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Biology Seminar - Ute Deichmann | Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at 12 pm

Wednesday, January 17, 2024
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Special Biology Seminar

Speaker: Ute Deichmann, Professor

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Reception: 11:30 pm

Time: 12 pm

Location: Broad 100

Title: Self-organization and genomic causality in models of morphogenesis, past and present

About the seminar speaker:

Dr. Deichmann is the Director of the Jacques Loeb Center for the History and Philosophy of Science in Israel and also a faculty member at the University of Cologne. She has had a longstanding interest in developmental gene regulatory networks and in the interpretation of genomic evidence for epigenetic constraints on developmental change, and organized a series of ten international, interdisciplinary workshops on this subject over the past 20 years.

Ute Deichmann received her Ph.D. in 1991 at the Department of Genetics of the University of Cologne with the thesis Biologists under Hitler: The Expulsion of Jewish Scientists and the Development of Biological Research in Germany. She received her habilitation in 2000 at the same university with a thesis on chemists and biochemists in the era of National Socialism, published in 2001. She later became head of a working group on the history of modern biology and chemistry in the same department at the University of Cologne. From 2003 to 2007, she was a research professor at the Leo-Baeck-Institute in London where, together with Ulrich Charpa, she was the head of the project "Jews in German-Speaking Academia, 19th and 20th centuries".In 2007, Deichmann became founding director of the Jacques Loeb Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva. Since 2011, she has headed the center as an adjunct full professor.

Her research focuses on the history and philosophy of modern life sciences with an emphasis on:

Tracing the origin of basic life sciences concepts such as biological specificity, hierarchy, genomic regulation, and epigenetics and how they have changed over time.[10]

Philosophy and epistemology of research in the experimental life sciences from the 19th to the 21st century and the impact of scientific personalities.

Critically reviewing the methodology and philosophy behind scientific claims considered revolutionary by many scientists, but whose far-reaching implications were later rejected. Among them are biocolloidy in the early 20th century and extended epigenetics or the "epigenetics hype" in the 21st century.

From 1991-2003 she conducted major research on biology and chemistry in Nazi Germany and the forced emigration of Jewish scientists and developed a unique methodology for historical-political-scientific analysis.

She is the recipient of the Ladislaus Laszt Award of Ben-Gurion University (1995) for her book Biologists under Hitler and the recipient of the Gmelin Beilstein Medal of the Society of German Chemical Society (2005) for her book Flee, Collaborate, Forget. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Paper Award from the Division of the History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society for her article "‘Molecular' versus ‘Colloidal': Controversies in Biology and Biochemistry, 1900-1940". Among her more recent papers are

  • 2017. Hierarchy, determinism, and specificity in theories of development and evolution. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39.4: 3-16.
  • 2016. Epigenetics: The origin and evolution of a fashionable topic, Developmental Biology 416: 249-254
For more information, please contact Tish Cheek by phone at 626-395-4952 or by email at [email protected].