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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 2016

September 9: No meeting

September 16: Tamborini, M. 2015. Paleontology and Darwin’s theory of evolution: the subversive role of statistics at the end of the 19th Century. Journal of the History of Biology 48:575–612. (pdf)

September 23: Baetu, T. in press. The ‘Big Picture’: The Problem of Extrapolation in Basic Research. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. (pdf)
Robyn Bluhm (Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University) will be visiting.

September 30: Liu, Chang C., and Peter G. Schultz. 2010. Adding New Chemistries to the Genetic Code. Annual Review of Biochemistry 79:413–444. (pdf)

October 7: Barker, J.L., and J.L. Bronstein. 2016." Temporal structure in cooperative interactions: what does the timing of exploitation tell us about its cost?" PLoS Biology 14(2):e1002371.

October 14: Pavlićev, M, Wagner G, 2016. The evolutionary origin of female
orgasm. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 326B:326–337. (pdf)
Günter Wagner
(Yale University) will be visiting

October 21: Shapiro, B.J., J.-B. Leducq, and J. Mallet. 2016. "What Is Speciation?" PLoS Genetics 12 (3):e1005860

October 28: Johnson, A., A.A. Fenton, C. Kentros, and A.D. Redish. 2009. Looking for cognition in the structure within the noise. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13:55-64. (pdf)
David Redish (Neuroscience) will be visiting

November 4: No meeting

November 11: Ebach, M.C., and M.S. Michael. 2016. From correlation to causation: what do we need in the historical sciences? Acta Biotheoretica 64:241-262 (pdf)

November 18: P.E. Smaldino, R. McElreath (2016). The natural selection of bad science. Royal Society Open Science 3:160384.

November 25: No Meeting

December 2: Haslanger, S. 2016. Theorizing with a purpose: the many kinds of sex. In C. Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. New York: Routledge, pp. 129–144. (pdf)

December 9: Sarewitz, D. 2016. Saving Science. The New Atlantis (Spring/Summer 2016): 5-40. (pdf)

Previous BIG discussion topics

For more information: contact Janet McKernan or Alan Love

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