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Science as AutobiographyThe Troubled Life of Niels Jern$
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Thomas Soderqvist

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300094411

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300094411.001.0001

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“I Still Think That My Original Natural Selection Theory Was Better”

“I Still Think That My Original Natural Selection Theory Was Better”

(p.267) 20 “I Still Think That My Original Natural Selection Theory Was Better”
Science as Autobiography

Thomas Söderqvist

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the enormous efforts Niels Jerne had invested in setting up the Basel Institute for Immunology. Some questioned whether Jerne would be able to continue without establishing a more hierarchical organization. John Humphrey thought his friend was running the institute as “a scientific commune,” with the Taborites and the Levellers as models, and imagined, as an inevitable outcome, that “sooner or later a pyramidal structure will evolve.” However, Jerne was to remain in Basel almost ten years and would hold firmly to his vision of the communicative network in which everyone was to participate in the intellectual life. For many years, even the laboratory technicians took part in the research seminars and were generally given significantly greater responsibility for their work assignments than was customary, especially in comparison with their Roche counterparts.

Keywords:   Niels Jerne, Basel Institute for Immunology, John Humphrey, scientific commune, pyramidal structure

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