Workshop - The Origin and Concept of Life - Galapagos Islands 2015

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Agregar a calendario 2015-08-17 09:00:00 2015-08-21 17:00:00 Workshop - The Origin and Concept of Life - Galapagos Islands 2015 The Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion (IRC) and the Galapagos Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) are pleased to invite Latin American early career scholars to submit applications to take part at a workshop on The Origin and Concept of Life at the Galapagos Islands (Isla de San Cristóbal), Ecuador, 17-21 August, 2015, to be received by 30 April, 2015. All applicants have now been notified of the outcome of their applications. You can see the list of selected participants here. You can download the call for applications here. The workshop will enable a select group of up to twenty-eight exceptional, early-career Latin American academics to interact with a team of three senior researchers, to foster interdisciplinary engagement across science, philosophy and theology. For this workshop, ‘early-career’ refers to post-graduate students (at masters or doctorate level), post-doctoral fellows, and scholars within their fifth year of tenure at any Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Latin America. The main themes of the workshop will be the origin and concept of life, extra-terrestrial life, different kinds of life, and different perspectives on the definition of life. It is expected that accepted papers will engage with these themes from an interdisciplinary perspective including philosophical, scientific and theological understanding of life and its origin(s). The organisers expect the workshop to be a venue for open discussion and debate, leading to the preparation of academic articles and papers to be published by the participants in national or international academic journals. The mornings of the workshop will be devoted to the lectures and discussion of the plenary speakers, while the afternoons will be reserved for the discussion in small groups of the participant’s papers. The programme will also include lectures on evolutionary biology, seminars on project management skills development, and a tour of the Islands. The main language of the workshop will be English. Successful applicants will receive a stipend of up to $1500 (which could be used to cover travel expenses), in addition to free accommodation and meals during the length of the workshop, and pre-reading materials to stimulate the discussions. Galapagos Science Center USFQ no-reply@usfq.edu.ec America/Guayaquil public
Place
Galapagos Science Center
Registration start
Wednesday, 01 April 2015
Registration end
Thursday, 30 April 2015
Description

The Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion (IRC) and the Galapagos Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) are pleased to invite Latin American early career scholars to submit applications to take part at a workshop on The Origin and Concept of Life at the Galapagos Islands (Isla de San Cristóbal), Ecuador, 17-21 August, 2015, to be received by 30 April, 2015.

All applicants have now been notified of the outcome of their applications. You can see the list of selected participants here.

You can download the call for applications here.

The workshop will enable a select group of up to twenty-eight exceptional, early-career Latin American academics to interact with a team of three senior researchers, to foster interdisciplinary engagement across science, philosophy and theology. For this workshop, ‘early-career’ refers to post-graduate students (at masters or doctorate level), post-doctoral fellows, and scholars within their fifth year of tenure at any Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Latin America.

The main themes of the workshop will be the origin and concept of life, extra-terrestrial life, different kinds of life, and different perspectives on the definition of life. It is expected that accepted papers will engage with these themes from an interdisciplinary perspective including philosophical, scientific and theological understanding of life and its origin(s). The organisers expect the workshop to be a venue for open discussion and debate, leading to the preparation of academic articles and papers to be published by the participants in national or international academic journals. The mornings of the workshop will be devoted to the lectures and discussion of the plenary speakers, while the afternoons will be reserved for the discussion in small groups of the participant’s papers. The programme will also include lectures on evolutionary biology, seminars on project management skills development, and a tour of the Islands. The main language of the workshop will be English.

Successful applicants will receive a stipend of up to $1500 (which could be used to cover travel expenses), in addition to free accommodation and meals during the length of the workshop, and pre-reading materials to stimulate the discussions.

Speakers

Prof.  Rafael Vicuña

Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Universidad Católica de Chile. Prof Vicuña will address questions on the origin of life on Earth and the search for life on other planets, as well as the biological notion of life.


Prof.  Celia Deane-Drummond

Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, United States. Prof Deane-Drummond will engage with theological understandings of life as well as the theological and ethical implications of extra-terrestrial life.


