Monday, October 17, 2016

Blog 12

After reading chapters nine through twelve of a feeling for the organism, I have a few thoughts.  I found her social isolation following her failed scientific talks to be interesting.  I do not believe that there has been a scientist we have read about yet that has done something similar.  This retreat to McClintock’s research, helped her gather more information and strengthen her idea about transposition.  But once she had spent too much time in isolation, it must have become even more difficult to portray her ideas.  Talking with other scientists often helps a scientist’s research, although this may have not helped McClintock because she was so far above everyone else’s thinking at the time, it may have helped her to slowly integrate her ideas into the scientific community. 
                Other scientists, like Darwin struggled to have their ideas accepted, but for different reasons perhaps.  Darwin’s ideas were resisted because of the church, and I believe that McClintock’s ideas were resisted because of how the scientific community is set up.  McClintock, in order to get her ideas accepted, had to make her research easy enough for the common conference goer to understand.  A big part of science is the presentation of ideas, and how a scientist explains their work, and it is very important to do so, however, it may be detrimental in some cases.  McClintock could not use simple enough terms to explain her research.  Only a few other scientists could understand what she was doing, but the vast majority who could not, caused the lack of acceptance of her work.  I believe that scientists and research cannot be judged by people who have no understanding of the subject.  People with understanding enough, who can bridge the gap, should do so.  I believe this would help with cases similar to McClintock’s.

                Also, I believe that McClintock showed a lot of dedication to her research in genetics, even going as far as saying she had the “Feeling for the Organism.”  The idea that in order to truly understand, a scientist has to be completely open and understanding of every part of what they are studying is a little too much.  I believe that a scientist can be successful and not be very interested in their work, but just do really good research, but having the “Feeling for the Organism” can only help to increase how well they understand their work.

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