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Message posted on 14/01/2022

Reminder - CfP: Conference “Rethinking the Epigenome: Research, Risk and Responsibility in Postgenomic Times”, June 13-15, 2022, Technical University of Munich

Call for Papers - Reminder

Dear colleagues,

We are very pleased to invite you to submit papers to our conference:

Rethinking the Epigenome: Research, Risk and Responsibility in Postgenomic Times June 13 =96 15, 2022, Munich

Organisation: Prof. Ruth M=FCller (Technical University of Munich), Dr. Mic= hael Penkler (University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt), Sophia Rossm= ann (Technical University of Munich), Georgia Samaras (Technical University= of Munich)

In the last 20 years, environmental epigenetics has become an increasingly = important approach in biological and biomedical research as well as an obje= ct of social science inquiry. With its focus on how environmental factors s= hape gene expression and impact health and illness, environmental epigeneti= cs has promised to present new molecular perspectives on the relationships = between socio-material environments and bodies. This proposition led schola= rs from both the biological and the social sciences to herald epigenetics a= s resolving the age-old debate between =93nature=94 and =93nurture=94 or to= even present a biology that operates without =93biologism=94. Yet, others = were more critical and argued that epigenetics could also easily engender n= ew forms of biologism and determinism, and could ultimately lead to new for= ms of social stigmatization and discrimination. However, few of these early= postulations that opened the debate about epigenetics in the social scienc= es were necessarily empirically grounded, whether they were enthusiastic or= critical.

In this conference, we seek to bring together scholars who have empirically= engaged with environmental epigenetics and to explore together how this ne= w knowledge proposition is taken up in a diverse set of practices, ranging = from the lab to the clinic to the social arenas of public health, social po= licy and the media. We aim to assess what we know at this point about the e= pistemic, social, ethical and political dimensions of epigenetic knowledge = and its production, translation and circulation. We are particularly intere= sted in contributions that explore

  1. situated knowledge practices in and with environmental epigenetics in= different scientific fields and global locations,
  2. translations of epigenetic knowledge into other social arenas such as= the clinic or policy,
  3. the circulation of epigenetic knowledge in society, professional fiel= ds (such as education or psychotherapy) and the media,
  4. the ambivalent potential of epigenetics between tracing the molecular= impact of social inequalities on health and supporting quests for health e= quity, and the risk of further stigmatizing disadvantaged individuals and g= roups.

By bringing together scholars from different fields and global locations, t= his conference aims to assess the state of the art of social science knowle= dge about environmental epigenetics and to identify key epistemic, social a= nd political challenges and possibilities for biosocial research approaches= such as environmental epigenetics. We also welcome contributions on relate= d biosocial research approaches, such as microbiome research or RNA biology= , as well as contributions from life scientists interested in critical refl= ections of epigenetics.

The conference aims to take place in Munich from June 13-15, 2022 to promot= e in-person conversation and dialogue if the pandemic permits. There will b= e limited possibilities for digital participation from scholars who are una= ble to travel to Munich. We can provide a limited number of travel fellowsh= ips for (junior) scholars with lack of funding support or from countries of= the Global South and other disadvantaged regions.

Please note that for participating in the conference, a valid proof of vacc= ination for or recovery from Covid-19 in accordance with German regulations= in June 2022 will be required. We will likely also provide daily testing o= pportunities in addition to vaccination or recovery to ensure health and sa= fety. The conference will be limited to ca. 40 participants to allow for ph= ysical distancing at the conference venue.

Please submit your title, abstract (max. 300 words) and a short bio (max. 1= 50 words) to = until February 1, 2022. You will be notified about the acceptance of your c= ontribution until February 15.

This conference is organised as part of the DFG-funded research project Sit= uating Environmental Epigenetics. A Comparative, Actor-Centered Study of En= vironmental Epigenetics as an Emergent Research Approach in Three Research = Fields.

Venue Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung S=FCdliches Schlo=DFrondell 23 80638 Munich Germany


Prof. Dr. Ruth M=FCller Associate Professor of Science & Technology Policy Vice Dean for Talent Management & Diversity School of Social Sciences and Technology, Department of Science, Technology= & Society School of Management, Department of Economics & Policy Technical University of Munich

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