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Remaking Local Biologies in an Epigenetic Time

Premise and Summary

This is a very provisional text,[1] part of a broader book-length research (forthcoming from Palgrave in 2015) on ‘political epistemology’, a construct I use to investigate the coproduction of epistemological facts and socio-political values in the history of the life-sciences (e.g.: how certain views of heredity, development, nature/nurture potentially favor certain political values and …

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The collaborative turn: interdisciplinarity across the human sciences

Questions of health, medicine and science have long animated sub-disciplinary attentions in the social sciences and humanities. Recently, however, research around these topics has taken a marked collaborative turn. If topics in the medical and health sciences were once straightforward objects of study for anthropological, sociological or philosophical analysis, increasingly, to work ‘on’ such topics often means also to work …

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Experiments with pedagogy: Call for contributions

As teachers, we are increasingly called upon to promote student-centered learning and to build stronger links between teaching and disciplinary research in order to foster a culture that allows students “to take a research-based approach to their lifelong educational development” (Sproken-Smith & Walker, 2010). Scholars, academic administrators and institutions increasingly promote “inquiry-based learning”, a term referring to pedagogical …

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Autism, sociality, and human nature

There are, I believe, a few reasons to suppose that autism is a particularly fascinating area to be studying at the moment.  What are those reasons?  Firstly, prevalence rates of autism have soared in recent decades, from 1:2,500 in 1978 to around 1:100 today: a staggering 25-fold increase.  Secondly, and simultaneously, the nature of those receiving a diagnosis of autism …

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“Addressing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities”: A Conference Report

An interdisciplinary group of experts on health and medicine gathered in Austin, Texas on September 23-24, 2013 for a two-day conference and working group, “Addressing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities: Best Practices for Clinical Care and Medical Education in the 21st Century” (ARHD).  Organized by Deborah Bolnick, ARHD invited participants and attendees to examine how erroneous beliefs regarding …