Posts Tagged ‘classical genetics’

A brief beta knitted history of genetics – 1800-1940

March 10, 2010

Here’s the knitting we’ve got so far for the pre-Watson and Crick era. It’s still missing a few bits and pieces (pompoms, some post-Darwin thinking, JBS Haldane’s moth) but it’s getting there. It’s quite exciting to see it all together after hours of being hunched over individual pieces.

It’s all going to be mounted up next week onto a big canvas, and we’re planning on adding museum-style labels too so it all makes sense. We will be stitching them on though, of course. Grand presentation and possibly exhibition coming soon…

Classical genetics pattern

February 19, 2010
Classical genetics knitting pattern

Classical genetics knitting pattern

I’ve just finished my pattern for the early classical genetics years. Quite frankly it nearly killed me, not sure I’ve ever had a challenge like condensing and transforming over a hundred years of scientific work into an arts-and-craft plan. I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for Wikipedia too…

Doing it made me realise just how much of us is going to be in the final piece. In the beginning, I thought the size of each bit of knitting was going to end up roughly correspondent to the time over which the science developed, so we’d end up with a whole that was vaguely chronological, and proportionate to time. But I’m not doing this instinctively, and  keep having to check that I’m doing it at all (partly why I’ve added dates to the map).

What’s really been driving the shape of the plan is the importance I assign to each event, career, or development; and I guess what’s mostly imbued these ideas in me is my education and the prominence of the events and figures today. For instance the biggest, brightest and most attention grabbing so far is Darwin’s bit. Pretty obvious why he’s on my mind as significant, he’s bloody everywhere! Second largest is Mendel, drummed into every schoolchild, and third Francis Galton, who infamously laid the foundations of eugenics.  As well as imposing my own development as a knitter on the piece, I’m also refracting the science through my history and experiences.

When I was drawing it I was nearly exclusively bouncing from one Wiki link to another: I’d draw a bit for one scientist or field, and then look for a development or apprentice’s work to represent in the next and connected piece of knitting. I’ve been studying some narrative theory and there seem to be some parallels there too, in the way I was looking at pages and pages of information, but using causal links to navigate it all and tie pieces together.

Anyway, less biro more needle clicking for a bit now…

Mendel rediscovered

February 14, 2010

Knitting the work of Hugo de Vries

Our Mendelian pea is a beauty.

His work was rediscovered in 1900, 35 years after he published his paper, so I’m cracking on with knitting this. Completely by chance, three different scientists came across it independently: Hugo de Vries from Holland, Carl Correns from Germany, and Erich von Tschermak from Austria. We’ve decided to represented this through their national flags, so above I’m working on Hugo de Vries’s discovery.

It’s a bit knotty and wonky next to our lovely pea, but how can you compare with so simple and elegant a theory?

Coming up: William Bateson champions Mendel in England via garter stitch.