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Microbes, mathematics, and models

O'Malley, Maureen A. and Parke, Emily C. (2018) Microbes, mathematics, and models. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Microbial model systems have a long history of fruitful use in fields that include evolution and ecology. In order to develop further insight into modelling practice, we examine how the competitive exclusion and coexistence of competing species have been modelled mathematically and materially over the course of a long research history. In particular, we investigate how microbial models of these dynamics interact with mathematical or computational models of the same phenomena. Our cases illuminate the ways in which microbial systems and equations work as models, and what happens when they generate inconsistent findings about shared targets. We reveal an iterative strategy of comparative modelling in different media, and suggest reasons why microbial models have a special degree of epistemic tractability in multimodel inquiry.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
O'Malley, Maureen A.
Parke, Emily C.
Additional Information: Preprint: Forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Keywords: Models; experimental systems; microbial model systems; competitive exclusion; coexistence; robustness analysis
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Emily Parke
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2018 22:47
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2018 22:47
Item ID: 14864
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14864

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