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2 October 202315:30

EGENIS seminar: "The New N=1 Problem", Dr Carlos Mariscal (University of Navada, Reno)

We have a single example of life: that which originated on Earth. The N=1 Problem refers to the difficulty of inferring general properties for life based on this single sample. This problem is predicated on the assumption that life is a natural kind with essential properties to be discovered. Full details
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11 October 202310:45

Rebecca Laughton

Grassroots Solutions: Landworkers' Alliance and the emergence of farmer-led research. Full details
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16 October 202315:30

EGENIS seminar: "Lambs to the scanner: high-throughput phenotyping in post-Brexit British livestock farming", Dr Hugh Williamson (University of Exeter)

High-throughput phenotyping, the use of digital sensing and imaging technologies to collect large volumes of data about organisms’ traits for biological research and breeding, is now well established in the science and cultivation of arable crops but has been slower to take root in the livestock research and breeding sector.. Full details
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20 October 20238:30

Workshop: Interdisciplinary perspectives on Cultures of Changes around Non-Animal Methods (NAMS) in the Biomedical Sciences

NAMS, referring to non-animal methods or new approach methodologies, are rapidly becoming preferred approaches in a variety of domains that traditionally utilized in vivo animal research. Alternatives to animal methods include approaches such as cell cultures, stem cell constructs, organoids, computer simulations, and others. Transitioning towards NAMs and away from using animals in research is often framed as a process of changing individual behaviours through the provision of information on alternative choices or evaluating evidence to establish the validity and relevance of methods in different experimental contexts. Both are important, but they are not sufficient to encapsulate the wider cultural changes around science involved in this transformation.. Full details
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23 October 202315:30

EGENIS seminar: The ‘First Line of Evidence’: Case Reports in Emergency Situations. Prof Rachel Ankeny (University of Adelaide)

TDespite having a somewhat dubious reputation as a form of anecdotal evidence, case reports remain exceedingly popular forms of communication and publication in medicine. They are ill-understood even within biomedical research communities, often described as not counting as real evidence or even as equivalent to anecdotes. This paper begins by introducing the case report and its typical uses in the context of research in contemporary medicine, and exploring their status as a form of evidence particularly in our era dominated it is by ‘evidence-based medicine’ (EBM). I then flip the usual approach on its head: instead of criticizing how cases fall short of these ideals, I investigate a recent example where cases were extremely important, in order to show what cases are good for, and what it means to use them ‘well,’ including what epistemic resources need to be in place. Full details
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30 October 202315:30

EGENIS seminar: "What Makes an Experiment Beautiful? ", Dr Milena Ivanova (University of Cambridge)

Scientific products are often celebrated for their aesthetic dimension and compared to works of art. Scientists themselves, like artists, are praised for their creativity, originality and aesthetic sensibility. In this talk I explore the aesthetic dimension of scientific experiments, from experiments performed in the early years of the Royal Society, to contemporary experiments involving complex technologies and set ups, and ask: what makes an experiment beautiful? By focusing on historical case studies as well as qualitative data collected from interviewing over 200 contemporary scientists, I identify what is aesthetically valued in the lab and what role beauty plays in experimental practice.. Full details
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1 November 202310:45

Allan Butler

The invention of nature to its metrification. Full details
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6 - 7 November 20239:00

Joint workshop “Philosophy of AI and Digital Infrastructures”

How can failures of algorithmic decision-making be repaired? How does the automation of information affect democratic culture? How does AI affect or change Open Science? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed in this 1 ½-day workshop, which brings together the ‘Ethics in IT’ (EIT) group of Prof. Judith Simon at the University of Hamburg and researchers affiliated with the Egenis Centre at the University of Exeter. Using the broad range of disciplines and expertise represented at the workshop, we will explore the challenges and opportunities that recent developments in AI and digital infrastructures raise. Full details
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13 November 202315:30

EGENIS seminar: "Open to Whom? And for What?: Emerging issues in open movements, digital heritage collections and the life sciences", Dr Andrea Wallace (University of Exeter

