Thursday, September 13, 2012

AAHPSSS's 2012 DYASON LECTURE


AAHPSSS's 2012  DYASON LECTURE will be presented by:
Warwick Anderson

“ Fashioning the Immunological Self: The Biological Individuality of F. Macfarlane Burnet”.
During the 1940s and 1950s, the Australian microbiologist F. Macfarlane Burnet sought a biologically plausible explanation of antibody production. In this talk, I seek to recover the conceptual pathways that Burnet followed in his immunological theorizing. In so doing, I emphasize the influence of philosophical speculations on individuality, especially those of Alfred North Whitehead; the impact of cybernetics and information theory; and the contributions of clinical research into autoimmune disease at Melbourne. Accordingly, this talk describes an intellectual arc distinct from most other tracings of Burnet’s conceptual development, which focus on his early bacteriophage research and his fascination with the work of Julian Huxley and other biologists in the 1920s. No doubt these were potent influences, but they seem insufficient to explain Burnet’s sudden enthusiasm in the 1940s for immunological definitions of self and not-self. I want to demonstrate here how Burnet’s deep involvement in philosophical biology—along with ineluctable clinical entanglements—shaped his immunological theories.

WHERE: Eastern Avenue Lecture Theatre
WHEN: Thursday, 27 Sept, 6.30-8pm


The event is free and all are very welcome.

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