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Message posted on 14/01/2022

Reminder - CfP: Conference “Rethinking the Epigenome: Research, Risk and Responsibility in Postgenomic Times”, June 13-15, 2022, Technical University of Munich

                *** Call for Papers - Reminder ***

Dear colleagues,

We are very pleased to invite you to submit papers to our conference:

Rethinking the Epigenome:
Research, Risk and Responsibility in Postgenomic Times
June 13 =96 15, 2022, Munich

Organisation: Prof. Ruth M=FCller (Technical University of Munich), Dr. Mic=
hael Penkler (University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt), Sophia Rossm=
ann (Technical University of Munich), Georgia Samaras (Technical University=
 of Munich)

In the last 20 years, environmental epigenetics has become an increasingly =
important approach in biological and biomedical research as well as an obje=
ct of social science inquiry. With its focus on how environmental factors s=
hape gene expression and impact health and illness, environmental epigeneti=
cs has promised to present new molecular perspectives on the relationships =
between socio-material environments and bodies. This proposition led schola=
rs from both the biological and the social sciences to herald epigenetics a=
s resolving the age-old debate between =93nature=94 and =93nurture=94 or to=
 even present a biology that operates without =93biologism=94. Yet, others =
were more critical and argued that epigenetics could also easily engender n=
ew forms of biologism and determinism, and could ultimately lead to new for=
ms of social stigmatization and discrimination. However, few of these early=
 postulations that opened the debate about epigenetics in the social scienc=
es were necessarily empirically grounded, whether they were enthusiastic or=

In this conference, we seek to bring together scholars who have empirically=
 engaged with environmental epigenetics and to explore together how this ne=
w knowledge proposition is taken up in a diverse set of practices, ranging =
from the lab to the clinic to the social arenas of public health, social po=
licy and the media. We aim to assess what we know at this point about the e=
pistemic, social, ethical and political dimensions of epigenetic knowledge =
and its production, translation and circulation. We are particularly intere=
sted in contributions that explore

  1.  situated knowledge practices in and with environmental epigenetics in=
 different scientific fields and global locations,
  2.  translations of epigenetic knowledge into other social arenas such as=
 the clinic or policy,
  3.  the circulation of epigenetic knowledge in society, professional fiel=
ds (such as education or psychotherapy) and the media,
  4.  the ambivalent potential of epigenetics between tracing the molecular=
 impact of social inequalities on health and supporting quests for health e=
quity, and the risk of further stigmatizing disadvantaged individuals and g=

By bringing together scholars from different fields and global locations, t=
his conference aims to assess the state of the art of social science knowle=
dge about environmental epigenetics and to identify key epistemic, social a=
nd political challenges and possibilities for biosocial research approaches=
 such as environmental epigenetics. We also welcome contributions on relate=
d biosocial research approaches, such as microbiome research or RNA biology=
, as well as contributions from life scientists interested in critical refl=
ections of epigenetics.

The conference aims to take place in Munich from June 13-15, 2022 to promot=
e in-person conversation and dialogue if the pandemic permits. There will b=
e limited possibilities for digital participation from scholars who are una=
ble to travel to Munich. We can provide a limited number of travel fellowsh=
ips for (junior) scholars with lack of funding support or from countries of=
 the Global South and other disadvantaged regions.

Please note that for participating in the conference, a valid proof of vacc=
ination for or recovery from Covid-19 in accordance with German regulations=
 in June 2022 will be required. We will likely also provide daily testing o=
pportunities in addition to vaccination or recovery to ensure health and sa=
fety. The conference will be limited to ca. 40 participants to allow for ph=
ysical distancing at the conference venue.

Please submit your title, abstract (max. 300 words) and a short bio (max. 1=
50 words) to =
until February 1, 2022. You will be notified about the acceptance of your c=
ontribution until February 15.

This conference is organised as part of the DFG-funded research project Sit=
uating Environmental Epigenetics. A Comparative, Actor-Centered Study of En=
vironmental Epigenetics as an Emergent Research Approach in Three Research =

Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung
S=FCdliches Schlo=DFrondell 23
80638 Munich


Prof. Dr. Ruth M=FCller
Associate Professor of Science & Technology Policy
Vice Dean for Talent Management & Diversity
School of Social Sciences and Technology, Department of Science, Technology=
 & Society
School of Management, Department of Economics & Policy
Technical University of Munich

Please share this CfP with interested colleagues.

*** With apologies for cross-posting ***
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