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BIO111: General Biology (Lameroux)

Reference Librarian

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Laura Hogan
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Attleboro Campus


Welcome to the Research Guide for BIO111.  Please use this guide to find resources for your research assignments.  Please contact myself or any Bristol CC Librarian if you have any questions.

What is Biology?

flower with bee collecting pollenFor much of the nineteenth century, biology did not exist as a separate scientific discipline in the United States. While the word had been coined (as “biologie”) by both the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) and the German Gottfried Treviranus (1776-1837) at the beginning of the century, the discipline in its American context remained annexed to its antecedents—natural philosophy, natural theology, and natural history—until the 1870s. Nevertheless, American interest in what would later be known as biology was evident at the beginning of the century, in popular organizations and avocational pastimes, national expeditions of discovery, and public museums dedicated to the study of the end of the nineteenth century, natural history in the United States was not just transformed into biology; the discipline of biology was given a completely new and different institutional character. It had shifted from the avocational and professional concerns of the naturalist located within museums, to the research-oriented professionalism of biologists located within university laboratories. This new tradition brought the discipline of biology into being, opening the way to the transformative discoveries and theories of the twentieth century.

From Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century from Credo Reference database.