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Ghost Stories for DarwinThe Science of Variation and the Politics of Diversity$
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Banu Subramaniam

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038655

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038655.001.0001

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Through the Prism of Objectivity

Through the Prism of Objectivity

Dispersions of Identity, Culture, Science

(p.159) Chapter Seven Through the Prism of Objectivity
Ghost Stories for Darwin
Banu Subramaniam
University of Illinois Press

This chapter uses the author's memories as a graduate student in science to explore and theorize what these experiences can tell us about the culture of science. It contends that these experiences, while individual, point to how the histories, cultures, and epistemologies of science are operationalized within scientific life reproduced through the generations, sometimes with surprising fidelity. Moreover, personal narratives can reveal the personal, professional, and institutional connections that are underdeveloped in the field. Thus, this chapter explores differences among women of color with the complexities of gender, race, class, and nation as well as how presumptions of objectivity and rationality constrain and curtail originality and innovation in the culture of science, shaping normative expectations and scientific norms. Finally, and most important, this chapter argues that graduate education is a critical juncture in the educational ladder where students are “enculturated” into their professional identity as scientists.

Keywords:   graduate education, personal narratives, personal experiences, science, women of color, memories

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