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Towards a 'greater degree of integration': the Society for the Study of Speciation, 1939-41

Cain, J; (2000) Towards a 'greater degree of integration': the Society for the Study of Speciation, 1939-41. The British Journal for the History of Science , 33 (1) 85 - 108. 10.1017/S000708749900388X. Green open access

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Abstract

Intellectual and professional reforms in evolutionary studies between 1935 and 1950 included substantial expansion, diversification, and realignment of community infrastructure. Theodosius Dobzhansky, Julian Huxley and Alfred Emerson organized the Society for the Study of Speciation at the 1939 AAAS Columbus meeting as one response (among many coming into place) to concerns about 'isolation' and 'lack of contact' among speciation workers worried about 'dispersed' and 'scattered' resources in this newly robust 'borderline' domain. Simply constructed, the SSS sought neither the radical reorganization of specialities nor the creation of some new discipline. Instead, it was designed to facilitate: to simplify exchange of information and to provide a minimally invasive avenue for connecting disparate researchers. Emerson served as SSS secretary and was its principal agent. After publishing one block of publications, however, the SSS became 'quiescent'. Anxious to promote his own agenda, Ernst Mayr tried to manoeuvre around Emerson in an effort to revitalize the project. After meeting impediments, he moved his efforts elsewhere. The SSS was too short-lived to merit a claim for major impact within the community; however, it reveals important features of community activity during the synthesis period and stands in contrast to later efforts by George Simpson, Dobzhansky, and Mayr.

Type: Article
Title: Towards a 'greater degree of integration': the Society for the Study of Speciation, 1939-41
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S000708749900388X
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S000708749900388X
Language: English
Additional information: © British Society for the History of Science
Keywords: Evolutionary synthesis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/129884
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