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Navigating the ‘Epistemological’ and the ‘Ethical-Political’ of Knowledge Co-Production in Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research

Marina Knickel (KLI), 2024-05-16 15:00 (CET). To join our colloquium please register with Zoom


KLI in the world: KLI Fellow Somya Mani will give a talk at the conferece Physics of Cell Fate Decisions, 13-16 May, to be held at ISTA Klosterneuburg

The conference is organized by ISTA, and aims to bring together various disciplines – including physics, information theory, applied mathematics, and data science – to explore a central problem of developmental biology: how cells integrate external signals and make fate decisions. The focus of the conference is on bridging the gap between the biological phenomena of interest and their theoretical, modeling, and rigorous data analysis treatments. Somya’s talk is titled, "A simple mathematical model to tease out links between tissue morphology and healing".


Welcoming Kevin Lala to the KLI

We look forward to having Kevin Lala in our midst again. Kevin is Professor of Behavioural and Evolutionary Biology at the University of St Andrews (Scotland), and also serves as an External Faculty of the KLI. In their latest book, Evolution Evolving: The Developmental Origins of Adaptive Diversity (Princeton University Press, 2024), Kevin and his co-authors makes the scientific case for an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. While the book is aimed at a specialist audience, it is written in a way that makes it accessible to general readers as well.


Welcoming Elis Jones to the KLI

We are very happy to welcome our new Post-Doctoral Fellow Elis Jones here at the KLI. Elis had earlier come to the KLI as a Visitor Fellow in 2022. Since then, he has been awarded a PhD degree in Sociology from Exeter University’s Egenis Centre in October 2023 for his thesis, “Understanding the role of value in coral reef science”. Here at the KLI, Elis’s post-doc project, “Theorising the Blue Economy: Connecting Economic, Ecological and Epistemic Value in Coral Reef Research”, aims to integrate the scientific and ecological significance of reef ecosystems into the emerging concept of 'blue economics’. (Click on title to continue.)


Hari Sridhar awarded a Max Planck-India Mobility Grant for the period 2025-2027

We're very happy to announce that Hari Sridhar has been awarded a Max Planck-India Mobility Grant for the period 2025-2027. The grant will allow Hari to spend a month every year in the 'Knowledge Systems and Collective Life' department of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin, working on shared research interests and developing ideas for collaboration between MPIWG and the Archives at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru. In particular, Hari hopes to work closely with MPIWG's newly launched Laboratory for Oral History and Experimental Media, to participate in efforts to develop new approaches to oral histories of knowledge.


New Paper: The Cliff Edge Model of the Evolution of Schizophrenia

Prose, poetry, creativity…but hang on, did Evolution extort a heavy price for such human ingenuity? Perhaps. Of the many traits that separate modern humans from our close ancestors, Schizophrenia is one; a severe and disabling mental disorder unique to us Homo sapiens, which evolved as we diverged from archaic hominids including the Neanderthals and the Denisovans. Schizophrenia’s high prevalence (1%) also make its an evolutionary paradox. How did it evolve and why, despite it severely reducing evolutionary fitness, has Evolution not weeded it out yet, or at least made it rare? Philipp Mitteroecker and Giuseppe P. Merola review the many theories proposed to explain the evolution of Schizophrenia and test them against modern epidemiological and genetic evidence. They also present the first mathematical formulation of the Cliff Edge model of Schizophrenia, significantly demystifying this evolutionary puzzle. (Click on title to continue...)


An Elephant in the Room? The Place of Science and Scientists in Conservation Decision Making in India

Hari SRIDHAR (KLI), 2024-04-25 15:00 (CET). To join our colloquium please register with Zoom


New paper: Trust and Bitcoins: Can technology replace interpersonal relationships?

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoins, are becoming more and more prevalent in our lexicon today, the broad common understanding being that it is a financial system that is based on technology. However, for most of us, there is still a lot more to know and understand how cryptocurrencies work, and how such a technology can affect social relationships. Enrico Petracca, along with Shaun Gallagher, in their new paper reveal that while technology is an important aspect of cryptocurrencies, the very humane emotion of trust, which is the basis of social and interpersonal relationships, is still at the core of the cryptocurrency enterprise. (click on title to continue…)


KLI in the world: KLI Fellows Corey Bunce and Ludo Schoenmakers will be presenting at the Egenis Conference in Exeter, UK, 17-19 April, 2024

The conference is titled: Understanding Life in a Changing Planet: 20+2 Years of Egenis, the Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences, and to be held at the Egenis Centre, University of Exeter from 17-19 April, 2024. Corey Bunce’s presentation (poster) is titled: Rethinking climate change adaptation by bringing Philosophy into dialogue with Social Sciences and Biology; Ludo Schoenmakers’ presentation (poster) is titled: Evolution at the Origins of Life


KLI in the world: KLI Fellow Ludo Schoenmakers will give a talk at the conference Evolution at the Edges of Life: Origins, Artificial Systems, and the Conceptual Limits of Evolutionary Theory

KLI Fellow Ludo Schoenmakers will give a talk at the conference Evolution at the Edges of Life: Origins, Artificial Systems, and the Conceptual Limits of Evolutionary Theory. This conference will be held at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study (IEA de Paris), from 22-23 April, 2024. Ludo’s talk is titled: Minimal Evolutionary Theory at the Origins of Life.


