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Conference 2024

Understanding Life in a Changing Planet

Conference 2024

Conference 2024

20+2 Years of Egenis, the Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences: 17-19 April 2024

Call for Poster Session

Find more details here on our call for posters for the 2024 conference. Deadline for submissions 15th December 2023.


Marking the 20th anniversary of Egenis, this three-day event will feature an exciting line-up of distinguished international guest speakers, alumni, and current members of Egenis. Speakers will explore some of the key ideas developed at Egenis and their wider impact, as well as looking ahead to the main opportunities and challenges for the interdisciplinary studies of the life sciences in our changing planet. The event will also honour the achievements of Professor John Dupré, co-founder of Egenis and one of the world’s leading philosophers of biology.

Speakers include: 

Rachel Ankeny, Nancy Cartwright, Hasak Chang, Ford Doolittle, Jim Griesemer, Paul Griffiths, Scott Gilbert, Adrian Hancock, Janathan Kaplan, Catherine Kendig, Philip Kitcher, Tim Lewens, Lisa Lloyd. Thomas Pradeu.

A day exploring the major philosophical themes of Professor Dupré’s distinguished career, and their significance for contemporary and future interdisciplinary studies of the life sciences.

09:15 Arrival, Coffee
09:30 Introduction
09:45 Hasok Chang TBD
10:25 Lisa Lloyd TBD
11:05 Coffee break
11:30 Nancy Cartwright TBD
12:10 Jonathan Kaplan TBD
12:50 Lunch
13:50 Tim Lewens TBD
14:30 Adrian Haddock TBD
15:10 Coffee break
15:35 Catherine Kendig TBD
16:15 Scott Gilbert TBD

Philip Kitcher

Public Lecture

18:00 Break

18:30 onwards: Reception

In celebration of Egenis’ twenty-year history friends and alumni explore some of the important impacts and ideas the centre has helped create, finishing with a poster session showcasing current work in the history, philosophy, and social studies of biology.


Welcome and Introduction

Sabina Leonelli


Paul Griffiths



Ford Doolittle



Coffee break


Roundtable on Prospects for Interdisciplinary Studies of Life Sciences

Staffan Müller-Wille, Dan Nicholson, Jane Calvert




Thomas Pradeu



Rachel Ankeny



Coffee break


Jim Griesemer


Concluding talk

John Dupré

17:00 – 19:00: Poster Session & Reception 

Current members of Egenis, as well as special guests, discuss major emerging topics in the social studies and philosophy of the life sciences. The discussion is organised along the four main strands of Egenis research activities.


Introduction & Opening



Panel 1: Biology and Environment theme



Coffee break


Panel 2: Data, Knowledge, and AI theme





Panel 3: Health and Biomedical Research theme



Coffee break


Panel 4: Mind and Culture theme



Closing Discussion




Key conference information

VENUE: The conference will take place in the Henderson Lecture Theatre in the XFi building, plus additional spaces. This is building number 30 on the Streatham Campus map. See the below drop-down boxes for information on travel and accommodation.

REGISTRATION: The registration fee is £100.00, which includes lunches and refreshment breaks during the conference plus drinks reception. Register here.


  • Exeter St David’s and Exeter Central are the main train stations in Exeter.
  • The main route from London is from London Paddington to Exeter St David’s but there is London Waterloo that runs to Exeter Central.


  • The main airports to the UK are London Heathrow and London Gatwick. However, there are a few flights to the smaller airpoirts at Bristol and Exeter.

Connections from airports

  • From London Heathrow. Take the Heathrow express to London Paddington for connecting train to Exeter St David’s. Alternatively take the Coach from London Heathrow to Exeter.
  • From London Gatwick. Take the train to either Exeter St David’s or Exeter Central. Please note that there will be train changes on route.
  • From Bristol. Take the coach to Bristol Temple Meads for connecting train to Exeter. Alternatively there are few coahes from the airport to Exeter.
  • From Exeter Airport. Take the number 4A bus to Exeter or take a taxi.

Useful links

Getting to the Campus

Please be aware that the campus is on a hillside, so there will be some uphill walking if you coming to the campus on foot. If you prefer not to walk, we ask that you use local sustainable travel rather than driving to the campus. The bus stop on Rennes Drive close to the conference venue.

There is a UNI bus connects Streatham Campus - Exeter Central railway station - City Centre - Central Bus Station - St Luke's Campus, every 20 minutes during term time. During the holiday period the UNI bus runs every 40 minutes. More information on the UNI bus is available here.


If you book accommodation at Holland Hall on the Streatham Campus, you can obtain a parking permit from the reption desk. Please let them know if you require a permit. There is limited pay and display parking on the campus or bordering the campus along Prince of Wales Road.

Visit here for more information on parking on campus.

Streatham Campus

  • Holland Hall - Student halls of residence (Streatham Campus), Clydesdale Road, Exeter EX4 4SA. Other options available.


Guest Houses

Organising committee and key contacts