In the following pages we discuss three historical cases of moral economies in science: Drosophila genetics, late twentieth century American astronomy, and collaborations between American drug companies and medical scientists in the interwar years. An examination of the most striking differences and similarities between these examples, and the conflicts internal to them, reveals constitutive features of moral economies, and the ways in which they are formed, negotiated, and altered. We critically evaluate these three examples through the filters of rational choice, utility, and American pragmatism, using the latter to support the conclusion that there is no single vision of moral economies in science and no single theory—moral, political, social—that will explain them. These filters may... not be the only means through which to evaluate the moral economies examined, but aspects of each appear prominent in all three cases. In addition, explanations for decisions are often given in the language of these theories, both at the macro (policy) level and at the local level of the moral economies we discuss. In light of such factors, the use of these frameworks seems justified. We begin with an attempt to define the nature of moral economies, then move to a consideration of scientific communities as moral communities operating within material and other constraints which we relate to wider questions of political economy and societal accountabilities.