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::: center home >> events >> conferences >> 2015-16 >> (re)engineering

(Re)Engineering Biology: The Emerging Engineering Paradigm in Biomedical Engineering, Systems Biology, and Synthetic Biology

15 - 16 April 2016
Center for Philosophy of Science
817 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA USA


Advance registration is appreciated, but not required.
To register for this conference, please send your name and university/departmental affiliation to: whb2@pitt.edu

Engineering models, methods, concepts, technologies and engineers themselves are playing an increasingly prominent role in biological investigation. The new engineering inspired fields such as integrative systems biology, biomedical engineering, and synthetic biology appear to have more in common with engineering approaches than with traditional biological ones. Researchers in these fields typically come from engineering and applied mathematical disciplines or are biomedical engineers trained to understand and build with biological materials. The result has given rise to a complex interplay of different conceptual and methodological frameworks, and interdisciplinary interactions, that have yet to be fully explored by philosophers. A fundamental contribution of the engineering paradigm in modern biology is, arguably, the provision of strategies and tools for managing the complexity of biological organization by transforming it into calculable well-structured forms that facilitate investigation and control and can be subject to engineering analysis.

This workshop aims at characterizing the new engineering paradigm in biology, especially how engineering practices and epistemological perspectives differ with respect to established biological modes of practice and accepted biological epistemology, and at examining the transformative aspects of the concepts, techniques, strategies, and epistemic principles that engineers bring to biological phenomena and how these conflict, contrast, or accord with traditional biological approaches.

Keynote Speakers:

Tarja Knuuttila, Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina
Eberhard Voit, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute
of Technology and Emory University
William Wimsatt, Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota

Organizing Committee:

Nancy Nersessian (Chair), Harvard University, nancyn@cc.gatech.edu
Sara Green, University of Copenhagen, saraehrenreichgreen@gmail.com
Tarja Knuuttila, University of South Carolina, tarja.knuuttila@helsinki.fi
Andrea Loettgers, University of Geneva, andrea.loettgers@unige.ch
Alan Love, University of Minnesota, aclove@umn.edu
Miles MacLeod, University of Twente, m.a.j.macleod@twente.nl
Michael Stuart, University of Pittsburgh, m.stuart@pitt.edu

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