Advertisement

The Historiography of Biotechnology

  • Nathan Crowe
Living reference work entry
Part of the Historiography of Science book series (HISTSC, volume 1)

Abstract

Compared to the vast literature on the history of biology as a whole, scholarship on what we might term the “history of biotechnology” has only recently arrived in the past 30 years as historians have become interested in the field. Although scholars have studied the history of biotechnology for only a short length of time when contrasted with subjects such as Charles Darwin or genetics, histories of biotechnology have changed and diversified both in approaches and topics since biotechnology became a choice of focused study for historians in the early 1980s. Since that time, it has become a robust field of scholarly activity and promises to be an important part of the history of science, technology, and medicine in the future. In this essay, I provide a structure for understanding the progression of these histories from the the beginnings of the scholarly engagement in the early 1980s through the present.

References

  1. Berry D (2014) The plant breeding industry after pure line theory: lessons from the National Institute of Agricultural Botany. Stud Hist Phil Biol Biomed Sci 46:25–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boudry M, Pigliucci M (2013) The mismeasure of machine: synthetic biology and the trouble with engineering metaphors. Stud Hist Phil Biol Biomed Sci 44(4, Part B):660–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bowring F (2003) Science, seeds, and cyborgs: biotechnology and the appropriation of life. Verso, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Briggs L (2002) Reproducing empire: race, sex, science, and U.S. imperialism in Puerto Rico. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  5. Brodwin P (ed) (2000) Biotechnology and culture: bodies, anxieties, ethics. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  6. Bud R (1991) Biotechnology in the twentieth century. Soc Stud Sci 21(3):415–457CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bud R (1992) The zymotechnic roots of biotechnology. Br J Hist Sci 25:127–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bud R (1993) The uses of life: a history of biotechnology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  9. Bud R (1998) Molecular biology and the long-term history of biotechnology. In: Private science: biotechnology and the rise of the molecular sciences. University of Pennsylvania Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  10. Calvert J (2012) Ownership and sharing in synthetic biology: a ‘diverse ecology’ of the open and the proprietary? BioSocieties 7(2):169–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cambrosio A, Keating P (1998) Monoclonal antibodies: from local to extended networks. In: Private science: biotechnology and the rise of the molecular sciences. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, pp 165–181Google Scholar
  12. Campos L (2012) The Biobrick(TM) road. BioSocieties 7(2):115–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. de Chadarevian S (2011) The making of an entrepreneurial science: biotechnology in Britain, 1975–1995. Isis 102(4):601–633CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. de Chadarevian S, Kamminga H (eds) (1998) Molecularizing biology and medicine: new practices and alliances, 1910s–1970s. Harwood Academic Publishers, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  15. Church G, Regis E (2012) Regenesis: how synthetic biology will reinvent nature and ourselves. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Clarke AE (1998) Disciplining reproduction: modernity, American life sciences, and the problems of sex. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  17. Collins FS (2010) The language of life: DNA and the revolution in personalized medicine. Harper, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Cook-Deegan RM (1995) The gene wars: science, politics, and the human genome. W.W. Norton & Co., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Cooper M (2008) Life as surplus: biotechnology and capitalism in the neoliberal era. University of Washington Press, SeattleGoogle Scholar
  20. Creager ANH (1998) Biotechnology and blood: Edwin Cohn’s plasma fractionation project, 1940–1953. In: Thackray A (ed) Private science: biotechnology and the rise of the molecular sciences. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, pp 39–62Google Scholar
  21. Creager ANH (2001) The life of a virus: tobacco mosaic virus as an experimental model, 1930–1965. University Of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  22. Creager ANH, Lunbeck E, Schiebinger LL (2001) Feminism in twentieth-century science, technology, and medicine. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  23. Druker S (2015) Altered genes, twisted truth: how the venture to genetically engineer our food has subverted science, corrupted government, and systematically deceived the public. Clear River Press, Salt Lake CityGoogle Scholar
  24. Evans JH (2002) Playing God?: human genetic engineering and the rationalization of public bioethical debate. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  25. Fletcher J (1974) The ethics of genetic control: ending reproductive roulette. Anchor Press, Garden CityGoogle Scholar
  26. Fortun M (1998) The human genome project and the acceleration of biotechnology. In: Thackray A (ed) Private science: biotechnology and the rise of the molecular sciences. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, pp 182–201Google Scholar
  27. Fortun M (2008) Promising Genomics: Iceland and deCODE in a World of Speculation. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  28. Franklin S (2007) Dolly mixtures: the remaking of genealogy. Duke University Press, DurhamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fujimura JH (1996) Crafting science: a sociohistory of the quest for the genetics of cancer. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MACrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. García-Sancho M (2012) Biology, computing, and the history of molecular sequencing: from proteins to DNA, 1945–2000. Palgrave Macmillan, BasingstokeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Garcia-Sancho M (2015) Animal breeding in the age of biotechnology. Hist Philos Life Sci 37(3):282–304CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Gaudillière J-P (2001) The pharmaceutical industry in the biotech century: toward a history of science, technology and business? Stud Hist Phil Biol Biomed Sci 32(1):191–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gaudillière J-P (2005a) Better prepared than synthesized: Adolf Butenandt, Schering Ag and the transformation of sex steroids into drugs (1930–1946). Stud Hist Phil Biol Biomed Sci 36(4):612–644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gaudillière J-P (2005b) Introduction: drug trajectories. Stud Hist Phil Biol Biomed Sci 36(4):603–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gaudillière J-P (2007) The farm and the clinic: an inquiry into the making of our biotechnological modernity. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci., Between the farm and the clinic: agriculture and reproductive technology in the twentieth century 38(2):521–529CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Gaudillière J-P (2008a) How pharmaceuticals became patentable: the production and appropriation of drugs in the twentieth century. Hist Technol 24(2):99–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gaudillière J-P (2008b) Professional or industrial order? Patents, biological drugs, and pharmaceutical capitalism in early twentieth century Germany. Hist Technol 24(2):107–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gaudillière J-P (2009a) Living properties: making knowledge and controlling ownership in the history of biology. Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  39. Gaudillière J-P (2009b) New wine in old bottles? The biotechnology problem in the history of molecular biology. Stud Hist Phil Biol Biomed Sci 40(1):20–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gaudillière J-P, Rheinberger H-J (2004) From molecular genetics to genomics: the mapping cultures of twentieth-century genetics. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Haraway DJ (1997) ModestWitness@SecondMillennium.FemaleManMeetsOncoMouse: feminism and technoscience. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  42. Helmreich S (2008) Species of biocapital. Sci Cult 17(4):463–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hilgartner S (1998) Data access policy in genome research. In: Private science: biotechnology and the rise of the molecular sciences. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, pp 202–218Google Scholar
  44. Hilgartner S, Miller C, Hagendijk R (2015) Science and democracy: making knowledge and making power in the biosciences and beyond. Routledge, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Howard T, Rifkin J (1977) Who should play God?: the artificial creation of life and what it means for the future of the human race. Delacorte Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  46. Hughes SS (2011) Genentech: the beginnings of biotech. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Huxley A (1932) Brave new world. Chatto & Windus, LondonGoogle Scholar
  48. Jasanoff S (2005) Designs on nature: science and democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Jasanoff S (2006) Biotechnology and empire: the global power of seeds and science. Osiris 21(1):273–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kay L (1998) Problematizing basic research in molecular biology. In: Private science: biotechnology and the rise of the molecular sciences. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, pp 20–38Google Scholar
  51. Keating P, Cambrosio A (2003) Biomedical platforms: realigning the normal and the pathological in late-twentieth-century medicine. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  52. Kenney M (1986) Biotechnology: the university-industrial complex. Yale University Press, New HavenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kevles DJ (1994) Ananda Chakrabarty wins a patent: biotechnology, law, and society, 1972–1980. Hist Stud Phys Biol Sci 25(1):111–135CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Kevles DJ (2002) Of mice & money: the story of the world’s first animal patent. Daedalus 131(2):78–88Google Scholar
  55. Kevles DJ (2007) Patents, protections, and privileges: the establishment of intellectual property in animals and plants. Isis 98(2):323–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Kirk RGW (2012) ‘Standardization through Mechanization’: germ-free life and the engineering of the ideal laboratory animal. Technol Cult 53(1):61–93CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  57. Kloppenburg JR (1988) First the seed: the political economy of plant biotechnology, 1492–2000. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  58. Knoepfler P (2015) GMO sapiens: the life-changing science of designer babies. World Scientific Publishing Co., New JerseyCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Kohler RE (1994) Lords of the fly: drosophila genetics and the experimental life. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  60. Kolata GB (1998) Clone: the road to Dolly, and the path ahead. W. Morrow & Co., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. Kowal E (2013) Orphan DNA: indigenous samples, ethical biovalue and postcolonial science. Soc Stud Sci 43(4):577–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Kowal E, Radin J, Reardon J (2013) Indigenous body parts, mutating temporalities, and the half-lives of postcolonial technoscience. Soc Stud Sci 43(4):465–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Krimsky S (1982) Genetic alchemy: the social history of the recombinant DNA controversy. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  64. Krimsky S (1991) Biotechnics and society: the rise of industrial genetics. Praeger, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  65. Landecker H (2007) Culturing life: how cells became technologies. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MACrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Leonelli S, Ankeny R (2011) What’s so special about model organisms? Stud Hist Phil Sci 42(2):313–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Lesser W (ed) (1989) Animal patents: the legal, economic, and social issues. Stockton Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  68. Loeppky R (2005) Encoding capital: the political economy of the human genome project. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  69. Mackenzie A (2013) Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci., Philosophical Perspectives on Synthetic Biology 44(2):190–198CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Mamo L, Fishman J (2001) Potency in all the right places: viagra as a technology of the gendered body. Body Soc 7(4):13–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Michel J-B, Shen YK, Aiden AP, Veres A, Gray MK, Pickett JP, Hoiberg D et al (2011) Quantitative analysis of culture using millions of digitized books. Science (New York, NY) 331(6014):176–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Munns DPD (2015) The phytotronist and the phenotype: plant physiology, big science, and a cold war biology of the whole plant. Stud Hist Phil Biol Biomed Sci 50. (April:29–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Neushul P (1993) Science, government and the mass production of penicillin. J Hist Med Allied Sci 48(4):371–395CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Onaga LA (2014) Ray Wu as fifth business: deconstructing collective memory in the history of DNA sequencing. Stud Hist Philos Sci Part C: Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci 46(June):1–14Google Scholar
  75. Parry B (2004) Trading the genome: investigating the commodification of bio-information. Columbia University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Pauly PJ (1987) Controlling life: Jacques Loeb & the engineering ideal in biology. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  77. Rabinow P (1996) Making PCR: a story of biotechnology. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  78. Rader KA (2004) Making mice: standardizing animals for American biomedical research, 1900–1955. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  79. Radin J (2013) Latent life: concepts and practices of human tissue preservation in the international biological program. Soc Stud Sci 43(4):484–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Rajan KS (2003) Genomic capital: public cultures and market logics of corporate biotechnology. Sci Cult 12(1):87–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Rajan KS (2006) Biocapital: the constitution of postgenomic life. Duke University Press, DurhamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Rajan KS (2012) Lively capital: biotechnologies, ethics, and governance in global markets. Duke University Press, DurhamGoogle Scholar
  83. Ramsey P (1970) Fabricated man: the ethics of genetic control. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  84. Rapp R (2000) Testing women, testing the fetus: the social impact of amniocentesis in America. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  85. Rasmussen N (1999a) Picture control: the electron microscope and the transformation of biology in America, 1940–1960. Stanford University Press, Palo AltoGoogle Scholar
