International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology

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WEDNESDAY, JULY 8  /  09:00 - 10:30  /  DS-R510
Organized session / diverse format
Social epigenetics (1): Scientific evidence

Maurizio Meloni (Institute for Advanced Study, United States); Eva Jablonka (Tel Aviv University, Israel)


Moshe Szyf** (McGill University, Canada)
Eva Jablonka (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
Michael Meaney (McGill University, Canada)
Sarah Richardson (Harvard University, United States)
Becky Mansfield (Ohio State University, United States)

Epigenetics has important public implications and the potential to reframe significantly the uses of biological findings in the public sphere. Often in connection with findings from Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), epigenetics is increasingly being hailed as a key mechanism to explain health disparities between the rich and the poor, between and within countries. This session, which is part 1 of a broader double session on social epigenetics and its public implications, aims to bring together biologists, philosophers of biology, and social scientists to start a discussion on the social and political consequences of the changed understanding of inheritance that is implied by epigenetic findings. This first session in particular will focus on what we know after a decade of social epigenetics research about the epigenetic correlates of social conditions.

The session will offer a state-of-the art-analysis of the current advancements in social epigenetics and will represent an ideal basis for the following session on the possible sociopolitical implications of these findings.

Moshe Szyf: Social Epigenetics; Scientific Evidence, Questions and Challenges
Eva Jablonka: How can We Study the Epigenetics of War?
Michael Meaney: Parental regulation of the epigenome in the offspring
Sarah Richardson: What Does Epigenetics Explain?
Becky Mansfield: Epigenetic abnormality biological plasticity and new configurations of race and reproduction