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Publisher: Journals Gateway
Perspectives on Science (2020) 28 (2): 170–200.
Published: 01 April 2020
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AbstractView article PDF
Alongside the renowned male pioneers of medical cytogenetics, many women participated in investigations at the laboratory bench and the bedside, both in Europe and the Americas. These women were committed to this new biological and clinical practice—cytogenetics, the origins of contemporary genetic diagnosis—and contributed to the creation of new biological concepts and settings centered on the study of chromosome imaging. This paper will review the contributions made by a group of woman scientists from a wide geographical distribution, situating their names and research agendas within the history of a field dating back to early plant and insect cytogenetics. Rather than an exhaustive compendium of women geneticists, this essay presents a kind of historical reconstruction that can be achieved by placing women at center stage in their geographies and networks of circulating cytogenetic knowledge and practices thereby relating a history of genetic images though the work carried out by women, retrieving their agency and constructing an inclusive history of an influential contemporary biomedical practice as it gained increasing influence in the laboratory and the clinic.