Shane Glackin at the Biological Interest Group – Monday 23rd May, 2-3pm, Byrne House

May 17, 2016 Leave a comment

Dear all,

You are invited to the next meeting of the Biological Interest Group. It will take place this coming Monday 23rd of May. The meeting will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 2-3pm. Participants can bring food and drinks if they wish.

Next week we are very pleased to receive the visit of Shane Glackin, from Exeter, discussing his paper “Rule-following and the Evolution of Public Language”. Shane kindly sent us a short description of the paper and how we might help:

“I gave a much earlier version of this paper at a Department seminar some time ago; apologies to anybody it seems overly familiar to. I had originally intended to present something else here, but it isn’t anywhere near ready.

To cut a long story short, I’m having trouble with journal referees. It keeps getting split reports, where one referee recommends acceptance, and the other rejection. The grounds for rejection have ranged from the hilariously vituperative (“as stupid as it is offensive”; the combination of anonymity and Chomskyans’ feverish defense of the Dear Leader doesn’t make for terribly pleasant reading) to the more reasonable. The big sticking point at present seems to be the amount of expository work the paper goes through. There’s a lot (occasionally, the same referee who complains will also ask for more…), but my feeling is that that is necessary; the paper brings together at least three different literatures, and few potential readers will be familiar with them all. Even with it all there, not really understanding the dialectical situation has been evident in a few reviewers’ comments. So that’s one thing feedback would be really helpful on; is it all necessary, and if not what might profitably be cut? And the other which arises from this; *is* the background, dialectical situation, etc. easy enough to follow?

The paper is also pretty long, which limits the number of journals available to it. So again, ideas on what might be taken out (and what should not) would be helpful.”

Please contact Thomas Bonnin (tb391 [at] exeter.ac.uk) if you wish to join the group or for any other information.

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Tom Roberts and Giovanna Colombetti at the Biological Interest Group – Monday 9th May, 2-3pm, Byrne House

May 17, 2016 Leave a comment

Dear all,

You are invited to the next meeting of the Biological Interest Group. It will take place this coming Monday 9th of May. The meeting will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 2-3pm. Participants can bring food and drinks if they wish.

Next week we are very pleased to receive the visit of Tom Roberts and Giovanna Colombetti, from Exeter, discussing their paper “Affecting Perceptual Experience”. The authors kindly sent us a short description of the paper and how we might help:

“This short paper is a work in progress in which we discuss the question of whether, and how, an individual’s affective states – including her emotions and moods – can help to determine how she perceptually experiences the world around her. Drawing on an ecological approach to perception, according to which living agents perceive their surroundings in terms of the opportunities for action that it affords them, we argue that there are cases in which a subject’s affective condition can influence perceptual experience in a deep and non-trivial way. There are cases in which a person’s affective condition is strongly associated with a particular profile of embodied characteristics (such as tensed muscles, increased heart-rate, and postural changes). These features alter what she is able to do within her environment, and so transform the opportunities for action she perceives her surroundings as affording.

We would be especially interested to hear what the group thinks about our examples (and to gather more suggestions!), and to receive general advice on how to improve the paper. This version has a few sections taken out, as we haven’t settled on the scope and structure of the final piece, and we’d be very happy to discuss the overall construction of the paper.”

Please contact Thomas Bonnin (tb391 [at] exeter.ac.uk) if you wish to join the group or for any other information.

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CANCELLED – Tim Lewens at the Biological Interest Group

April 21, 2016 Leave a comment

Dear all,

Unfortunately, the next scheduled BIG meeting on April 25th with Tim Lewens has been cancelled, sorry for the late notice.
The next BIG meeting will take place on May 9th with the visit of Giovanna Colombetti and Tom Roberts (Exeter).

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Susan Kelly at the Biological Interest Group – Monday 21st March, 2-3pm, Byrne House

March 16, 2016 Leave a comment

You are invited to the next meeting of the Biological Interest Group. It will take place this coming Monday 21st of March. The meeting will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 2-3pm. Participants can bring lunch and drinks if they wish.

