5 de diciembre de 2017

CfP: ESHS-BSHS Symposium on 20th-century Biological Syntheses

Synthesis or Syntheses?: Unity and Disunity in 20th-Century Biology
The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (ca. 1930-1950) is supposed to have forged a neo-Darwinian orthodoxy has provided the foundations of evolutionary theory ever since. However, today there are active debates surrounding the evolutionary synthesis: should we stick with it? Extend it? Scrap it altogether? This means the foundations of ‘The Evolutionary Synthesis’ are, as we speak, being revisited and reflected upon by historians, philosophers and scientists themselves. 
   In this symposium we are interested not just in critically examining those foundations, but also in challenging the narrative that there occurred a (singular) synthesis in evolutionary biology in the early/mid 20th-century. We suspect that there were in fact myriad syntheses being forged, amongst various disciplines and in different national contexts, not to mention the personal syntheses negotiated and achieved in the minds and life-works of individual scientists. By paying attention to these various issues, we hope a picture will emerge of a disunity of various and diverse attempts to achieve unity in biology. 

 Relevant topics would include (but are not limited to):

  • Challenges to standard narratives of 'The Modern Synthesis'
  • Transnational evolutionary syntheses / the 'synthesis' in different national contexts
  • Syntheses between biology and other disciplines (human/social sciences, philosophy, physical sciences, etc.)
  • 'Personal' syntheses, i.e. in the work of particular scientists / departments / institutions

As the deadline for symposium proposals is fast approaching, we ask that anyone interested in partcipating send titles and abstracts to prama@leeds.ac.uk by 12pm (noon) GMT/UTC on Monday 4th December. Please also get in contact if you have any questions/queries about our proposal.