Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor of the History of Science
"The Origins of the Origins of Life"
This talk will survey the theoretical, methodological, and institutional origins of geobiology. While thinking about the ways in which life and the planet are mutually constitutive has a long history reaching as far back as the sixteenth century, this talk will focus on the foundations of American geobiology in the mid-twentieth century. Recognizing Cold War and cybernetic developments in theories of life and its origins, I tether those concerns to shifts in ecological and environmental thinking in the 1960s and 1970s. At issue is how questions about and definitions of life and its origins reflect the times in which they are articulated; in concluding I will reflect upon how theories of life are currently being formalized and abstracted in the post-genomic era.
The Geobiology/Paleobiology Seminar Series is jointly hosted by OEB and EPS