Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti
9-10 September 2014
A workshop organized by
Alessandro Minelli (University of Padova and Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti) and Thomas Pradeu (Paris-Sorbonne University and Institut universitaire de France)
What is development, and how should it be explained? Conceptual issues play an important role in today’s developmental biology (e.g., concerning plasticity and robustness, the periodization of development, etc.) An important, related question is to determine whether developmental biology offers theories. In a volume published by OUP in 2014 and edited by Minelli and Pradeu (Towards a theory of development), prominent biologists and philosophers have examined this question. This exploration of the theoretical aspects of developmental biology has now naturally led us to a broader and perhaps even more fundamental question, that of the explanation(s) of development.
Attendance to the workshop will be open and free to all interested people.
Active participation to the discussion will be welcome.
Please inform the organizers of your intention to attend by sending a message to email@example.com not later than August 31, 2014.
9 September 2014
09:00-09:30 ALESSANDRO MINELLI & THOMAS PRADEU – Welcome and introductory remarks
Explaining what? – Putting development in context
09:30-10:20 GIUSEPPE FUSCO – Development in the context of the life cycle
10:20-11:10 JAMES R. GRIESEMER – Periodization of development
11:10-11:30 Coffee break
Explaining what? – Unconventional developmental systems
11:30-12:20 ALESSANDRO MINELLI – The development of the fruit, the seed, the moss and other chimaeric systems
14:00-14:50 ALEXANDER V. ERESKOVSKY – Problems and insights from sponge developmental biology
What is the respective role of descriptions, explanations and predictions in developmental biology?
14:50-15:40 THOMAS PRADEU – Description, explanation, and prediction in developmental biology
15:40-16:30 LUCIE LAPLANE – Contrasting notions of theory and their relevance for developmental biology
16:30-17:00 Coffee break
17:00-18:00 Plenary discussion I – The problem agenda(s)
10 September 2014
On the causality of development
09:00-09:50 WALLACE ARTHUR – Topology of causal links in development
09:50-10:40 JOHANNES JAEGER – The role of dynamical systems theory in a mechanistic theory of development
10:40-11:10 Coffee break
11:10-12:00 GERD B. MÜLLER – Do theories of evolution affect theories of development?
What does it exactly mean to give an explanation of development?
14:00-14:50 ALAN C. LOVE – The concept of potentiality in developmental reasoning
14:50-15:40 MICHEL VERVOORT – The importance to compare convergent developmental processes in trying to establish some principles of development
15:40-16:10 Coffee break
16:10-17:00 Plenary discussion II – Connections and broader issues
17:00-18:00 What next? General discussion on research, meetings and editorial plans