May 19 - May 26, 2004
This is an intensive, one-week seminar designed for advanced
graduate students, younger scholars, and more established
researchers in biology and the history and philosophy of biology.
The course is limited to approximately 20 participants, including
The topic for 2004 is "Perspectives on Molecular Evolution."
It is generally acknowledged that, beginning in the 1960s
and continuing to the present day, evolutionary biology has
been significantly transformed by the incorporation of ideas
and techniques from molecular biology. In this seminar, we
will "pause" to reflect on these four decades of
change. How, exactly, have the general theories and central
questions of evolutionary biology changed as a result of molecular
considerations? How, exactly, have the standards and practices
of evolutionary biology been affected? And, reciprocally,
how has evolutionary biology influenced molecular biology?
In the process of pursuing these overarching questions, we
will consider particular issues and episodes having to do
with rates and mechanisms of evolutionary change, the evolution
of the genome, molecular phylogenetics, approaches to modeling,
and the development of tests to discriminate between alternative
The Seminar in the History of Biology has been supported since
1989 by the Dibner Fund and the Dibner
The seminar is being organized with the help of the scientific
staff of the MBL's Josephine Bay Paul Center in Comparative
Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Additional funding for the 2004 seminar has been made available
by the Sloan Foundation.
Directors: John Beatty, University of British
Columbia; James Collins, Arizona State University; and Jane
Maienschein, Arizona State University
Organizers for 2004: Michael Dietrich, Dartmouth
College; and Jan Sapp, York University , Toronto.