This dissertation examines the work organization of contemporary basic cancer research. Analytic focus is on the concept of bandwagons and on the effects of this phenomenon on the production of knowledge in science.; An increasing number of problems pursued in biological research on cancer are being framed in terms of hypothesized molecular structures and functions involved in the origins of cancer; for example, the recent surge in research on hypothesized cellular proto-oncogenes. This phenomenon is identified as a developing bandwagon in basic cancer research. Scientists and institutions are rapidly committing and recommitting efforts and resources to oncogene research and other molecular genetic approaches to cancer. This dissertation analyzes the actual processes and mechanisms of scientists' commitments as they occur in order to gain insight into scientific approaches exhibiting rapid growth.; I develop several concepts in this dissertation for elucidating the processes by which bandwagons in science are generated and sustained. Doability is the alignment of tasks at three levels of work organization. Articulation is the discretionary work done to align these levels. Articulation work is reduced when transportable packages are implemented. Transportable packages are constructed "black boxes" of technologies and knowledge which scientists have streamlined, standardized, and routinized. Transportable packages serve transmutation efforts. Transmutation strategies are the means by which scientists adjust and transform their work organizations in order to address new problems and jump on bandwagons, when they face insurmountable contingencies or new, attractive opportunities in the conduct of the ongoing work. Hooks are the opportunities which scientists use to transmute their work organizations and the means by which other researchers enroll allies for their theories. Finally, problem paths is an organizational and analytic research tool for social scientists studying the processes by which scientists construct and solve problems in the open systems of basic research.; These analytic concepts are significant for the sociology of science, the sociology of work, and the sociology of knowledge. Scientific bandwagons are the collective commitments of many actors cumulatively entrenched in work organizations. It is these entrenched commitments which constitute entrenched theories and representations of nature. If we are to understand the processes by which theories gain and lose privilege, for example, Kuhn's concept of paradigm shifts, we must understand the processes by which these commitments become embedded in, and sustained by, work organizations.