How Biologists Conceptualize Genes: An empirical study

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Stotz, Karola; Griffiths, Paul E.; Knight, Rob
preprint description
Philosophers and historians of biology have argued that genes are conceptualized differently in different fields of biology and that these differences influence both the conduct of research and the interpretation of research by audiences outside the field in which the research was conducted. In this paper we report the results of a questionnaire study of how genes are conceptualized by biological scientists at the University of Sydney, Australia. The results provide tentative support for some hypotheses about conceptual differences between different fields of biological research.