The Life & Mind Seminar Network

Seminar #36: The Language of Living Processes

Posted in Seminars by Tom Froese on April 21, 2008

Wednesday, the 30th of April 2008, 16:00 – 18:00, Room 1A1 JMS Building

For this seminar we are very pleased to announce that we will have a special seminar by the acclaimed author, recognized mathematician and biologist Brian Goodwin.

Brian Goodwin is one of the founders of the field of theoretical biology and a founding member of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. His expertise is in morphogenesis and evolution, where he has developed a critical evaluation of the role of natural selection, and he is an advocate of the complex systems approach to explaining biological phenomena. Brian Goodwin currently teaches at the Schumacher College in Devon, UK. His latest book is called Nature’s Due: Healing our Fragmented Culture. He will be talking about:

The Language of Living Processes : Genes, Development, and Embodied Meaning in Organisms. Developing a Post-Modern Science of Qualities

The genome projects have shown us that reading an organism’s genetic information is not sufficient to explain how organisms make themselves as coherent, functional, adaptive wholes. This opens biology to new ways of understanding evolution and development. I shall explore this from a perspective that understands molecular networks as languages that express the meaning of an organism’s history and context in the embodied form of the organism, allowing us to interpret molecular data from a new perspective. Organisms then become agents whose coherent form and behaviour reveal emergent qualities that we can recognise directly and reliably, providing a basis for a science of qualities.

All welcome!


2 Responses

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  1. tomfroese said, on April 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    It is also worth mentioning that Brian Goodwin was a Reader in Biology at the University of Sussex, working alongside John Maynard Smith. A such it is only fitting that we welcome back Brian in the large JMS lecture theatre!

    For a good introduction to Brian Goodwin check out the following article:

    “Biology Is Just a Dance”

  2. matthewegbert said, on July 1, 2008 at 9:24 am

    I have uploaded the video of Brian Goodwin’s talk. Due to size constraints, it is divided up into three parts. The first two are the talk and the third covers questions from the audience.

    Talk Part 1:

    Talk Part 2:

    Q & A:


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