Interdisciplinarity: goals and conditions

FINALLY PUBLISHED! “Our view of interdisciplinarity takes very seriously the long training any specialist has to undertake in order to acquire the huge knowledge and the tuned epistemological attitudes necessary to master his or her research methods and protocols. Indeed, we think that a successful interdisciplinary project would educate its participants into this respectful view […]

Evolutionary Genetics and Cultural Traits

The chapter explains why evolutionary genetics – a mathematical body of theory developed since the 1910s – eventually got to deal with culture: the frequency dynamics of genes like “the lactase gene” in populations cannot be correctly modeled without including social transmission. While the body of theory requires specific justifications, for example meticulous legitimations of […]

The Nature of Classification

I am cited in John S. Wilkins and Malte C. Ebach’s thoughtful book The Nature of Classification. Relationships and Kinds in the Natural Sciences, 2014.I am grateful to John Wilkins, colleague and friend, for the fascinating conversations we had; to both authors for mentioning my name; and to Alessandro Minelli for pointing out this reference […]

EGENIS – The ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society, University of Exeter

Ankeny & Leonelli (2011) recently spelled out a number of epistemological characteristics of model organisms which, they think, make them special in the more general category of experimental organisms. In this seminar I show how some similar epistemological characteristics apply to a theoretical model, i.e. the Mendelian population, making it special in respect to other […]

Cultural Diversity

The reflection on human cultures delivers more and more a critical and complex vision that makes it difficult to imagine ourselves counting, describe or analytically decompose cultures. Bypassing questions like “what is a culture”, “which and how many cultures are there”, and “how important is each culture”, anthropology and ethnography give scientific form to the […]

Knowing what, Knowing how

It could be nice, in a writing on the flavours of education, “putting on our plate” the fruit of Actinidia chinensis, a tropical plant from China, recently diffused in New Zealand, and today part of our diet. But this is not the kiwi I want to talk about – and the “flavour” we’ll discover by […]

The Ecology of Evolution

Serrelli E (2003). L’ecologia dell’evoluzione: il pluralismo evolutivo letto attraverso un caso di radiazione adattativa. Master Degree Dissertation in Educational Sciences, University of Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy. [DOI 10.13140/2.1.3863.5525] This is an epistemological research, concerning knowledge processes. The choice of African Cichlids as a subject has been stimulated mainly by the fact that these fishes […]