A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Evelyn Fox Keller
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In what year did Cornell appoint its first woman assistant professor in something other than home economics?

2. There were elements of the bacterial genome that were discovered that seemed to "jump around". These were called transposons, insertion elements, or what?

3. What were the first chromosomes visible as?

4. In the fall of what year did Evelyn Keller drive out to Cold Spring Harbor to speak with Barbara McClintock?

5. What characteristically induces many chromosome breaks?

Short Essay Questions

1. In 1931, why did Barbara start to feel like it was time to leave Cornell?

2. Why was it described in the book that Barbara was born into the role of maverick and pioneer?

3. Why did Barbara adamantly reject female conventions and why was she not trying to just be "more boy than girl"?

4. What was the subject of the paper that Harriet Creighton and Barbara McClintock wrote in 1931?

5. What are some things that were described in Chapter 5 that Barbara did that "irk the authorities" at Missouri?

6. What happened when Barbara signed up for a large overload of classes at Cornell and why did she do it?

7. An excerpt from Frank Hanson's informal notes about Barbara McClintock are found in Chapter 4. How does Hanson describe Barbara's physical appearance?

8. What were Barbara's "personality difficulties" as described by T. H. Morgan?

9. What was the difference of studying genetics in maize versus Drosophilia?

10. When Barbara went to Germany because of her Guggenheim Fellowship, why did she describe it later as a "very, very traumatic" experience?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe Sara McClintock (Barbara's mother). What struggles did Sara McClintock have to face while raising her family? Compare and contrast Sara McClintock and her daughter, Barbara McClintock.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the book we learn and read about times in science when there were surprises because the implied ideas weren't met. What were some of these surprises that Barbara or others met? How did these surprises help Barbara's work? Did some of these surprises hinder Barbara's progression in her work?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 12, Evelyn Keller asks the question, "What enabled McClintock to see further and deeper into the mysteries of genetics than her colleagues?" She then answers with words from Barbara. In your own words describe how Barbara answered this question and then also answer the question from your own point of view after reading the book.

(see the answer keys)

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