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Accounting for discovery: genetic scientists' narratives

Sampson, Catherine and Atkinson, Paul Anthony 2011. Accounting for discovery: genetic scientists' narratives. Narrative Inquiry 21 (1) , pp. 88-108. 10.1075/ni.21.1.05sam

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Abstract

The paper presents an analysis of genetic scientists' accounts of a 1992 scientific breakthrough. Members of the research team were interviewed in the course of a wider study of the history of the discovery and its implications for clinical practice. The isolation of the genetic basis for myotonic dystrophy was an important milestone in the development of contemporary genetic medicine and a significant event in the lives and careers of the scientists involved. Despite the significance of some key publications on scientists' discovery accounts, the paper argues that there has been a neglect of scientists' narratives and accounting practices, despite the increased visibility of narrative analysis in the social sciences, the increasing sophistication of qualitative research methods, and the expansion of qualitative research on scientific work and practice. The paper outlines a number of themes in the scientists' autobiographical work and their methods in recounting the discovery.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Accounts; Biography; Narrative structure; Scientific discovery
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISSN: 1387-6740
Last Modified: 07 May 2019 19:58
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/26740

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