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Journal of the History of Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 437–460 | Cite as

`What Holds The Earth Together': Agnes Chase And American Agrostology

  • Pamela M. Henson
Article

Abstract

Geison's model of a research school is appliedto the case of Agnes Chase (1869–1963),agrostologist at the Bureau of Plant Industry,United States Department of Agriculture, andcurator, U.S. National Herbarium, SmithsonianInstitution. Chase developed a geographicallydispersed research school in systematicagrostology across the Americas in the firsthalf of the twentieth century. Despite hergender-based lack of institutional power, Chaseused her scientific expertise, mentoringskills, and relationships based on women'sgroups to develop a cohesive school of grassspecialists focused on her research program tocollect, observe, describe, identify, andclassify the grasses of the Americas. Geison'smodel is extended to encompass geographicallydispersed schools led by a non-university basedmentor without institutional power.

botany Agnes Chase fieldwork Latin America research schools women in science 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela M. Henson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institutional History DivisionSmithsonian Institution ArchivesWashingtonUSA

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