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A critical realist return to natural science: The case of biting midges and their symbiotic bacteria

Pilgrim, Jack (2020) A critical realist return to natural science: The case of biting midges and their symbiotic bacteria. [Preprint]

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Abstract

A case study is provided of the investigation of biting flying insects that are vectors for some infectious diseases in animals and humans. This is offered as an insider account from the author and it traces the challenges and messiness of doing research in practice. The account illuminates a range of matters that can be understood productively, using critical realism as a meta-theoretical resource. These include the challenges for a neophyte researcher joining a pre-exiting ongoing line of scientific inquiry, dealing with existing fallible knowledge, working between open systems in the field and the closed system of the laboratory and the necessity of working in interdisciplinary networks. These are discussed in order to highlight the antecedent condition of possibility for the research reported and its implications for human and animal health.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Pilgrim, Jackjack.pilgrim@liverpool.ac.uk0000-0002-2941-1482
Keywords: vector-borne diseases; autoethnography; symbionts
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Depositing User: Dr. Jack Pilgrim
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2020 03:28
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2020 03:28
Item ID: 17606
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Date: 3 July 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17606

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