Graduate Student Symposium 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Biology/Physics Building Room 130, 9:00am to ~ 4:00pm
The EEB Graduate Student Symposium is an all day event where graduate students present their research to other graduate students and faculty. Any EEB graduate student can present: BSMS, masters, PhD, old and new students. New graduate students usually present research ideas or preliminary data, while those more ‘seasoned’ students present their most recent results, often in preparation for upcoming spring and summer meetings.
|8:30-9:00||Coffee & Tea|
|10:30-11:00||Morning Break - Drinks and Fruit|
|12:00-1:30||Lunch - Sandwiches and Salad|
|1:30-2:00||Dr. Massimo Pigliucci, Professor, Department of Philosophy, CUNY-Lehman and CUNY-Graduate Center||Keynote Address: On the many meanings of "doing theory" in biology|
Dr. Massimo Pigliucci
Keynote Address: On the many meanings of "doing theory" in biology
“Theoretical biology” is a surprisingly heterogeneous field, partly because it encompasses “doing theory” across disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, systematics, ecology and evolutionary biology. Moreover, it is done in a stunning variety of different ways, using anything from formal analytical models to computer simulations, from graphic representations to verbal arguments. In this talk I explore a number of aspects of what it means to do theoretical biology, and how they compare with the allegedly much more restricted sense of theory in the physical sciences. I also tackle a recent trend toward the presentation of all-encompassing theories in the biological sciences, from general theories of ecology to a recent attempt to provide a conceptual framework for the entire set of biological disciplines. Finally, I discuss the roles played by philosophers of science in criticizing and shaping biological theorizing.