Interview with Barbara Fischer

Barbara Fischer joined the KLI on the 1st of April as the Group Leader (Evolutionary Biology). She talks to Joyshree Chanam about her earlier time at the KLI as a post-doctoral fellow, and her current role at the institute.


Modelling the Evolution of Schizophrenia

Philipp Mitteroecker (University of Vienna, KLI), 2024-04-18 15:00 (CET). To join our colloquium please register with Zoom


Report: The 5th Meeting of the Vienna Science Studies Laboratory

The 5th Meeting of the Vienna Science Studies Laboratory was held yesterday afternoon in the cool ambience of Das Café in Vienna. The paper that was selected for this reading group’s discussion was Anderson, W., 2004. Natural histories of infectious disease: Ecological vision in twentieth-century biomedical science. Osiris, 19, pp.39-61.


Welcoming Somya Mani to the KLI

We warmly welcome our new Postdoctoral Fellow Somya Mani to the KLI! Somya Mani is a theoretical biologist, and has studied evolutionary transitions in genetic, cellular and multicellular systems. She received her PhD from the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India, where she studied the evolution of the eukaryotic cell through mathematical modeling. During her postdoctoral research at the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea, she began to build her research on developmental evolution, and also produced the first modeling framework for the study of de novo gene birth. In general, her work involves building mathematical models to capture evolution of biological systems using tools from physics and mathematics, particularly statistics and graph theory. (Click on title to continue...)


Guido Caniglia and Coleen Vogel win the GAIA Best Paper Award 2023

Guido Caniglia and Coleen Vogel win the GAIA Best Paper Award 2023 for their article “On being oriented. Strengthening transgressive orientations in transdisciplinary sustainability research through queer theory”. Abstract: “We move from a provocative analogy: that transdisciplinary sustainability researchers are to academia what queer people are to a heteronormative and sex/gender binary world. Both may experience disorientation and need to learn how to transgress established norms. Queer people and scholars have extensively dealt with (dis)orientation and celebrated transgression. We suggest that queer theory can help transdisciplinary sustainability researchers to raise questions that intensify the transgressive orientations of their work when contributing to just and equitable sustainability transformations.” (Click on title to continue...)


Welcoming Barbara Fischer to the KLI

We are delighted to have KLI alumna Barbara Fischer join the KLI again, this time as Group Leader, Evolutionary Biology! Barbara is an evolutionary biologist and data scientist with a background in mathematics and theoretical biology. She studies phenotypic evolution using theoretical and empirical approaches. Her work centers on the classical problem of adaptation vs. constraint in evolution: Why are some traits easily adapted by evolution, while others are not, with particular focus on the evolution of birth in humans. Currently, Barbara is an Elise Richter fellow at the Unit of Theoretical Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology of the University of Vienna, Austria. (Click on title to continue....)


About Split and Splice. A Phenomenology of Experimentation

Hans-Jörg RHEINBERGER (MPIWG, Berlin), 2024-04-09 15:00 (CET). To join our colloquium please register with Zoom


Welcoming Franziska Reinhard to the KLI

We warmly welcome our new Writing-up Fellow Franziska Reinhard to the KLI! Franziska is currently a PhD researcher at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Vienna. Her PhD project studies practices from origins-of-life research from a philosophy of science perspective, combining aspects of general philosophy science, philosophy of biology, and philosophy of the historical sciences. Franziska has completed a BA in Chemistry and Philosophy at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, and an MA in Logic and Philosophy of Science at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. (Click on title to continue...)


Salutogenesis: A New Approach to Understand Health-Environment Interactions?

Laura MENATTI (KLI), 2024-04-04 15:00 (CET). To join our colloquium please register with Zoom


Isabella Sarto-Jackson interviewed on The Dissenter Youtube Chanel

Isabella Sarto-Jackson discusses her book "The Making and Breaking of Minds" with Ricardo Lopes on The Dissenter, a popular YouTube channel. In her conversation with Ricardo, for the episode titled "Exploring the Influence of Social Interactions on the Human Mind," Isabella delves into various aspects of human psychology, environmental factors, niche construction, gene-culture coevolution, mechanisms, and limitations of neuroplasticity and more. (Click on title to read more!)