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Archive for November, 2012

Monday 10th December – 1-2pm – Seminar Room, Byrne House

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Rachel Ankeny will be leading the session which will be based on a paper which grew out of collaboration with Sabina Leonelli, the historian Ed Ramsden and the sociologist Nicole Nelson. Currently under review, Rachel and Sabina look forward to comments so as to incorporate them into the final version of the paper when they work on it again. This paper can be obtained by emailing Jim Lowe at jwel201 [at] ex.ac.uk. As this is a work in progress, please do not pass it on without Rachel and Sabina’s express permission.

Below is the abstract for this paper:

We examine the criteria used to validate the use of animals as experimental organisms in alcohol addiction research. Through an analysis of the history and current state of experiments on alcoholism, we demonstrate that these criteria have been and continue to be hotly debated; yet these debates do not hinge on the standardization of one type of organism in isolation, as is often the case with genetic model organisms. Rather, model validity is assessed with reference to the environment in which organisms are studied. The experimental organism is viewed as necessarily situated: it cannot be understood in isolation from its environment, since it is constantly responding to environmental stimuli and the material conditions in which it finds itself. Hence the environment is an essential part of modeling behaviors such as addiction, and clear criteria must exist for the environmental conditions under which an experimental set-up can be argued to represent humans.

For further information about this session or BIG in general, please contact me at the above email address and/or Sabina Leonelli at S.Leonelli [at] exeter.ac.uk

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Monday 26th November – 1-2pm – Seminar Room, Byrne House – POSTPONED DUE TO FLOODS

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Ann Kelly will be leading the session, which will be based on the draft of an article exploring the critical possibilities of multi-species ethnography for an analysis of public health she has co-authored with Javier Lezaun, based on fieldwork conducted in Tanzania on a malaria control program.

Here is the abstract for the article:

“Recent work in anthropology points to the recognition of multi-species entanglement as the grounds for a more ethical politics. In this article, we examine efforts to control malaria in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as an example of the laborious practices of disentanglement that characterize public health interventions. To capture the mutual imbrications of mosquitoes and humans in the city we elaborate and extend the concept of domestication, understood here as the process of co-adaptation to a shared built environment. Our goal is, first, to enrich public health conceptualizations of the ‘vectors’ of disease by attending to the urban surfaces and civic textures that create the conditions for transmission. From this perspective, disease control becomes less a matter of species eradication than of urban maintenance and repair.Second, we aim to nuance emerging anthropological theorizations of co-existence, by reflecting on the separations and distances that are often necessary to preserve the domus against the perils of proximity.”

The article can be obtained by emailing Jim Lowe at jwel201 [at] ex.ac.uk – as it is a work in progress please do not disseminate further without Dr. Kelly’s express permission.

For further information about this session or BIG in general, please contact Sabina Leonelli at  S.Leonelli [at] exeter.ac.uk

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Monday 19th November – 1-2pm – Seminar Room, Byrne House

November 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Jo Donaghy will be leading the session which will be based on a draft chapter of her thesis on the history and philosophy of the systems biology of metabolism. This draft can be obtained by emailing Jim Lowe at jwel201 [at] ex.ac.uk. As this is a work in progress, please do not pass it on without Jo’s express permission.

The work provides an examination of the relationship between mathematical models and theories. It is supported by a historical analysis of the development of ‘metabolic control analysis’ in the early 1970’s, an important instance of the introduction of mathematical models and systems perspectives into research on metabolism. Jo looks forward to discussion and feedback on any aspect of presentation and content.

For further information about this session or BIG in general, please contact me at the above email address and/or Sabina Leonelli at S.Leonelli [at] exeter.ac.uk

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