, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 585–590 | Cite as

The other big science: psychiatric genetics and the strategy of going big

  • David PetersonEmail author
Books Forum

Arribas-Ayllon, Michael, Bartlett, Andrew and Lewis, Jamie. (2019) Psychiatric Genetics: From Hereditary Madness to Big Biology. London: Routledge

Porter, Theodore M. (2018) Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

The organizational structure of science is changing: the scientist working in isolation or in a small research group is becoming a rarity, replaced by a scientific bureaucrat operating within large, managed institutions. Typified by areas like quantum and astrophysics which are organized around increasingly expensive and massive instruments, Big Science has altered the practical and professional organization of many fields.

However, two recent books that address the history and current state of a very different field, psychiatric genetics, offer a picture of a different type of Big Science. Rather than hierarchical networks surrounding physical instruments, these books showcase a science defined by horizontal...



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Society and GeneticsUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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