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 landscape metaphor in development

“It seems that the landscape metaphor will continue to stay with us, at least for a while”. We start defining a landscape as a function of multiple variables and show how this can be interpreted as a dynamical system. From the perspective of dynamical systems modelling, we move to analyze Waddington’s ‘epigenetic landscape’ and landscape […]

Active Training Apprenticeships for Mathematics and Physics School Teachers

In a.y. 2012/2013 I have taught a laboratory in the new Italian teachers training course for high school teachers, subject areas 47 (mathematics) e 49 (mathematics and physics). To know more about this course and its institutional problems see, for example, this article on the University of Torino’s journal Rivista di Lingue e Letterature Straniere […]

University of Sydney HPS Research Seminar Series

For 80 years now, a famous and influent picture have been around in evolutionary biology: it is the adaptive landscape, a hilly or rugged surface with peaks and valleys onto which combinations of traits are mapped, the elevation representing the fitness value of these combinations. As a communication and heuristic tool, the adaptive landscape well […]

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 […]