Prof.   John Brooke

Emeritus Professor of Science and Religion, Oxford University, will discuss historical debates in philosophy, theology and natural history, on extra-terrestrial life, as well as Darwin’s engagement with the question of life on Earth and its diversity.

Application instructions

Any early-career scholar from Latin America can apply to participate in these workshops. In particular the organisers are interested in applications from scholars working on the biological sciences (including exobiology or astrobiology), the philosophy of biology or other philosophical related fields, theology (in relation to scientific work on life), and historians of science (in particular working on evolutionary biology). Scholars working on other fields are encouraged to contact Dr Ignacio Silva (latin.america@theology.ox.ac.uk) in advance to find ways of integrating their plans to the themes and topics of the workshop. Please visit the research section of the website for a detailed, non-exhaustive list of possible research questions.

Up to twenty-eight early career scholars from Latin America who show exceptional promise, selected by means of the competitive assessment, will be invited to take part of this workshop. For this workshop, ‘early-career’ refers to post-graduate students (at masters or doctorate level), post-doctoral fellows, and scholars within their fifth year of tenure at any HEIs in Latin America.

Interested participants should submit their applications by 30 April, 2015. All applications, written in English, should include:

  • A 1000-word statement of purpose, indicating the reasons for applicant to take part in the workshop, how she/he will benefit from it in particular relating to the stage of her/his career, and what are the prospect for her/his future academic career.
  • A 1000-word summary of their proposed paper, to be discussed during the afternoon sessions, indicating with which keynote speaker she/he would like to work, and the intended journal/s for publication of the paper (the journal can be local or international). The paper itself can be in English, Spanish or Portuguese.
  • An academic curriculum vitae.
  • A letter of recommendation from her/his current or former graduate supervisor, or the home institution stating support for the application. These letters should be sent directly by the supervisor/institution to Dr Ignacio Silva (latin.america@theology.ox.ac.uk).
  • Application documents should be sent to Dr Ignacio Silva at latin.america@theology.ox.ac.uk, by April 30 2015. Notification of the assessments should be expected by May 30 2015.

The applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Academic promise, as evidenced by CV, personal statement, and recommendation letter.
  • Quality of abstract and paper proposed.
  • Plans for publications.
  • Future academic plans.

All enquiries, correspondence, and submission of applications should be sent to Dr Ignacio Silva at latin.america@theology.ox.ac.uk

You can download the call for applications here.

General information about the workshops is available here.

Participants

Ivana Anton Mlinar

Philosophy / Universidad Nacional de Cuyo / Argentina

“The Sense of Teleology in Processes and in the Development of Living Organisms: Are Aristotle and Molecular Genetics Compatible?” In this paper I will analyse Aristotle’s teleology, a central component of his philosophy. I intend, firstly and on the basis of biology, to show that it is an empirical thesis and not an a priori one…

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Mariano Asla

Philosophy / Universidad Austral / Argentina

“On Good and Evil in an Extra-Terrestrial Sense: Xenoethics, the Ultimate Frontier of Moral Universals” The search for what is proper and distinctly human is perhaps one of the most recurring issues in the history of philosophy. This problem is especially relevant in the moral sphere, where the difference between universals and particulars may have important…

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Guillermo Barber Soler

Philosophy / Universidad Católica Argentina / Argentina

“Thinking Life as an Elan Vital. Bergson on Science and Evolution” The present paper will focus on explaining the philosophical meaning of life and evolution, based in Bergson’s theories of time and knowledge. By considering time as a creative continuity, that can be understood only from a philosophical/intuitive perspective, we will arrive to the bergsonian…

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Daniel Blanco

Biology - HPS / Universidad Nacional del Litoral / Argentina

“Andreas Osiander and Darwinism” I would analyse what lies behind the approach affirming that when some particular biblical text seems to be in conflict with well established scientific theories, our interpretation of that text changes in order to reduce the gaps between the two postures: a confidence about why we give the certainty we give…

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Jimena Camacho

Communication / UNAM / Mexico

“Science and Religion relationship about the origin of life and the notion of life in three Mexican magazines” In the current debate about the relationship between Science and Religion the social sciences have not been largely present, including Communication Sciences and, within it, the dissemination of science. I believe that the popularization of science should be involved…