  86. Rasmussen N (1999b) The forgotten promise of thiamin: Merck, Caltech biologists, and plant hormones in a 1930s biotechnology project. J Hist Biol 32(2):245–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Rasmussen N (2001) Biotechnology before the ‘Biotech Revolution’: life scientists, chemists and product development in 1930s-1940s America. In: Reinhardt C (ed) Chemical sciences in the 20th century. Wiley-VCH Verlag, Weinheim, pp 201–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Rasmussen N (2002) Steroids in arms: science, government, industry, and the hormones of the adrenal cortex in the United States, 1930–1950. Med Hist 46(3):299–324PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  89. Rasmussen N (2014) Gene jockeys: life science and the rise of biotech enterprise. Johns Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  90. Rifkin J (1984) Algeny: a new word – a new world. Reprint. Penguin Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  91. Rosenfeld A (1969) The second genesis: the coming control of life. Prentice-Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  92. Saha M (2013) Food for soil, food for people: research on food crops, fertilizers, and the making of ‘modern’ Indian agriculture. Technol Cult 54(2):289–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Shelly M (1818) Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, LondonGoogle Scholar
  94. Shiva V (1991) The violence of the green revolution: third world agriculture, ecology, and politics. Zed Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  95. Shiva V (1997) Biopiracy: the plunder of nature and knowledge. South End Press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  96. Shiva V (2001) Stolen harvest: the hijacking of the global food supply. Zed Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  97. Slinn J (2008) Patents and the UK pharmaceutical industry between 1945 and the 1970s. Hist Technol 24(2):191–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Stevens H (2013) Life out of sequence: a data-driven history of bioinformatics. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Strasser BJ (2011) The experimenter’s museum: GenBank, natural history, and the moral economies of biomedicine. Isis 102(1):60–96CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  100. Taylor GR (1968) The biological time bomb. World Pub. Co., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  101. Thacker E (2005) The global genome. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  102. Thackray A (1998) Private science: biotechnology and the rise of the molecular sciences. University of Pennsylvania Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  103. Venter JC (2014) Life at the speed of light: from the double Helix to the Dawn of digital life. Penguin Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  104. Vettel EJ (2008) Biotech: the countercultural origins of an industry. University of Pennsylvania Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  105. Waldby C, Mitchell R (2006) Tissue economies: blood, organs, and cell lines in late capitalism. Duke University Press, DurhamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Weiner C (1986) Professors and patents: a continuing controversy. Technol Rev 89(Feb/Mar):33–43Google Scholar
  107. Weiner C (1987) Patenting and academic research: historical case studies. Sci Technol Hum Values 12(1):50–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. Wells HG (1896) The island of Dr. Moreau. Heinemann, Stone & Kimball, LondonGoogle Scholar
  109. Wohlsen M (2011) Biopunk: solving biotech’s biggest problems in kitchens and garages. Reprint. Current, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  110. Wolstenholme G (ed) (1963) Man and his future. Ciba Foundation, ChurchillGoogle Scholar
  111. Wright, Susan. 1986a. Recombinant DNA technology and its social transformation, 1972–1982. Osiris, 2 303–360Google Scholar
  112. Wright S (1986b) Molecular biology or molecular politics? The production of scientific consensus on the hazards of recombinant DNA technology. Soc Stud Sci 16(4):593–620CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  113. Wright S (1994) Molecular politics: developing American and British regulatory policy for genetic engineering, 1972–1982. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  114. Yi D (2007) The coming of reversibility: the discovery of DNA repair between the atomic age and the information age. Hist Stud Phys Biol Sci 37(supplement):35–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Yi D (2008) Cancer, viruses, and mass migration: Paul Berg’s venture into eukaryotic biology and the advent of recombinant DNA research and technology, 1967–1980. J Hist Biol 41(4):589–636CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  116. Yi D (2009) The scientific commons in the marketplace: the industrialization of biomedical materials at the New England enzyme center, 1963–1980. Hist Technol 25(1):69–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Yi D (2011) Who owns what? Private ownership and the public interest in recombinant DNA technology in the 1970s. Isis; Int Rev Devoted Hist Sci Cult Influences 102(3):446–474Google Scholar
  118. Yi D (2015) The recombinant university: genetic engineering and the emergence of Stanford biotechnology. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History DepartmentUniversity of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations