This book argues that greater study of peripheral science — in this case, the Latin American reception of Darwinism in Argentina — illuminates “the ways in which the interactions between scientific analogies and culture shape the scientific enterprise” (p. 1). Adriana Novoa and Alex Levine particularly focus on Nancy Leys Stepan’s notion that certain analogies actually constitute the sciences they seek to articulate, that the very sciences do not exist without them. They argue that “science-constitutive analogies, like Kuhnian paradigms, set the parameters of scientific research programs in ways that both constrain and enable” (p. 7). Darwin’s analogies, such as natural selection correlating to human-directed domestic or artificial selection, transform in peripheral cultural environments along surprising paths, interacting among science, public policy, and popular culture.

Anchored in the half-century beginning in 1870, this work traces Darwinian influences on Argentina from Europe. The first...

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