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Ignacio Del Carril

Philosophy / Universidad Austral / Argentina

“Quantum Biology, a Window to God” This article tries to establish a relation between life, divine action and free will, having quantum physics as link. The article has two main goals: first, to make a reflection about the biological, anthropological and theological implications of quantum physics. The second goal is to show the necessity of…

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Tiago Valentim Garros

Biology - Theology / Escola Superior de Teologia / Brazil

“Is Christianity ready for ET?” This article will examine the theological implications of the prospect discovery of life outside the Earth, as announced by NASA in the beginning of April 2015. I will begin by analysing the possible implications and meaning for theology if microbial life is discovered, contrary to the popular belief that in terms…

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Martín Grassi

Philosophy / CONICET / Argentina

“Symbiosis and the Relational Essence of Life: A Possible Dialogue between Philosophy, Theology and Science” The main goal of this article is to look for a notion of life that could attend to its relational essence, that is, to the evidence (in multiple dimensions of reality) that life is something that never happens in loneliness. I…

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Wellington Gil Rodrigues

HPS / Universidade Federal da Bahia / Brazil

“The Theological Implications of the Discovery of Alien Intelligence in View of Members of Seventh Day Adventist Church” The attempt to contact extraterrestrial beings is not anything new in the scientific world. Since 1960 there is this kind of initiative, the main is the SETI Project. However, this discussion got more importance after the results…

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Alberto Hernández-Espinosa

Computing / UNAM / Mexico

“Towards a possible Algorithmic-Info-Computational Explanation of the Notion of Life” Different explanations on notion of life are in offer. Biology, for instance, propose theories about the origin of the life; hard sciences explain the complex processes of the life; philosophy and theology offer ontological and epistemological definitions on life. But, is it the notion of life…

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Catalina Hidalgo

Philosophy / Universidad del Rosario / Colombia

“The ethical-theological turn on the inquiry about sense and limits of human life” The question about the existence of extra-terrestrial life is in itself an inquiry about the limits and the sense of the concept of life, but specially, about ‘human life’. Prima facie we can assert that human life is terrestrial, while there is something else…

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Nicolas Lema Habash

Philosophy / Independent / Chile

“Life and Politics: Nietzsche’s Early Critique of Kant’s Notion of Teleology in Living Organisms” In 1868, Friedrich Nietzsche planned to write a dissertation on Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgement and, more specifically, on the concept of teleology as applied to living organisms that Kant had advanced in the second part of that work, titled “Critique of Teleological Judgement.”…

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Heslley Machado Silva

Biology - Education / Centro Universitário de Formiga / Brazil

“Perception of Biology Teachers about the Origin of Life in Three Latin American Countries, with Different Patterns of Religiosity and Laicism” This paper investigates the concepts of biology teachers about the origin of life in three Latin American countries, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, for which there were significant differences in the response among teachers of the three…

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Cristina Mancilla

Biology - HPS / Universidad Francisco Marroquín / Guatemala

“Science History: A Thematic Delimitation of Life” For centuries, life has been a subject of study for the great branches of human thought, especially scientific thought, that has developed specific sciences for this study, such as Biology. However, as the biologist Ajay Royyuru said in a recent interview: “Interdisciplinary approach to science has been extended in our days caused…


Frederik Moreira dos Santos

Physics - HPS / Universidade Federal da Bahia / Brazil

“The Concept of Life and The Second Law of Thermodynamic: a history of challenge and success through an interdisciplinary dialogue” In the first half of the 20th century, we had two major characters (and their research groups) that will influence the fundamental studies on the concept of life: 1) The Phage group, in the US, and…

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Gonzalo Recio

Philosophy / Universidad Tres de Febrero / Argentina

“All life Depends on Life: Aquinas’ doctrine of Creation and Divine Life” The origin of life is a profound mystery. Where did the first primitive DNA molecules appeared? What were the conditions in Earth -or elsewhere!- which allowed the first unicellular organisms to rise? Is life constrained to develop from carbon-based foundations, or is it…

