McDonnell Initiative groups leaders Jane Maienschein, Kate MacCord, Lucie Laplane, Andrew Inkpen, Ford Doolittle, and Kathryn Maxson Jones led a variety of sessions at the virtual gathering of the International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology from July 13th through 20th. The meeting was hosted virtually by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Maxson Jones led off the Initiative’s representation with her session on Tuesday, July 13th, called “Aquatic organisms, regeneration, and the utility of ‘non-traditional’ model species”. Maxson Jones’ session, along with a second session that she organized, “Regeneration from cells to limbs”, are the proving grounds for a special issue of Frontiers that she is helping to coordinate, along with her working group co-leader, Jen Morgan, and working group members Fabio De Sio, Pamela Imperadore, and Frank Stahnisch. These sessions created a discussion about many aspects of neuro-regeneration across time and throughout a diverse array of organisms.
The first day concluded with a panel discussion organized by MacCord called, “How can living systems persist: Regeneration, failure, and the future”. The panel included Maienschein, Inkpen, Manfred Launichler (ASU/SFI), and was chaired by James S. McDonnell Foundation President, Susan Fitzpatrick. The discussion turned into a rousing conversation about regeneration amongst the panel and the nearly 30 participants in the audience.
The second day of the conference included Maxson Jones’ second session, “Regeneration from cells to limbs”, as well as a discussion on “Reconsidering Gaia” that included Doolittle and was chaired by Inkpen.
Laplane closed out the conference with her “Philosophy of Cancer” session and her participation in a panel titled, “Interdisciplinary collaboration” on Tuesday, July 20th.