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  1. The Roles of Integration in Molecular Systems Biology.Maureen A. O’Malley & Orkun S. Soyer - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):58-68.
  • What Makes Interdisciplinarity Difficult? Some Consequences of Domain Specificity in Interdisciplinary Practice.Miles MacLeod - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):697-720.
    Research on interdisciplinary science has for the most part concentrated on the institutional obstacles that discourage or hamper interdisciplinary work, with the expectation that interdisciplinary interaction can be improved through institutional reform strategies such as through reform of peer review systems. However institutional obstacles are not the only ones that confront interdisciplinary work. The design of policy strategies would benefit from more detailed investigation into the particular cognitive constraints, including the methodological and conceptual barriers, which also confront attempts to work (...)
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  • The Creative Industry of Integrative Systems Biology.Miles MacLeod & Nancy J. Nersessian - 2013 - Mind and Society 12 (1):35-48.
    Integrative systems biology is among the most innovative fields of contemporary science, bringing together scientists from a range of diverse backgrounds and disciplines to tackle biological complexity through computational and mathematical modeling. The result is a plethora of problem-solving techniques, theoretical perspectives, lab-structures and organizations, and identity labels that have made it difficult for commentators to pin down precisely what systems biology is, philosophically or sociologically. In this paper, through the ethnographic investigation of two ISB laboratories, we explore the particular (...)
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  • The Applicability of Mathematics in Computational Systems Biology and its Experimental Relations.Miles MacLeod - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-21.
    In 1966 Richard Levins argued that applications of mathematics to population biology faced various constraints which forced mathematical modelers to trade-off at least one of realism, precision, or generality in their approach. Much traditional mathematical modeling in biology has prioritized generality and precision in the place of realism through strategies of idealization and simplification. This has at times created tensions with experimental biologists. The past 20 years however has seen an explosion in mathematical modeling of biological systems with the rise (...)
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  • Heuristic Approaches to Models and Modeling in Systems Biology.Miles MacLeod - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (3):353-372.
    Prediction and control sufficient for reliable medical and other interventions are prominent aims of modeling in systems biology. The short-term attainment of these goals has played a strong role in projecting the importance and value of the field. In this paper I identify the standard models must meet to achieve these objectives as predictive robustness—predictive reliability over large domains. Drawing on the results of an ethnographic investigation and various studies in the systems biology literature, I explore four current obstacles to (...)
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  • In Risk We Trust/Editing Embryos and Mirroring Future Risks and Uncertainties.Eva Šlesingerová - 2019 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 22 (2):191-200.
    Tendencies and efforts have shifted from genome description, DNA mapping, and DNA sequencing to active and profound re-programming, repairing life on genetic and molecular levels in some parts of contemporary life science research. Mirroring and materializing this atmosphere, various life engineering technologies have been used and established in many areas of life sciences in the last decades. A contemporary progressive example of one such technology is DNA editing. Novel developments related to reproductive technologies, particularly embryo editing, prenatal human life engineering, (...)
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  • Varieties of Noise: Analogical Reasoning in Synthetic Biology.Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 48:76-88.
    The picture of synthetic biology as a kind of engineering science has largely created the public understanding of this novel field, covering both its promises and risks. In this paper, we will argue that the actual situation is more nuanced and complex. Synthetic biology is a highly interdisciplinary field of research located at the interface of physics, chemistry, biology, and computational science. All of these fields provide concepts, metaphors, mathematical tools, and models, which are typically utilized by synthetic biologists by (...)
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  • From physics to biology: physicists in the search for systemic biological explanations.Leyla Mariane Joaquim, Olival Freire Jr & Charbel N. El-Hani - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):1-32.
    This paper offers a contribution to debates around integrative aspects of systems biology and engages with issues related to the circumstances under which physicists look at biological problems. We use oral history as one of the methodological tools to gather the empirical material, conducting interviews with physicists working in systems biology. The interviews were conducted at several institutions in Brazil, Germany, Israel and the U.S. Biological research has been increasingly dependent on computational methods, high-throughput technologies, and multidisciplinary skills. Quantitative scientists (...)
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  • From Physics to Biology: Physicists in the Search for Systemic Biological Explanations.Leyla Mariane Joaquim, Olival Freire Jr & Charbel N. El-Hani - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):30.
