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Meunier, Robert; Nickelsen, Kärin (2018): New perspectives in the history of twentieth-century life sciences: historical, historiographical and epistemological themes. In: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Vol. 40, No. 1, 19
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Abstract

The history of twentieth-century life sciences is not exactly a new topic. However, in view of the increasingly rapid development of the life sciences themselves over the past decades, some of the well-established narratives are worth revisiting. Taking stock of where we stand on these issues was the aim of a conference in 2015, entitled "Perspectives for the History of Life Sciences'' (Munich, Oct 30-Nov 1, 2015). The papers in this topical collection are based on work presented and discussed at and around this meeting. Just as the conference, the collection aims at exploring fields in the history of life sciences that appear understudied, sources that have been overlooked, and novel ways of engaging with this material. The papers convened in this collection may not be representative of the field as a whole;but we feel that they do indicate some elements that have received emphasis in recent years, and may become more central in the years to come, such as the history of previously neglected contexts and domains of the life sciences, the question of continuity and change on the level of practices, the history of complexity and diversity in twentieth-century life sciences and the reconsideration of the relationship between history and philosophy of life sciences.