Model Organisms

Do21Mär(Mär 21)15:15Fr22(Mär 22)21:00Model OrganismsMateriality, History and PoliticsVeranstaltungsartSymposium


Model organisms are life forms used to test biological theories of various kinds in laboratory settings. Research with model organisms muddies the line between models as material objects and models as abstract entities. Model organisms are not fully constructed, since they are evolved beings, but the longer they reside in a laboratory the less they resemble their kin in the wild. At the same time the construction of biological generalities from the research results from one model organism involves an extrapolation beyond species constraints.

The aim of this symposium is to investigate how research practices and theories of life are differently deployed according to different organisms and their affordances.
This is particularly evident in the choice of organism and how it produces not only bio-medical results but also generates historical, cultural, and artistic relations.

For example, the genetics of fruit flies slowly begins to stand in for genetics in general, the deep homologies discovered through cephalopod eyes surprises in part due to their supposed alienness, epigenetic effects in agouti mice give hope for human dietary diseases, the regenerative capacities of the axolotl become bound up with fantasies of immortality, and the horizontal gene transfer among archaea and bacteria undermine our notions of organismal or even philosophical individuality.

In English

Thursday, 21 March

14:45 Coffee

15:15 Welcome and Introduction

15:30 – 17:00 Model Limits

Tarsh Bates
Mis/reading a/sexed Individuals: Holobiontism, Model Organisms and Compulsory Sexuality

Tarquin Holmes
Modelling Endocrinology to Remake Sex and Society? Sexology and the Development of Xenopus Laevis as a Model Organism in Interwar Britain and South Africa

Erin Freedman
Modeling Life Without Organisms

17:00 – 17:30 Coffee Break

17:30 – 18:30 Animal Minds

Héloïse Athéa
Beyond Human Experience: Animal Models and the Psychedelic Therapy Conundrum

Ombre Tarragnat
Ethodivergence and Becoming-Autistic: For a Posthumanist Ethics of the Animal Models

18:30 – 19:00 Break

19:00 Keynote: Sabina Leonelli (with Rachel Ankeny)
The Future of the Model Organism Repertoire

Friday, 22 March

11:50 Welcome

12:00 – 13:30 Transfers

Axel Gelfert
Animal Models of Disease and the Pitfalls of Model Transfer

Mariano Martín-Villuendas
Artifactual Role of Model Organisms

Jacqueline Wallis
Modifying Model Organisms to Improve Translation: The Case of the Wildling

13:30 – 14:45 Lunch Break at Aedes Cafe

14:45 – 15:45 Mutants

Anatolii Kozlov
Drosophila in the Lab: Not Quite a Fly, nor a Human

Celeste Pérez-Ben (Online)
Amphibians: A Model for Ancestral Limbed Vertebrates?

15:45 – 16:05 Coffee Break

16:05 – 17:05 Hybrids

Yoshinari Yoshida
Cell Culture Systems and Model Organisms: Articulating the Relationship

Cécile Fasel
Between the Genotype and the Phenotype Lies the Microbiome: Symbiosis and the Making of ‘Postgenomic’ Knowledge

17:05 – 17:30 Coffee Break

17:30 – 18:30 Off World

Anika Bartens
Lichen Matters

Anna Mikkola
Arabidopsis Thaliana in Outer Space

18:30 – 19:00 Break

19:00 Keynote: Jan Baedke
From Lichen to Human Life: Symbiotic Organisms as Models of Social Organization

Registration required (opens on 6 March 2024)

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21. März 2024 15:15 - 22. März 2024 21:00(GMT+02:00)


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ICI Berlin

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ICI Berlin