Historiographic reflections on model organisms: or how the mureaucracy may be limiting our understanding of contemporary genetics and genomics

Hist Philos Life Sci. 2010;32(1):91-104.


Scholarship in the history of biology focused on model organisms has burgeoned along with the growth of the use of these organisms in genetic research in the closing decades of the 20th century. This paper draws on criticisms of model organism-based research, particularly the epistemological dangers of focus on a relatively limited number of species whose very development has become canalized through processes of standardization, to articulate the analogous historical pitfalls of these blinders for developing a fuller history of genetics and genomics.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research
  • Genetic Research
  • Genetics / history*
  • Genomics / history*
  • Historiography*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Human Genome Project
  • Humans
  • Knowledge*
  • Models, Animal*
  • Phylogeny