New Perspectives on Human Diversity
Thursday September 6th - Friday September 7th 2012
Novotel Manly Pacific
Supported by the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science
This workshop is part of an ARC Discovery Project ‘Postgenomic perspectives on human nature’ being run by Prof. Paul Griffiths and Dr Karola Stotz (2009-12). The project is organised around the three themes of fixity, teleology, and universality. The first phase of the project involved empirical research into the role of these themes in vernacular understanding of human nature. Later phases examined how those vernacular conceptions would need to be revised in order to make them defensible in the light of current biology. This workshop is part of our exploration of the theme of universality. It will look at the limitations of existing conceptions of human diversity and to explore novel approaches. An important background to this discussion is the revival of interest in racial and ethnic categories as pragmatic tools of scientific investigation.
Session topics include: Historical perspectives on the scientific study of human diversity; Group classifications and genomics; Cognitive underpinnings of racial cognition; Phylogenetic approaches to human cultural diversity; Human diversity in health and disease; Human diversity and metagenomics; Human diversity and developmental plasticity.
Attendance is by invitation only: contact Prof. Griffiths.
Dr Tatjana Buklijas, The Liggins Institute, University of Auckland
Prof. John Dupre, Director of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society, University of Exeter
Prof. Lisa Gannett, Dept. of Philosophy, St Mary’s University
Prof. Susan Lindee, Department of History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania
A/Prof. Edouard Machery, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh
Prof. Warwick Anderson, ARC Laureate Fellow, University of Sydney
Prof. Paul E. Griffiths, Univ. Professorial Research fellow, University of Sydney
Mr Adam Hochman, PhD Candidate, University of Sydney
Dr Maureen O’Malley, ARC Future Fellow, University of Sydney
Dr Karola Stotz, ARC Australian Research Fellow, University of Sydney
Click here for a copy of the program.
Thursday September 6th
Historical perspectives on the scientific study of human diversity
10:00-10:45 Susan Lindee, Pennsylvania: ‘Ghosts, mestizos and living ancestors: Scientists and the study of human groups in the twentieth century’
10:45-11:00 Warwick Anderson, Sydney: Commentary
11:15-11:30 Morning Tea
Group classifications and Genomics
11:30-12:10 Lisa Gannett, Saint Mary’s: 'Group Categories in Genetics and Genomics: Cases of Breast Cancer and Biogeographical Ancestry'
12:10-12:50 Emma Kowal, Melbourne (& Joanna Radin, Yale): ‘The World in Pieces: Experimenting with Fragments’
The Concept of Race
2:00-2:30 Adam Hochman, Sydney: 'Race Naturalists and the Imaginary Diversity Deniers'
2:30-3:00 Edouard Machery, Pittsburgh: ‘The Folk Concept of Race’
3:00-3:15 Dominic Murphy, Sydney: Commentary
3:30-4:00 Afternoon Tea
Phylogenetic Approaches to Diversity
4:00-5.00 Panel Discussion with Susan Lindee, Warwick Anderson, Lisa Gannett, Emma Kowall, Adam Hochman, Edouard Machery and Dominic Murphy
Friday September 7th
Phylogenetic Approaches to Diversity
10:00-10:30 Paul Griffiths, Sydney: 'Identity through Diversity: Homology as a principle of classification'
10:30-11:00 John Dupré: ‘Human Trees’
11:00-11:15 Mark Olson, UNAM: Commentary
Human Plasticity and Diversity in Health and Disease
12:45-1:15 Maureen O'Malley: 'Enterotyping humans: Using metagenomics and microbiomics to classify host organisms'
1.15-1.45 Tatjana Buklijas: ‘Beyond the thrifty genotype: developmental and evolutionary perspectives on diversity in disease susceptibility’
1:45-2:15 Karola Stotz: ‘Developmental plasticity and human nature’
2:35-3.00 Afternoon Tea
3:00-4:00 Panel Discussion: Paul Griffiths, John Dupre, Mark Olson, Maureen O’Malley, Tatjana Buklijas and Karola Stotz
End of Workshop