Next week we are very pleased to receive the visit of Susan Kelly, from Egenis, discussing her paper “Recontacting in clinical practice: an investigation of the views of healthcare professionals and clinical genetic scientists in the United Kingdom”. Daniele Carrieri, who works with Susan on her project, kindly sent us instructions and descriptions for the two papers they are circulating:

“Dear BIG group,

During the 21st of March BIG meeting Susan Kelly will give an overview of the ‘MAINSTREAMING GENETICS: Recontacting patients in a dynamic healthcare environment’ project.
To help this presentation, and the discussion we are submitting to the BIG group 2 papers (both attached): Paper 1- the main one for you to read, and Paper 2 – the optional one. Both papers should be quite descriptive and simple to read.

Paper 1
This paper is a DRAFT. It is based on interviews conducted with healthcare professionals (HCPs) we haven’t finished all these interviews yet, but, since we have conducted quite a lot already (26/30), we started drafting this paper.
The target journal is Genetics in Medicine – therefore the audience is mainly HCPs , international readership, but mainly from the US.
We would appreciate any comment on the readability and coherence of the paper. In particular any feedback on parts of the text we could cut (given that the draft is currently around 2000 words above the word limit) and/or suggestions for other journals.
We are also aim to write other articles from this data which will be more sociological and ethical. Please do let us know if you find anything in this current draft that feels like a good candidate for a ‘sociological/ethical expansion’.

Paper 2
This paper is published in Genetics in Medicine and is based on a survey of recontacting practices we conducted across genetics centres in the UK. I think this is a very useful reading as it provides more background to Paper 1 and to the whole project ,and it probably explains what ‘recontacting’ is about better than Paper 1.
For even more background information on the research project, please visit: http://ex.ac.uk/mgcc

I have an interview on Monday 21st (with a HCP!). I should hopefully be able to be back before the BIG reading group starts.
Thank you very much in advance, and I look forward to discussing this work with you!”

Please contact Thomas Bonnin (tb391 [at] exeter.ac.uk) if you wish to join the group or for any other information.

Categories: Uncategorized

Flavia Fabris at the Biological Interest Group – Monday 7th March, 2-3pm, Byrne House

March 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Dear all,

You are invited to the next meeting of the Biological Interest Group. It will take place this coming Monday 7th of March. The meeting will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 2-3pm. Participants can bring lunch and drinks if they wish.

Next week we are very pleased to receive the visit of Flavia Fabris, from Sapienza University of Rome. We will be discussing the attached chapter “Canalization and Development: Towards a Process Account of Cryptic Genetic Variability”. The author kindly provided us with some information about the paper, and how we might help:

“The text is a draft of what hopefully will be a chapter of the book on Process Philosophy of Biology that Dan Nicholson and John Dupré are editing. The aim of the chapter is (i) to offer a process account of Waddington’s cryptic genetic variability and (ii) to discuss its implication in contemporary developmental canalization models.

The chapter draws attention on the ontological difference between two assumptions that in literature are often conflated in the explanation of cryptic genetic variability: (i) a substance view of cryptic variability as “evolution’s hidden substrate”, i.e. a pre-existent pool of hidden random genetic variation, (ii) and a process view of cryptic variability as regulated by epigenetic processes evolved because of their contribution to ‘encrypt’ and ‘decrypt’ specific developmental answers in relation to stimuli and environmental contexts. With the general aim to asses Waddington’s ontology of phenotypes as processes, the chapter discusses how these interpretations (i) (ii) differently contribute to Waddington’s model of buffering and cripticity in contemporary genetics and molecular biology researches.

I’d like to receive feedback on the clarity of my argument and how the paper could be improved, both from an historical and a philosophical point of view. In particular, I’d like to receive feedback on (i) the relation between Waddington’s DST approach and his process view, and (ii) on how my analysis on cryptic genetic variation could be further strengthened in relation with its distinction with a substance view.”

Please contact Thomas Bonnin (tb391 [at] exeter.ac.uk) if you wish to join the group or for any other information.

 

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Lorenzo Beltrame at the Biological Interest Group – Monday 22th February, 2-3pm, Byrne House

February 17, 2016 Leave a comment

UPDATE : For personal issues, Lorenzo unfortunately had to postpone his presentation at today’s Biological Interest Group to next week, Monday 29th February. The meeting will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 2-3pm.

Please note another change in the schedule: on Monday 7th March, Flavia Fabris will be presenting instead of Dan Nicholson.