Globally, more than 1,600 cultural institutions and organisations have published digitised public domain collections and data under open licenses and public domain tools as part of the growing movement called open GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums). More than 95 million digital assets are now available for unfettered reuse. What have we learned about the potentials of digitsed collections and digitisation more generally? And what new trends or challenges are evident in global open GLAM activity? This talk uses empirical data to frame the emerging issues that open movements must now address, such as those related to data sovereignty, digital and intellectual property restitution, biases in heritage datasets, and AI, machine learning and computational processing.. Full details
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20 November 202315:30

EGENIS seminar: "Forest as Technologies", Prof Jennifer Gabrys (University of Cambridge)

There are no shortage of technologies and systems that would diagnose and fix the problem of planetary collapse. On one level, technologies have been instrumental to the formation of forests as spaces of conservation, production, and extraction. Their variable development as plantations and state territories, resources and commodities, as well as Indigenous sites for wildfire management and agroforestry, shows how designations of technologies and forests have been differently configured. Similarly, the framing of trees and forests as carbon-capture and “negative emission” technologies is a common thread within environmental development projects, where the aspiration to create climate-repairing technologies reconstitutes trees and forests as technological operators and operations.. Full details
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22 November 202310:45

Rosie McVey

Learning From The Herd?: Ethics and Intercorporeality in Equine-Assisted Therapy.. Full details
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27 November 202315:30

EGENIS seminar: "The Role of Automated Review within the Paradigm of Inclusive Science", Dr Vlasta Sikimić (University of Tübingen)

The peer review of scientific grant applications is time-consuming and costly. Furthermore, the objectivity of the reviewers as well as their ability to predict the success of the projects is often criticized. AI could speed up the grant review process and it is in some cases relatively reliable. Still, automated grant review might not be equally successful across different disciplines or for detecting outliers. Moreover, we are aware that algorithms that are trained on biased data can reproduce or even increase the initial unfairness. This is particularly dangerous when it comes to the inclusion of underprivileged groups in science. In this context, the question arises: How to ensure cognitive diversity and global epistemic inclusion when using an automated review in science? Some of the potential solutions to this tension are equity measures and a mixed approach to scientific review combining algorithmic assessment with the standard peer review method. Full details
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4 December 202315:30

EGENIS seminar: "Webs of reference: how genomics helps us appreciate the scaffolding of data, knowledge and translation in the life sciences", Dr James Lowe (University of Edinburgh)

In this seminar, I show how examinations of the historical trajectories of genomics across multiple species have enabled us to differentiate and historicise: key objects and products of genomics; the relationship of particular species-specific scientific communities to genomic sequencing; and the periodisations and trajectories of genomic endeavours. As it has matured, genomics has manifested a plethora of objects, tools and resources with varying affordances and limitations across many species. Starting with reference genomes – standard DNA sequences for given species linked to other forms of biological data in informatics infrastructures – I outline how webs of linked standards and resources constitute substrates for multiple scientific and practical endeavours. The ways in which these webs ramify and reticulate enable new appreciation of the different facets of the scaffolding of data, knowledge and translation by researchers and institutions across the life sciences.. Full details
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11 December 202315:30

EGENIS seminar: "The Facts Speak for Themselves: Climate Science as Contested Knowledge" Dr Susannah Crockford (University of Exeter)

In his Parliamentary testimony in response to the ‘Climategate’ scandal, Professor Phil Jones said: “The facts speak for themselves”. Jones was referring to the accuracy of his and other climate scientists’ measurements of increasing average global temperatures and other indicators of anthropogenic climate change. For Jones, the measurements scientifically validated the existential threat of climate change and were available to anyone who used the same instruments and methods. In my own research with climate scientists undertaken from 2018-2020, it was commonplace for them to suggest that their role was to provide accurate information that others could then act upon. However, this position assumes that action follows predictably from information. In this talk, I explore how the measurements and models of climate science have proved to be more than simple facts, they have also operated as a social force, a demand for change, and a disruption of existing power relations. Full details
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13 December 202310:45

Becky Willson

Managing carbon on-farm. Full details
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