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  1. LibGuides: online library support and resources for your subject 1 item
  2. Introductory Texts 48 items
    1. Social Studies of the Life Sciences 14 items
      1. Routledge handbook of genomics, health and society - Sahra Gibbon, Barbara Prainsack, Stephen Hilgartner, Janelle Lamoreaux 2018

        Book 

      2. The Pasteurization of France - Bruno Latour 1988

        Book 

      3. The Palgrave handbook of biology and society - Maurizio Meloni, John Cromby, Des Fitzgerald, Stephanie L. Lloyd 2018

        Book 

      4. Nature After the Genome - Sarah Parry, John Dupre 2010

        Book 

    2. Philosophy of the Life Sciences 14 items
      1. Philosophy of Biological Science - David L. Hull 1974

        Book 

      2. Philosophy of Biology - Mohan Matthen, Christopher Stephens 2007

        Book 

      3. Discovery and Explanation in Biology and Medicine - Kenneth F. Schaffner 1993

        Book 

      4. Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology - Kim Sterelny, Paul E. Griffiths 1999

        Book 

      5. Re-Engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings - William C. Wimsatt 2007

        Book 

    3. History of the Life Sciences 12 items
      1. Life Science in the Twentieth Century - Garland Edward Allen 1979

        Book 

      2. Handbook of the Historiography of Biology - Michael Dietrich, Mark Borrello, Oren Harman 2019

        Book  Not currently held in the Library

      3. Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact - Ludwik Fleck, Thaddeus J. Trenn, Robert King Merton 1981

        Book 

      4. The Eighth Day of Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Biology - Horace Freeland Judson 1996

        Book 

      5. From Embryology to Evo-Devo - Manfred Dietrich Laubichler, Jane Maienschein 2007

        Book 

      6. A Cultural History of Heredity - Staffan Müller-Wille, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger 2012

        Book 

      7. A History of Molecular Biology - Michel Morange 1998

        Book 

    4. Important Journals 8 items
  3. Week 2: What is Biology? 30 items
    Around 1800 several scientists came up with the term biology to designate a 'new' science of life in general. Since then, evolutionary theory and progress in physical and chemical studies of life have raised a host of fundamental questions. Are biological phenomena reducible to the laws of physics and chemistry? Or do we need to assume principles peculiar to the life sciences to explain these phenomena? What is the relationship of biology to human life? Can biological principles be harnessed to rationally control evolution, including our own? Or do contingency and agency shape life in ways that are beyond our control?
    1. Core reading 3 items
    2. Background reading 6 items
      1. Symposium: Are There Laws of Biology? 4 items
        Proceedings of the 1996 Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association
    3. Supplementary reading 21 items
      1. Critique of judgement - Immanuel Kant 2005

        Book  Read 'Critique of the Teleological Judgement', par. 62–68

      2. Thinking About Mechanisms [in] Philosophy of Science - Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, Carl F. Craver 2000

        Article 

      3. This is Biology: The Science of the Living World - Ernst Mayr 1997

        Book 

      4. The Structure of Biological Science - Alexander Rosenberg 1985

        Book 

      5. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge - Edward O. Wilson 1999

        Book 

  4. Week 3: Classification and the Species Problem 28 items
    Classifications of biological entities abound across cultures. Philosophical debates on classification are therefore tightly linked to arguments for and against pluralism: is it desirable for scientists to achieve a single classificatory system for phenomena, or is the existing diversity of classifications a reflection of the dappled state of the world? This seminar will introduce a range of philosophical and historical discussions about how biological entities are classified, and whether there is something special about the classification of species. We will first discuss a number of species concepts used throughout the history of the life sciences. Then we will ask whether the plurality of species concepts can be seen as evidence for ontological and epistemological pluralism.
    1. Core reading 3 items
    2. Background reading 4 items
    3. Supplementary reading 21 items
      1. Ethnobotany: Principles and Applications - C. M. Cotton 1996

        Book 

      2. Humans and Other Animals - John Dupré 2002

        Book 

      3. Primitive Classification - Émile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss 2010

        Book 

      4. Scientific Pluralism - Stephen H. Kellert, Helen E. Longino, Kenneth C. Waters 2006

        Book 

  5. Week 4: Natural History and Systematics 23 items
    Natural history relies on description and classification, rather than experimental intervention and explanation. Natural historical approaches provide the inductive basis of biology, and have dominated the life sciences up until the mid-nineteenth century. Despite its importance, it has received very little attention by philosophers, historians and sociologists. This session discusses practices of collecting and describing organisms, how these practices relate to our understanding of biodiversity, and how they have shaped concepts of intellectual property.
    1. Core reading 3 items
    2. Background reading 4 items
      1. The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution and Inheritance - Ernst Mayr 1982

        Book  Read Part I: The Diversity of Life, pp. 147-299.

      2. Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences - Geoffrey C. Bowker, Susan Leigh Star 2000

        Book 

    3. Supplementary reading 16 items
      1. Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science - Scott Atran 1999

        Book 

      2. Novum Organum: With Other Parts of the Great Instauration - Francis Bacon, Peter Urbach, John Gibson 1994

        Book 

      3. Cultures of Natural History - Nicholas Jardine 1996

        Book 

      4. Ways of Knowing: A New History of Science, Technology and Medicine - John V. Pickstone 2000

        Book 

  6. Week 5: Data Sharing and Data-Driven Research 36 items
    This seminar will explore the so-called 'data-driven' research mode, compare this research method with other, more traditional methods in experimental biology and natural history, and consider the relation between this approach and the inductive method. We will then reflect on the changes brought about by the increasing reliance on computer science within contemporary sciences. We will learn about the skills and professional roles of bioinformaticians and discuss the relationships between data-driven research, experimental biology, bioinformatics and systems biology.
    1. Core reading 4 items
    2. Background reading 3 items
      1. The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery - Anthony J. G. Hey, Stewart Tansley, Kristin Tolle 2009

        Book 

    3. Supplementary reading 29 items
      1. Gene Ontology: Tool for the Unification of Biology [in] Nature Genetics - David Botstein, J. Michael Cherry, Michael Ashburner, Catherine A. Ball 2000

        Article 

      2. Beyond the Data Deluge [in] Science - Gordon Bell, Tony Hey, Alex Szalay 2009

        Article 

      3. Focus: Listmania, Introduction [in] Isis - James Delbourgo, Staffan Müller-Wille 2012

        Article 

      4. Conceptions of Good Science in Our Data-Rich World [in] BioScience - Kevin C. Elliott, Kendra S. Cheruvelil, Georgina M. Montgomery, Patricia A. Soranno 2016

        Article 

      5. The Ethics of Biomedical Big Data - Brent Daniel Mittelstadt, Luciano Floridi 2016

        Book 

      6. Philosophies of Funding [in] Cell - Maureen A. O'Malley, Kevin C. Elliott, Chris Haufe, Richard M. Burian 2009

        Article 

  7. Week 6: Nature and Nurture 36 items
    Since the eighteenth century, a distinction is being drawn in the life sciences between factors shaping organic form from within ("nature"), and factors shaping it from without ("nurture"). This ontological distinction was rooted in particular practices – breeding and the study of human variation in particular – and had far-reaching ideological implications. In this seminar we examine two important concepts that try to capture the "nature" of living beings: the concept of the "cell" and the concept of the "gene". Both concepts have acquired a plurality of meaning that is particularly well suited to illustrate the complex relationship between nature and nurture in modern biology.
    1. Core reading 3 items
    2. Background reading 4 items
      1. The gene: from genetics to postgenomics - Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Staffan Müller-Wille 2017

        Book 

    3. Supplementary reading 29 items
      1. The Concept of the Gene in Development and Evolution - Peter J. Beurton, Raphael Falk, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger 2000

        Book 

      2. The Vernacular Concept of Innateness [in] Mind & Language - Paul Griffiths, Edouard Machery, Stefan Linquist 2009

        Article 

      3. The Logic of Life: A History of Heredity - François Jacob 1973

        Book 

      4. Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution: The Lamarckian Dimension - Eva Jablonka, Marion J. Lamb 1995

        Book 

      5. Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature - Steven Rose, Leon J. Kamin, Richard C. Lewontin 1984

        Book 

      6. Origins of Mendelism - Robert Cecil Olby 1966

        Book 

  8. Week 7: Modelling 26 items
    This session will review the history and philosophy of modelling practices. On the basis of several examples of diverse modelling practices, ranging from mathematical models to model organisms, we will consider questions such as: What are models? What is the relation between models, theories, data and the world? What distinguishes a model organism from other organisms? What are model organisms models of or for, and can they serve to generalize experimental results?
    1. Core reading 2 items
    2. Background reading 3 items
    3. Supplementary reading 21 items
      1. Organisms in Experimental Research [in] Handbook of the Historiography of Biology - Rachel A. Ankeny, Sabina Leonelli 2019

        Chapter  Not currently held in the Library

      2. In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across the Life Sciences - Carl F. Craver, Lindley Darden 2013

        Book 

      3. The Life of a Virus: Tobacco Mosaic Virus as an Experimental Model, 1930-1965 - Angela N. H. Creager 2002

        Book 

  9. Week 8: Experimenting 23 items
    The experimental method was a latecomer in the life sciences, despite William Harvey's iconic experiments on blood-circulation in the early seventeenth century. The key problem was the control of phenomena in such complex systems as organisms. The session will look at the integration of model organisms with physico-chemical methods in what biologists call 'experimental systems', and query the peculiar dynamic of experimentation in the life sciences that results from this integration.
    1. Core reading 3 items
    2. Background reading 3 items
      1. Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine - Claude Bernard 1985

        Book 

    3. Supplementary reading 17 items
      1. Designs for Life: Molecular Biology after World War II - Soraya de Chadarevian 2002

        Book 

      2. The Investigative Enterprise: Experimental Physiology in Nineteenth-Century Medicine - William Coleman, Frederic Lawrence Holmes 1988

        Book 

      3. Lords of the Fly: Drosophila Genetics and the Experimental Life - Robert E. Kohler 1994

        Book 

      4. The Path to the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA - Robert Cecil Olby 1994

        Book 

      5. Knowledge-Making Distinctions in Synthetic Biology [in] BioEssays - Maureen A. O'Malley, Alexander Powell, Jonathan F. Davies, Jane Calvert 2008

        Article 

  10. Week 9: Economies of Nature 26 items
    Throughout their long history, the life sciences have been underwritten by metaphors taken from the realm of economic and political life. Concepts of perfection and progression, balance and regulation, inheritance and division of labour, competition and struggle, play a central role in evolutionary and ecological theories. This seminar will focus on natural selection, the niche concept, and cooperation in nature, to explore the role of metaphor in shaping theories of life and our relation to nature.
    1. Core reading 3 items
    2. Background reading 3 items
    3. Supplementary reading 20 items
      1. The Moral Authority of Nature - Lorraine Daston, Fernando Vidal 2004

        Book 

      2. Refiguring Life: Metaphors of Twentieth-Century Biology - Evelyn Fox Keller 1995

        Book 

      3. Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution - F. John Odling-Smee, Kevin N. Laland, Marcus W. Feldman 2003

        Book 

      4. Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution - Susan Oyama, Paul E. Griffiths, Russell D. Gray 2001

        Book 

      5. Nature's Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science - Londa Schiebinger 2004

        Book 

  11. Week 10: Biomedicine and Biopolitics 32 items
    Historically, modern biology has grown out of medicine. Both natural history and physiology were originally taught at medical faculties, and the patterns of normative and functional reasoning still prevalent in the life sciences today betray this heritage. Most importantly, humans themselves became objects of the natural sciences. Conceiving of species and races as populations, combined with the rise of statistical methods, brought new forms of power and control to the fore. This seminar will discuss the conceptual, ethical and political problems associated with these fundamental shifts in our outlook on human nature.
    1. Core reading 3 items
    2. Background reading 5 items
    3. Supplementary reading 24 items
      1. The Normal and the Pathological - Georges Canguilhem 1989

        Book 

      2. Writings on Medicine - Georges Canguilhem, Stefanos Geroulanos, Todd Meyers 2012

        Book 

      3. The Laboratory Revolution in Medicine - Andrew Cunningham, Perry Williams 1992

        Book 

      4. The Philosophy of Medicine: Framing the Field - Hugo Tristram Engelhardt 2000

        Book 

      5. The Practices of Human Genetics - Michael Fortun, Everett Mendelsohn 1999

        Book 

      6. Feminism and Science - Helen E. Longino, Evelyn Fox Keller 1996

        Book 

      7. In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity - Daniel J. Kevles 1995

        Book 

      8. Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age - Barbara A. Koenig, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Sarah S. Richardson 2008

        Book 

      9. Controlling Human Heredity: 1865 to the Present - Diane B. Paul 1995

        Book 

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