A-NZ PhilBio Meeting

A-NZ PhilBio Meeting
Participants at the event - Photo courtesy R.Brown
Monday 26 June 2023

What makes something a disease? Why care about ecosystem diversity? What makes cultures robust? These were all questions being discussed at the inaugural A-NZ Philosophy of Biology Meeting hosted by the Centre for Philosophy of the Sciences in the School of Philosophy from 21 to 23 June 2023.

Focused on building connections and community between the many philosophers of biology working in our region, the meeting involved in excess of 20 paper presentations with a special emphasis on ECR development and capacity building. The breadth, depth, and quality of the speakers who came from across the globe for the meeting reflected the ANU School of Philosophy’s reputation as a world centre for Philosophy of Biology and the work of the organising committee: Rachael Brown (ANU), Carl Brusse (ANU-Sydney), Kate Lynch (Melbourne), Emily Parke (Auckland) and John Matthewson (Massey).

The keynote address by Associate Professor Maureen O’Malley of Sydney University was a particular highlight of the three days. O’Malley, internationally renowned for her application of a novel microbial perspective to key issues in the philosophy of biology, gave a paper on the conceptual connections between Gallenic or humoral medicine and modern microbiome research. Arguing against uncritical medical applications of the notion of a 'balanced microbiome', O’Malley pointed out both the strengths and weaknesses of microbiome research whilst drawing links between it and historical approaches to health focused on 'balance'. Her approach exemplified the ways that engagement between science and philosophy can fruitfully contribute to both the academy and society.


Updated:  13 July 2023/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications