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Ekitaldien artxiboa / Past events log / Archivo histórico

  • Organizamos el First European Summer School on Life & Cognition del 22 al 26 de junio de 2010 (www.lifecognitionschool.eu). Plazo para la preinscripción: 30 de abril de 2010

IAS-Research Seminar 2010 @ 11:15, Logika eta Zientziaren Filosofia Saileko Mintegia / Seminario del Dpto. de Lógica y Filosofía de la Ciencia

  • 2010-1-13 Agustín Vicente (Ikerbasque) “Current Physics and ‘the Physical’”
  • 2010-1-26 Leonardo Bich (Università degli Studi di Pavia): “Complex Emergence and the Living Organization: an Epistemological Framework for Biology”
  • 2010-2-19 Matteo Mossio (UPV/EHU): “Organizational closure and inter-level causation”
  • 2010-3-9 Miriam Kyselo (IKW, Universitaet Osnabrueck): “Autonomy in Humans – The Self as Socially Enacted Autonomy”
  • 2010-3-23 Laura Nuño de la Rosa (Universidad Complutense de Madrid / IHPST-CNRS, Paris): “The organization of development and the development of organisation”
  • 2010-4-20 Antonio Casado da Rocha (UPV/EHU): “Autonomía y bioética desde un punto de vista naturalista”
  • 2010-4-27 Xabier Barandiaran (CCNR, University of Sussex) & Mathew Egbert (CCNR, University of Sussex): “A minimal model of metabolism-based chemotaxis, towards behavioural metabolution”
  • 2010-5-4 Wayne Christensen (Konrad Lorenz Institute): “Natural Sources of Normativity”
  • 2010-5-25 Carlos Briones (Centro de Astrobiología, CSIC-INTA): “La investigación sobre el mundo RNA: evolución modular y memoria molecular”

I. Jornadas de Bioética y Cultura Científica

Call for a FPI (PhD) fellowship

Candidates: graduate students who would like to carry out a PhD in our group

Deadline: 26th of January 2009

Research project associated with the fellowship (FFI2008-06348-C02-01):

Department: Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of the Basque Country

More information about how to apply: click here (micinn web page)

News: coming workshop!

Workshop on
'Open Questions on the Origins of Life'

San Sebastian -- Donostia

May 20-24th, 2009


Main organizers:  Pier Luigi Luisi (Dept. of Biology, UniRomaTre, Italy) and Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo (UPV/EHU, Spain)
Co-organizers: Félix M. Goñi (Biophysics Research Unit, CSIC -- UPV/EHU) and Alvaro Moreno (Dept. of Logic and Philosophy of Science, UPV/EHU)

Venue: Palacio Miramar


The overall idea behind this workshop is to tackle some key questions about the origin of life that are still unanswered and try to clarify why it is so, as well as investigate how to progress further in the field on the basis of this documentation. The main unsolved questions will be about the synthesis of RNA, the origin and structure of proto-metabolism, the plausibility and evolutionary potential of macromolecular sequences, the appearance and relevance of the first protocells,… (see more details below). The original idea of the meeting is to formulate such questions in advance, present them to the speakers before the meeting, and have the speakers address them directly in their contribution.

In the field of origins of life (as in any other field) there is the tendency and the danger for each of us to keep working on his/her own small field, regardless of the big questions which are still unsolved. It is however important, from time to time, to ask “where are we in the field, and which are still the stumbling blocks on the road”. In addition, we have to mention that a similar meeting was already held, in a preliminary form, in Erice, Sicily, in 2006, and arose quite a bit of interest, so many researchers asked to continue the experiment in a more developed way. In fact, one of the conclusions of this meeting was that it should be repeated on a broader basis, involving more European countries and a higher number of young researchers, like PhD students and early post-docs, possibly on a continuous basis (every 2-3 years).

As an additional motivation, year 2009 will be the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth, on the 12th of February 1809, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of Species, on 24 November 1859. Therefore, we include our workshop as part of the events that will be organized all around the world to celebrate such a special year.

Modus operandi:

Seven or eight questions will be chosen, out of an initial list of 14 (see below), once the organizers collect all the feedback expected from potential contributors and a wide representation of the community of researchers interested in the field of origins of life. This process is open at present and will be finished by the end of the summer -- beginning of autumn. In this way, the final selection of questions will be given to the contributors beforehand. The meeting will consist of 4 full days and 8 sessions (one in the morning, one in the afternoon), the last one being devoted to a general conclusion and outlook. The other seven sessions will be each focused on one single question, and 3 panelists (the speakers) will directly address them -- no standard talk, just answering the question. This will mean 20 min. for each of the 3 panelists, followed by a dialogue between them; and finally, in addition, one hour discussion with the plenum.

Therefore, each session will involve at least one hour discussion with the participants. This will be done by a method that has already been experimented with success. The participants will be divided in small groups, of 4-5 people each. Each group will discuss the contributions of the 3 panelists (in about 30 min.) and will come out with a main question/comment or criticism. One representative of each group will present such a comment in plenum (max. 10min.), followed by the answer of the panelists. So, overall, each session will last approximately 3 and a half hours. This type of interaction is the best way to get a full involvement of the young participants. Poster sessions are also planned, if there are contributors who do not have the chance to put forward their views in an oral presentation.

      Preliminary list of questions:

Contingency versus determinism in the origin of life.
Is life an emergent property?
3.   Heterotrophic versus autotrophic scenarios.
On the origin of catalytic cycles
On the origin of specific macromolecular sequences
Plausibility of the ‘RNA world’ hypothesis
Why this…and not that?
Proto-cellular world (a): gap to minimal cell?
Proto-cellular world (b): lipid-type dichotomy
 Life as unity or confederacy?
Ecology and individuality
Defining the very origin of life
About the anthropic principle (AP)
Critical perspective on the entire field of the origin of life

Contact: kepa.ruiz-mirazo@ehu.es

Past Events

WORKSHOP: 'Explanations in Biology'  (San Sebastian: April 7th, 2008)


In this workshop we aim to review and discuss the state of the art regarding the nature of explanations in biology. In particular, we would like to address the problems faced by traditional mechanicism and molecular reductionism in order to account for biological organization.

With this aim we have invited Profs. William Bechtel (University of California, San DiegoUSA) and Michel Morange (Centre Cavaillès & IHPST, ENS, Paris – France) to share with us their present perspective on this topic. Members from our group (A. Moreno, A. Etxeberria, J. Umerez, K. Ruiz-Mirazo) will play an active role in the discussion, complementing the program with shorter contributions, in response or in addition to what the two Invited Professors will bring to the fore.

At a time when biology is transitioning from the molecular and geneticist approaches that were so influential in the second part of the 20th century, towards more interdisciplinary, systemic and synthetic ways of tackling research, we consider that it is especially important to reflect on these issues and come out with a better picture of what could be the epistemological foundations of 21st century life sciences.

 Organizing Committee (UPV/EHU):

Alvaro Moreno, Jon Umerez, Arantza Etxeberria, Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo, Antonio Casado

VENUE: Sala de Juntas de FICE / FIHEZIko Batzar Aretoan

Tolosa etorbidea, 70. 20018 Donostia – San Sebastián


9:30-9:45 Welcome

9:45-11:00  Mechanism and Biological Explanation (W. Bechtel)

11:30-12:15 Some remarks on Emergence and Reductionism (J. Umerez)

12:15-13:00 Beyond Self-organization: Hypothetical Mechanisms for Self-construction (K. Ruiz-Mirazo)


15:00-16:15 The Increasing Place of Macromolecular Machines in the Descriptions of Molecular Biologists: What Role Do They Play in Explanations? (M. Morange)

16:15-17:00 Explanation in Alife and Synthetic Biology (A. Etxeberria)

17:30- General Discussion (A. Moreno)

22 and 23 of March, 2007:

Workshop on Modelling autonomy.

Organisers: Xabier Barandiaran and Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo

27-28 of April, 2006

WORKSHOP: "Organizational Principles in Biology"

During the 27th and 28th April, 2006 we held a workshop under the titel "Organizational Principles in Biology".
As invited speakers we had Evelyn Fox Keller, Andrés Moya, Diego Raskin Gutman y Juli Peretó

For more information the full program is available for download.

Information about how to get here can be found at the Department's website: Dpt. of Logic and Philsophy of Science.

15 of April, 2005


During the 15th April, 2005 we held a workshop under the title "Evolution".
As invited speakers we had Jean Gayon.

FApril 15th, friday

15.45: IAS Group (UPV/EHU)- Workshop presentation
16.00: Jean Gayon  (U. Paris) – From Darwin to today in evolutionary biology.
17.30: Discussion - Workshop

16-17 of February, 2004


During the 16th and 17th February, 2004 we held a workshop under the titel "What is Life".
As invited speakers we had M. Morange, Federico Morán and Juli Peretó.

Februrary 16th, monday

16.15: IAS Group (UPV/EHU)- Workshops presentation
16.30: Michel Morange  (U. Paris VI & E.N.S.) – Life explained, detours of a question.
17.15: Juli Peretó  (U. Valencia) – Qué es la vida y cómo fabricarla.
18.00: Break
18.30: Discussion - Workshop

17 de Febrero, martes

09.30: Federico Morán (U.C.M.) – El papel de la información en la definición de vida.
10.15: Michel Morange (U. Paris VI & E.N.S.)– The function of genes.
11.00: Break
11.30: Discussion - Workshop