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Juan Manuel Rodríguez Caso

Biology - HPS / UNAM / Mexico

“Life on Earth and Beyond: Alfred Russel Wallace and his Views on the Origin of Life” Although Wallace interests are well known with regarding to the application of natural selection in a large number of phenomena, little has been said of his work on the origin of life. Among other studies, based on his views…

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Fernando Rodríguez

Semiology / Universidad Argentina de la Empresa / Argentina

“In Support of the Interpretation Model in Biosemiotics” In this paper I will argue that Biosemiotics can contribute to redefine life. This is relevant by itself, in a Platonic-Aristotelian sense (knowledge for knowledge’s sake), but in today’s world where organ cloning defies the most essential ideas of living and human beings, what must be understood for…

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Camila Sloboda Pacheco da Silva

Biology - HPS / PUC-SP / Brazil

“Revisiting the Place of Virus among Us, the Living Beings” If we intent to shed some light into the subject of the virus as micro-organism with or without a life, we have first to describe what life means, biologically. From this it is possible to make again some observations about what is considered the object of…

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Saulo Henrique Souza Silva

Philosophy / Universidade Federal de Sergipe / Brazil

“Beasts, Men, Aliens, Spirits and God: John Locke and the Chain of Life” In this paper I will analyse Locke’s views on the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. As suggested by the title, An Essay Concerning Human understanding, published in 1689 by the English philosopher John Locke, consists of an investigation into the man’s understanding. However,…

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David Suárez Pascal

Biology - HPS / UNAM / Mexico

“Life and Value: Creativity as a Sign of Life” Science, philosophy, technology and literature have approached the issue of the nature of life from many and diverse perspectives. These strikingly different views, share a basic distinction: that between life and mere existence. The search for a more inclusive analysis of the nature of life is of course…

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Raphael Uchoa

Biology - HPS / PUC-SP / Brazil

“Man’s Place in Nature and T.H. Huxley’s Basis for Biology” In this paper I will explore Thomas Huxley’s ideas of “biology”: what is it? What ground does it cover? In what sense Huxley’s ideas of humans’ place in nature was pivotal for his conception of life and of the science that investigates it? The problem relative to…

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Héctor Velázquez Fernández

Philosophy / Universidad Panamericana / Mexico

“Is There a Real Boundary between Living Beings and Non-Living Beings? From Ontological Reductionism to Methodological Pluralism” The question of the origin of life and the mechanism and conditions that permitted its beginning and the diversity and complexity of species, implies to answer in advance how we can distinguish between living being and non-living being. I will…

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Pablo Zunino

Philosophy / UFRB / Brazil

“Philosophical Aspects of the Theory of Evolution: Impulse and Vital Process” This article examines some philosophical considerations about the origin and the concept of life based on Henri Bergson’s work, The creative evolution (1907). To evaluate the different scientific perspectives on the theory of evolution will allow us to understand the evolutionary process from a broader perspective, in which…

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Rafael Vicuña

Universidad Católica de Chile

Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Universidad Católica de Chile, will address questions on the origin of life on Earth and the search for life on other planets, as well as the biological notion of life.

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Celia Deane-Drummond

University of Notre Dame / United States

Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, United States, will engage with theological understandings of life as well as the theological and ethical implications of extra-terrestrial life.

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John H. Brooke

University of Oxford / United Kingdom

Emeritus Professor of Science and Religion, Oxford University, will discuss historical debates in philosophy, theology and natural history, on extra-terrestrial life, as well as Darwin’s engagement with the question of life on Earth and its diversity.

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Diego Quiroga

GAIAS - Universidad San Francisco de Quito / Ecuador

Dean of Research at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and co-Director of the Galapagos Institute for the Arts and Sciences.

