Past Conferences

January 8-9 2007
4th Queensland Biohumanities Conference (4QBC)
Evidence Based Medicine
Duchesne College, University of Queensland, St. Lucia.

Proceedings are available at our podcast page.

December 15-17 2006
3rd Queensland Biohumanities Conference (3QBC)
Idealization, mechanism and reduction: New Directions in the Philosophy of Proximal Biology

Emmanuel College, University of Queensland, St. Lucia
. Conference Program (jpg) Proceedings are available at our podcast page.
Since its emergence as a separate field in philosophy of science in the early 1970s, the philosophy of the biology has often been criticized for focusing on evolutionary biology to the exclusion of other areas of bioscience. But in recent years there has been a spate of publications on what has variously been termed 'causal', 'proximal', or 'experimental' biology. This conference explored two emerging themes in the recent literature on proximal biology: 1. How proximal biology creates idealized objects of study such as 'the' human genome or 'the vertebrate limb'; 2. Whether proximal biology discovers 'mechanisms' rather than laws or theories. In the light of these two themes it was investigated to what extent we should expect biological phenomenon to be reduced to the molecular level. 

2nd Queensland Biohumanities Conference (2QBC): The Philosophy of Ecology
June 29-30 2006, University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus.
This work-shop style event brought together some of the most active researchers in this new and important area of philosophical enquiry, along with some leading ecologists. This meeting helped set an agenda for further research. Issues that were addressed included: whether ecology has laws; the role of mathematical and formal methods in ecology; whether there is any sense to the notion of a "balance of nature"; the status and significance of the complexity-stability hypothesis, and the relationship between ecology and conservation biology. Program details here (PDF) Proceedings are available at our podcast page.

April 12th 2006 9.00-1.30

Half Day Workshop: Robert Solomon and the Philosophy of Emotion
Robert Solomon has been instrumental in making the emotions a major topic of research in contemporary philosophy. Through his role in the International Society for Research on the Emotions, of which he was a founding member, he has also played a key role in encouraging interaction between emotion researchers in philosophy and in the sciences. He is the author of more than forty books,and appeared, via his animated alter-ego, in the film 'Waking Life'.
View Workshop Program and Photo
Click here for Podcast information

March 20th 2006, 3.00-4.30 & 5.30-7.30
Rationality: Bounded, Ecological and Social
A discussion with Peter M. Todd, Professor of Informatics, Cognitive Science, and Psychology at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. Prof. Todd is widely known for his pioneering work with Prof. Gerd Gigerenzer on 'simple heuristics'. Amongst other topics, his more recent work has focused on mate choice and 'cognitive niche construction'.

Half day workshop on biological essentialism.
Friday November 4,
Room E303 Forgan-Smith Building
Keynote speaker: Michael Devitt
Biological species do not have essences, but are historical particulars defined by their unique origin in time and space. Such at least has been the consensus in the philosophy of science for the last twenty years, a consensus which is supposed to reflect the rise of 'population thinking' in evolutionary biology, the 'cladistic revolution' in systematics during the 1970s and the dominance of phylogenetic methods of classification in contemporary bioscience. In recent years, however, some philosophers of language have argued that essentialism is, after all, compatible with the predominant biological accounts of species and speciation. At this workshop we will seek to clarify what is, and what has been, meant by 'essentialism' about species in philosophy and biology and whether there is good reason to change the current consensus.
Speakers:Michael Devitt (Keynote speaker) Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York; John Wilkins (Queensland); Paul Griffiths (Queensland). Proceedings are available at our podcast page..

First Queensland Biohumanities Conference (1QBC): The Conceptual Impact of the Genomic Revolution 14-15 October 2005, University of Queensland St Lucia Campus. This conference brought together leading researchers in the philosophy and history of genetics from Australia, USA and UK and leading Queensland bioscientists to discuss the effect of recent advances on the meanings of 'gene', 'genome', and 'genetic'. You can listen to the conference via our podcast page , see a record of the conference in our photo gallery or view the program: Download program - PDF

Conceptual Issues in the Dissemination of Genomic Research
May 13-14 2005. The third in a series of workshops as part of the Representing Genes Project (see Research) was hosted by Egenis, the ERSC Center for Genomics in Society at the University of Exeter. The workshop brought together some of the collaborators on the web-based survey that made up Part I of the Representing Genes Project, researchers from Egenis, researchers from the Biohmanities Project, and people involved in various aspects of science communication in the United Kingdom.
Click here for archived program and session information.


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