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Living with Your Biographical Subject: Special Problems of Distance, Privacy and Trust in the Biography of G. Ledyard Stebbins Jr.

Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis
Journal of the History of Biology
Vol. 32, No. 3 (Winter, 1999), pp. 421-438
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4331544
Page Count: 18
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Living with Your Biographical Subject: Special Problems of Distance, Privacy and Trust in the Biography of G. Ledyard Stebbins Jr.
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Abstract

This paper explores the special problems encountered by the biographer of a living scientific subject. In particular, it explores the complex of problems that emerges from the intense interpersonal dynamic involving issues of distance, privacy and trust. It also explores methodological problems having to do with oral history interviews and other supporting documentation. It draws on the personal experience of the author and the biographical subject of G. Ledyard Stebbins Jr., the botanist, geneticist and evolutionist. It also offers prescriptives and recommendations for future research.

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