    This paper offers a contribution to debates around integrative aspects of systems biology and engages with issues related to the circumstances under which physicists look at biological problems. We use oral history as one of the methodological tools to gather the empirical material, conducting interviews with physicists working in systems biology. The interviews were conducted at several institutions in Brazil, Germany, Israel and the U.S. Biological research has been increasingly dependent on computational methods, high-throughput technologies, and multidisciplinary skills. Quantitative scientists (...)
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  • When Ecology Needs Economics and Economics Needs Ecology: Interdisciplinary Exchange During the Anthropocene.S. Andrew Inkpen & C. Tyler DesRoches - 2020 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 23 (2):203-221.
    Evidence that humans play a dominant role in most ecosystems forces scientists to confront systems that contain factors transgressing traditional disciplinary boundaries. However, it is an open que...
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  • Pluralization through epistemic competition: scientific change in times of data-intensive biology.Fridolin Gross, Nina Kranke & Robert Meunier - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):1.
    We present two case studies from contemporary biology in which we observe conflicts between established and emerging approaches. The first case study discusses the relation between molecular biology and systems biology regarding the explanation of cellular processes, while the second deals with phylogenetic systematics and the challenge posed by recent network approaches to established ideas of evolutionary processes. We show that the emergence of new fields is in both cases driven by the development of high-throughput data generation technologies and the (...)
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  • Scientific Knowledge in the Age of Computation: Explicated, Computable and Manageable?Sophia Efstathiou, Rune Nydal, Astrid Laegreid & Martin Kuiper - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):213.
    We have two theses about scientific knowledge in the age of computation. Our general claim is that scientific Knowledge Management practices emerge as second-order practices whose aim is to systematically collect, take care of and mobilise first-hand disciplinary knowledge and data. Our specific thesis is that knowledge management practices are transforming biological research in at least three ways. We argue that scientific Knowledge Management a. operates with founded concepts of biological knowledge as explicated and computable, b. enables new outputs and (...)
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  • Enrolling the Toggle Switch: Visionary Claims and the Capability of Modeling Objects in the Disciplinary Formation of Synthetic Biology.Clemens Blümel - 2016 - NanoEthics 10 (3):269-287.
    Synthetic biology is a research field that has grown rapidly and attracted considerable attention. Most prominently, it has been labelled the ‘engineering of biology’. While other attempts to label the field have been also pursued, the program of engineering can be considered the core of the field’s disciplinary program, of its identity. This article addresses the success of the ‘engineering program’ in synthetic biology and argues that its success can partly be explained by distinct practices of persuasion that aim at (...)
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  • Synthetic Biology as an Engineering Science? Analogical Reasoning, Synthetic Modeling, and Integration.Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers - 2013 - In Hanne Andersen, Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao González, Thomas Uebel & Gregory Wheeler (eds.), New Challenges to Philosophy of Science. Springer Verlag. pp. 163--177.
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  • Pluralists About Pluralism? Versions of Explanatory Pluralism in Psychiatry.Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2014 - In M. C. Galavotti, D. Dieks, W. J. Gonzalez, S. Hartmann, Th Uebel & M. Weber (eds.), New Directions in Philosophy of Science (The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective Series). Springer. pp. 105-119.
    In this contribution, I comment on Raffaella Campaner’s defense of explanatory pluralism in psychiatry (in this volume). In her paper, Campaner focuses primarily on explanatory pluralism in contrast to explanatory reductionism. Furthermore, she distinguishes between pluralists who consider pluralism to be a temporary state on the one hand and pluralists who consider it to be a persisting state on the other hand. I suggest that it would be helpful to distinguish more than those two versions of pluralism – different understandings (...)
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  • Invitation to Functional Collaboration: Dynamics of Progress in the Sciences, Technologies, and Arts.Terry Quinn - 2012 - Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis 7:94-122.
    In all disciplines there is the question of how to promote progress and offset decline. But, what are progress and decline ? For this short article, the main discussion centers on biology. A solution called functional specialization begins to emerge as relevant to all of the sciences, technologies and arts. This introductory article ends with some heuristics on various follow-up issues.
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