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Anthropocene Project

  • Posted on: 3 October 2013
  • By: Erick

Manfred Laubichler has joined the Anthropocene Curriculum Project—an international collaboration that develops an online curriculum and an intensive two week fall school for postgraduate researchers in 2014. It is part of the Anthropocene Project at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HdK) in Berlin. The general aim of the project is to transform interdisciplinary exchange into an operative tool and enter a phase of productive collaboration. This is practically done by composing an exemplary and experimental Anthropocene Curriculum, collectively crafted by a group of 30 tutors from a broad spectrum of disciplines and interests and thus being supported by a diversity of expertise.

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Evolutionary Systems Biology Workshop

  • Posted on: 3 October 2013
  • By: Erick

Manfred Laubichler gave a talk "The Regulatory Genome in Development and Evolution" at the Evolutionary Systems Biology workshop at the Konrad Lorenz Institute in Altenberg, September 5 - 8, 2013.


ESB is an emerging field of evolutionary investigation. It combines systems biology, which is focused on dynamic cellular processes, with evolutionary analyses of populations and organisms. There are several motivations for synthesizing evolutionary and systems-biological perspectives. One is that network properties need to be understood in a variety of organisms, and network models can effectively be generalized through evolutionary analyses. Another is to explain network-level properties such as robustness. A third is to gain a mechanistic understanding of mutational effects, and a fourth is to extend systems-biology – currently focused on intracellular networks – to intercellular networks that have emerged in coevolutionary relationships. (Read more).

Getting Inside the Black Box

  • Posted on: 3 October 2013
  • By: Erick


Manfred Laubichler gave a talk at the Santa Fe Institute workshop "Getting Inside the Black Box: Technological Evolution and Economic Growth" that brought together researchers from a variety of disciplines to make first steps toward constructing a theory of technological change. The title of the workshop is in honor of a phrase used by Nathan Rosenberg, who three decades ago pleaded with the economics profession to open the "black box" of technological change. Following his inspiration, this workshop focused on understanding ecosystems of interacting technologies and the factors that cause them to evolve through time. During the month of August, in a series of small-sized working sessions, researchers congregated at SFI to take stock of the current state of research, identify commonalities and differences in the processes that generate novelty in the technological, biological and social domains, and sketch a research agenda for future work. Participants included economists, biologists, applied mathematicians, physicists, engineers, archaeologists and anthropologists.

Future of Historical Network Research, Hamburg

  • Posted on: 15 September 2013
  • By: Erick


On Sunday, September 15, PhD candidates Julia Damerow and Erick Peirson gave an invited presentation at the Future of Historical Network Research conference in Hamburg, Germany, titled "Don't Panic! A research system for network-based digital history of science." Their presentation was a part of a panel on overlaps between Network Analysis and the Digital Humanities, and focused on the Vogon and Quadriga text-annotation platform (developed by the ASU Digital Innovation Group) as a method for building historical network datasets from large text corpora. Erick described the Genecology Project as an example of how the Vogon/Quadriga platform can be implemented for collaborative research in the history of science. (Read more...)

ASU Welcomes Leuphana Students

  • Posted on: 14 September 2013
  • By: Erick


Center for Biology & Society post-doc Guido Caniglia and MS student Sean Cohmer have their hands full this week!

Busy days in the Center for Biology and Society! The team of the Global Classroom, a partnership between ASU and Leuphana University in Germany, are getting ready for the arrival of 18 students and 4 instructors from Leuphana University.


Our German guests will be in Arizona from September 14 through September 29. After months of working together at a distance, the whole Global Classroom contingent is going to be in the same place working again on the topic: “Sustainable Cities: A contradiction in terms?” In the Center for Biology and Society, we are all looking forward to this event!

(Read more...)

Julia + Erick @ Digital HPS Consortium, Bloomington, IN

  • Posted on: 7 September 2013
  • By: Erick


On Friday, September 6, PhD candidates Julia Damerow and Erick Peirson gave a joint presentation at the annual meeting of the international Digital History & Philosophy of Science Consortium at Indiana University. Their presentation, titled "Don't panic! Vogon 2.0: Products and Progress in the Sonoran Desert," gave a brief synopsis of recent work on the Genecology Project, Vogon, Quadriga, and the structure of the new ASU Digital Innovation Group. Two more ASU presentations, from Jane Maienschein and PhD candidate Erica O'Neil about the Embryo Project and other Digital HPS projects, will take place today (Saturday, September 7).

The meeting was attended by scholars from the UK, US, Germany, and France. The mission of the Digital HPS Consortium is to "develop, support, and promote digital HPS projects, including editing, publishing, and scholarly tools to make this possible. Insofar as possible, and recognizing the challenges and constraints, the Consortium is committed to open source and open access products."

Congratulations to Lijing Jiang: D. Kim Foundation Fellowship and Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Konrad Lorenz Institute

  • Posted on: 28 August 2013
  • By: Erick

Excellent news! We are pleased to announce that PhD candidate Lijing Jiang has been awarded the D. Kim Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for History of Science and Technology in East Asia, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Konrad Lorenz Institute. With the D. Kim Fellowship, Lijing will do research on a project on history of Chinese biology at Princeton University hosted by Professor Benjamin Elman. The project is preliminarily titled “Steering Evolution’s Will: The Making of Experimental Biology in the Twentieth-Century China.” After that, she will visit Austria’s prestigious Konrad Lorenz Institute to work on a book project developed from her recently-defended dissertation “Degeneration in Miniature: History of Cell Degeneration Research in the Twentieth Century.”

Digital HPS Workshop @ ISHPSSB 2013

  • Posted on: 16 July 2013
  • By: Erick

On Wednesday, July 10, participants in the international Digital HPS Consortium held a short workshop on digital and computational HPS at the 2013 biennial meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology. Topics included the role of community repositories in digital projects, using graphs to represent and interrogate historical datasets, and exciting results from a study of the Embryological Information Service.

Participants included:
Jane Maienschein, Center for Biology & Society, ASU
Manfred Laubichler, Center for Biology & Society, ASU
Erick Peirson, Center for Biology & Society, ASU
Michael Dietrich, Dartmouth College
Nathan Crowe, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Kate & Lijing: China at the MBL: 1920-1945

  • Posted on: 16 July 2013
  • By: Erick

On July 12, PhD candidates Kate MacCord and Lijing Jiang gave a presentation on their ongoing research into Chinese scientists who worked at the Marine Biological Laboratory from 1920 to 1945, and the impact of those affiliations on the development of scientific institutions in China. Kate and Lijing are working at the MBL this summer as part of the MBL Community Archives Project. The talk was well attended by MBL scientists and members of the Woods Hole community.

Presentations @ ISHPSSB 2013, Montpellier

  • Posted on: 15 July 2013
  • By: Erick

Students and faculty from the Center for Biology & Society have returned from the 2013 biennial meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB, or Ishkabibble) in Montpellier, France.

ASU students gave the following presentations over the course of the week-long conference...

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