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Biological Interest Group

Meeting time: Friday mornings throughout the semester at 10:15–11:30 am.
Meeting place: Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science library,
737 Heller Hall.

The biological interest group (BIG) reads and discusses works of mutual interest in the history and philosophy of biology. We select readings for a variety of reasons: to keep up on the most exciting developments in the field, to help participants scrutinize literature relevant to their research projects (faculty or graduate student research), to provide feedback on works in progress being written by BIG participants (graduate students, faculty, and Center visitors), to revisit classic articles in the literature, and sometimes just to have fun discussing a topic related to biology.

Our meetings are informal and some participants need to arrive late or leave early because of scheduling conflicts. All faculty from the University of Minnesota and area colleges and universities and graduate students are welcome to attend whenever they would like (without invitation) and without giving advanced notice. Undergraduates are included by invitation. (If you know of an undergraduate who is well-suited and possibly interested, please contact Alan Love so an invitation can be extended.)

Fall 2015

September 11: Deans, C. and K.A. Maggert. 2015. What do you mean, “epigenetic”? Genetics 199: 887–896. (pdf)

September 18: Sarkar, S. 2015. The genomic challenge to adaptationism. British Journal for Philosophy of Science 66: 505–536. (pdf)

September 25: Ritchie, M.D. et al. 2015. Methods of integrating data to uncover genotype–phenotype interactions. Nature Reviews Genetics 16: 85-97. (pdf)

October 2: Open Science Collaboration. 2015. Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science 349: aac4716 (doi:10.1126/science.aac4716) (pdf);
Parker, T.H. and S. Nakagawa. 2014. Mitigating the epidemic of type I error: ecology and evolution can learn from other disciplines. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 2: 1-3 (doi: 10.3389/fevo.2014.00076) (pdf).

October 9: Laland, K.N. et al. 2015. The extended evolutionary synthesis: its structure, assumptions and predictions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences 282: 20151019 (pdf).

October 16: Winther, R.G., Giordano, R., Edge, M.D. and Nielsen, R. 2015. The mind, the lab, and the field: Three kinds of populations in scientific practice. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. (pdf)

October 23: Birch, J. and S. Okasha. 2015. Kin selection and its critics. Bioscience 65: 22–32 (pdf).

October 30: Eronen, M.I. 2015. Levels of organization: a deflationary account. Biology & Philosophy 30: 39–58. (pdf)

November 6: Hoel, E.P. et al. 2013. Quantifying causal emergence shows that macro can beat micro. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110: 19790–19795. (pdf)

November 13: Orgogozo V. 2015. Replaying the tape of life in the twenty-first century. Interface Focus 5: 20150057. (pdf)

November 20: James Justus (Florida State University) will be visiting.
Colyvan, M. and Ginzburg, L. 2010. Analogical Thinking in Ecology: Looking beyond Disciplinary Boundaries. Quarterly Review of Biology 85:171–182. (pdf)

November 27: No meeting Thanksgiving

December 4: Jenner, R.A. 2014. Macroevolution of animal body plans: Is there science after the tree? Bioscience 64: 653–664. (pdf)

December 11: Waldor, M.K. et al. 2015. Where next for microbiome research? PLoS Biology 13: e1002050
Dubilier et al. 2015. Microbiology: Create a global microbiome effort. Nature 526: 631–634 (pdf)
Alivasatos et al. 2015. A unified initiative to harness Earth's microbiomes. Science 350: 507–508. (pdf)

Previous BIG discussion topics

For more information: contact Janet McKernan or Alan Love

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