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Stella de la Torre

GAIAS - Universidad San Francisco de Quito / Ecuador

Decana – Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales “What can research on Ecuadorian biodiversity tell us about the uniqueness of life and culture, the case of Galapagos extremophiles and Amazonian primates” Along the history of science there are several examples of paradigm shifts triggered by new research in unexplored areas. The astonishing and greatly unexplored…

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Tamara Trownsell

Universidad San Francisco de Quito / Ecuador

“Lenses, Images, Fruits and Order of Appearance: A working lexicon of ontological philosophy for addressing how the assumptions we make about existence affects how we understand and engage in life” Fundamental for how we understand “The Origin and Concept of Life,” this text introduces a new lexicon for addressing ontology in such a way that…

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Nathan Digby

Universidad San Francisco de Quito / Ecuador

“Emptiness and Arising: An Analysis of the Concept of Life through the Lenses of Madhyamika Buddhism and Process Philosophy” Madhaymika (Middle Path) Buddhism claims to stake out a middle path between origination and extinction, destruction and permanence, identity and difference, and coming and going. By negating both the existence and non-existence of these conceptual opposites,…

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Patricia Sierra

GAIAS - Universidad San Francisco de Quito / Ecuador

“Exoplanets” Recent space exploration using sophisticated telescopes and space probes has given us a great deal of information about the physical characteristics and prevailing conditions on the planets and moons of the solar system. This information indicates that the appearance, survival and evolution of life in any of those worlds will be very difficult and…


Andrew Pinsent

Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion

Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, at the University of Oxford, and Director of the project Science, Philosophy and Theology in Latin America.

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Agustina Lombardi

Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion

“Edith Stein on the Concept of Life: Between Phenomenology, Aristotelian Forms, and Evolutionary Biology” In this paper I will present Edith Stein’s ideas regarding life, inasmuch as life can be understood biologically and spiritually. In 1921 Stein decided to convert to Catholicism. Before her conversion, she focused her studies on the constitution of the human…

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Ignacio Silva

Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion

Research Fellow at the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford, and co-Director of the project Science, Philosophy and Theology in Latin America.

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Eugenio Urrutia Albisúa

CECIR / UPAEP / Mexico

Vice-Rector Académico at the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla and Director of the Institute Ciencia y Religion at the same university

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Workshops General Information

The IRC will organize two, one-week long workshops towards the end of the first and second years of the project, and one three-day long workshop in the third year. The first workshop will have as its basic theme the origin and concept of life; the second will be on the brain, mind, and human person; and the third one on the place of the person in the cosmos. The intention is to enable a select group of exceptional, early-career Latin American academics to interact with a core team of three senior, high profile researchers, chosen for their strong ability to foster interdisciplinary engagement across science, philosophy and theology.

Format of the workshops

The basic format of each morning of each workshop will be as follows:

  • 1.5 hour plenary session (9 – 10:30) with a presentation from one of the main speakers, including at least half an hour for questions from the participants
  • 0.5 hour break and an opportunity for informal discussions
  • 1.5 hours for ongoing discussion with the plenary speaker, during which time individual appointments will be available for each participant to meet other speakers.

The plenary sessions will present an overview of contemporary discussions on the main topic of the conference, including a summary of the key questions of the field and the speaker’s perspectives on future developments and prospects. Individual appointments will provide an opportunity for a one-to-one meeting between participants and the main speakers to discuss research ideas and future plans.

The basic format of each afternoon of the workshop will be:

  • 2.0 hours of four parallel group sessions, with each of the three plenary speakers and, as the fourth parallel session, a project management workshop
  • 0.5 hour break and an opportunity for informal discussions
  • 1.5 hours to continue the parallel sessions

The parallel sessions are intended to be ‘master classes’, enabling advanced students to get feedback from their peers and from world leaders in their field. The parallel sessions with the three main speakers will consist of a short presentation of work by each of the participants in turn, followed by feedback and questions from the main speakers, and then the broader group. Each day, the members of the four groups of seven will be shuffled so that each participant has the opportunity to present and receive feedback from each of the plenary speakers and discuss and debate ideas with as many different peers as possible.

In addition to those presentations and seminars focused on research and the big questions, Drs Andrew Pinsent and Ignacio Silva will also present a workshop on project proposal and management skills. This project management workshop will take the place of one of the afternoon sessions.

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