You are invited to the next meeting of the Biological Interest Group. It will take place this coming Monday 22th of February. The meeting will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 2-3pm. Participants can bring lunch and drinks if they wish.

Next week we are very pleased to receive the visit of Lorenzo Beltrame, from the University of Exeter. We will be discussing the attached chapter “‘Play it again, Sam’. Taking Polanyi seriously in understanding the social embeddedness of cord blood economies”. The author kindly provided us with some information about the paper, and how we might help:

“This paper discuss the social embeddedness involved in umbilical cord blood banking, through an analytical framework developed using the work of Karl Polanyi. This paper is my first attempt to introduce theoretical tenets from the economic sociology in the STS study of bioeconomies, a field mainly built on a Foucauldian legacy. In my research on cord blood banking regulations, I would like to adopt a different approach, based on the economic sociology and political economy inspired by the work of Karl Polanyi. That is, how regulations, by shaping institutional arrangements and their functioning (in my case cord blood banks), format the emerging bioeconomies and thus their related societal implications.

While in a second step I will work on a possible dialogue between the two traditions, in this paper I focused only on Polanyi notion of embeddedness and, given some misunderstanding about Polanyi’s thought – related exactly to the notion of embeddedness – this paper deals directly with his work and then tries to apply it to a discussion on cord blood banking. Since this is a first attempt to develop an institutionalist analytical framework for studying the bioeconomy, I think that I may benefit from your comments, suggestions and criticism. In particular, I would like to discuss:

– if, in general, the developed framework is sufficiently tenable and reliable (in particular, does my account of Polanyi’s thought sound robust enough? Should the tension between the institutionalist approach and the relational view of economic sociology better recomposed? Or the two appear too much contrasting?

– if it is applied to the cord blood case without incongruences (again, do the macro-institutionalist approach of Polanyi fit with the analysis of social embeddedness?)

– finally, if, in general, an institutionalist approach could be useful in the study of bioeconomy – of course I think that it is -, but I would like to discuss this point and whether it is the case of, maybe, exploring better its utility by a close examination of some central topics in the literature on bioeconomy or, on the contrary, reinforcing the discussion on embeddedness.”

Please contact Thomas Bonnin (tb391 [at] exeter.ac.uk) if you wish to join the group or for any other information.

Categories: Uncategorized

Catelijne Coopmans & Brian Rappert at the Biological Interest Group – Monday 8th February, 2-3pm, Byrne House

February 3, 2016 Leave a comment

You are invited to the next meeting of the Biological Interest Group. It will take place this coming Monday 8th of February. The meeting will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 2-3pm. Participants can bring lunch and drinks if they wish.

Next week we are very pleased to receive the visit of Catelijne Coopmans and Brian Rappert, respectively from the National University of Singapore and the University of Exeter. We will be discussing the attached chapter “Accords on the Mind”. The authors kindly provided us with some information about the paper, and how we might help:

“This is a draft of a chapter (incl. a short preamble) for the book we are writing together. The book is on ‘revelation’ as a social performance of knowledge and knowing. It seeks to relate to ‘revelatory gestures’ by attending to their situated enactment and the paradoxes entailed therein. This chapter, on the neuroscientific study of Buddhist meditation, is envisaged as chapter 5. In preceding chapters we focus on the WikiLeaks releases (ch1), art forgery and ways of detecting it (ch2), and data visualization (ch3), and we synthesize the understandings gained from these cases in a sort of framework (ch4). The chapter after this one, ch6, will deal with claims that the Apollo moon landings never happened. Overall, and unlike some other work in STS, we aim to develop an approach that neither fetishizes revelation nor dismisses it as mere rhetoric or misleading epistemology.

We’re very excited about the chance to discuss this piece with the Biological Interest Group, and keen on hearing any comments, suggestions and feedback you might have! More particularly, it would be great to hear what people think of the two central threads in the chapter: do they make sense? Is it clear how they relate and also differ from one another? Do you have ideas for how we could improve the text in that regard? Another aspect on which we’d love to get feedback is the experience of reading. What came up for you, which parts were able to hold your interest and which parts were not? Where did you get stuck/lost? Did you feel there were too many aspects/dimensions introduced, or too few, etc.?”

Please contact Thomas Bonnin (tb391 [at] exeter.ac.uk) if you wish to join the group or for any other information.

Categories: Uncategorized
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