing the physiological processes underlying behavior in Drosophila.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Meunier, Robertrobert.meunier@uni-kassel.de
Keywords: Project knowledge; Resituating knowledge; Method; Seymour Benzer; Drosophila; Behavior
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Depositing User: Dr. Robert Meunier
Date Deposited: 25 May 2018 19:21
Last Modified: 25 May 2018 19:21
Item ID: 14687
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Publisher: Elsevier
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.04.001
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Date: 16 May 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14687

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