Article ID: CBB000501157

Edmund B. Wilson's The Cell and Cell Theory between 1896 and 1925 (2002)


Edmund Beecher Wilson is generally celebrated for his contribution to chromosome theory and genetics, whereas opinion concerning his cytological thinking is often restricted to the idea that he provided evidence for the dominant role of the nucleus. But Wilson's cell theory was much more. It was a child of the German Zellforschung, and its attempt to provide a comprehensive cellular answer to a wide range of biological and physiological questions. Wilson developed a corpuscular, micromeristic and preformistic concept, and treated the cell as an organism subject to ontogenetic and phylogenetic processes. He defended his comprehensive theory even in the 1920's, when cytological research had become specialised and directed at more practical goals. For many of his younger readers this concept might have seemed antiquated, but today many of its features sound surprisingly modern.

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Authors & Contributors
Volpone, Alessandro
Byrnes, W. Malcolm
Fasolo, Aldo
Lovisolo, Davide
Matlin, Karl S.
Churchill, F. B.
Journal of the History of Biology
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Journal of African American Studies
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
University of Chicago Press
Harvard University Press
Cellular biology
Wilson, Edmund Beecher
Paolo Della Valle
Montgomery, Thomas Harrison, Jr.
Virchow, Rudolf Carl
Weismann, August
Smith-White, Spencer
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
United States
University of Sydney

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