In recent decades, especially since the 2001 sequencing of the human genome, biology has been in the genomic era. This genomic age is now dominating much of biological thinking. It has spawned new post-genomic “omic” fields (such as proteomics, metabolomics, as well as systems biology) which are characterized by collection of vast data sets, of which analysis and interpretation remain formidable challenges. Moreover, these genomic and postgenomic fields challenge much of the conceptual framework of biology inherited from the twentieth century, especially with respect to what was assumed about the nature of heredity and the role it plays at other levels of biology and culture.
The aim of this Forum is to explore the scientific and philosophical implications of these postgenomic disciplines on studies of heredity, including genetics, genomics, and evolution. This Fellows’ Forum will bring together a group of scholars bridging biology, history, and philosophy, in two workshops separated by a year. The joint work of the Forum will both attempt to clarify what recent genomic era developments in biology entail for the meaning of heredity and, equally importantly, identify problems that merit further interpretive work. Below, we present six key topic areas for the Forum.
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby
University of Exeter
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Arizona State University, Tempe
University of Aberdeen
Macquarie University, North Ryde