Masterminding Nature: The Breeding of Animals, 1750-2010

By Margaret E. Derry

© 2015

In Masterminding Nature, Margaret Derry examines the evolution of modern animal breeding from the invention of improved breeding methodologies in eighteenth-century England to the application of molecular genetics in the 1980s and 1990s. A clear and concise introduction to the science and practice of artificial selection, Derry’s book puts the history of breeding in its scientific, commercial, and social context.

Masterminding Nature explains why animal breeders continued to use eighteenth-century techniques well into the twentieth century, why the chicken industry was the first to use genetics in its breeding programs, and why it was the dairy cattle industry that embraced quantitative genetics and artificial insemination in the 1970s, as well as answering many other questions. Following the story right up to the present, the book concludes with an insightful analysis of today’s complex relationships between biology, industry, and ethics.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

Margaret Derry examines the evolution of modern animal breeding from the invention of improved breeding methodologies in eighteenth-century England to the application of molecular genetics in the 1980s and 1990s.

Masterminding Nature: The Breeding of Animals, 1750-2010

By Margaret E. Derry

© 2015

In Masterminding Nature, Margaret Derry examines the evolution of modern animal breeding from the invention of improved breeding methodologies in eighteenth-century England to the application of molecular genetics in the 1980s and 1990s. A clear and concise introduction to the science and practice of artificial selection, Derry’s book puts the history of breeding in its scientific, commercial, and social context.

Masterminding Nature explains why animal breeders continued to use eighteenth-century techniques well into the twentieth century, why the chicken industry was the first to use genetics in its breeding programs, and why it was the dairy cattle industry that embraced quantitative genetics and artificial insemination in the 1970s, as well as answering many other questions. Following the story right up to the present, the book concludes with an insightful analysis of today’s complex relationships between biology, industry, and ethics.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘This is a richly informative book that draws on Derry’s academic training and long experience as practical breeder.’


    Ann Norton Greene
    Agricultural History vol 90:01:2016

    ‘The book offers a gold mine of information for historians of breeding and of the agricultural sciences more generally, and several of its overreaching themes are potentially of interest to a wider range of historians.’


    Jonathan Harwood
    Isis Journal September 2016

    ‘This is a historian with deep and personal fascination for the world of animal breeding… There is much information in this book. It can be used as a reference for the key movements, ideas and people in the history of animal breeding.’


    Jennifer Adlem
    The British Journal for the History of Science vol 49:01:2016

    ‘Masterminding Nature is an ambitious and a valuable contribution to the literature.’


    Rebecca J.H. Woods
    Endeavour vol 30:10:2016

    ‘Masterminding Nature is an informative account of the various innovations that have marked the livestock industry.’


    Anna Thompson Hajdik
    Business History Review vol 90:01:2016

    Masterminding Nature is an impressive, detailed, and thorough book by an expert who has both academic and hands-on experience in the realm of domesticated animal breeding. It is crisp, clear, and meticulous.”
    Sandra Swart, Department of History, University of Stellenbosch

    “Margaret E. Derry’s book provides an overview that will serve as a starting and reference point for animal breeding studies for years to come. A pleasure to read, the book presents the subject matter in an accessible way: no specialist knowledge is required to understand her narrative.”


    Bert Theunissen, Director, Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Utrecht University
  • Author Information

    Margaret E. Derry is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgments

    Introduction

    1. Artificial Selection Theory and Livestock Breeding, 1750–1900

    2. Early Developments in Genetics

    3. Practical Breeding via Theoretical Population Genetics

    4. New Directions: Artificial Insemination Technology and Quantitative Genetics

    5. Molecular Genetics, Genomics, and Livestock Breeding

    6. Biology, Industry Needs, and Morality in Livestock Breeding

    Conclusions

    Notes

    Glossary

    Bibliography

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