Tags: announcements, book reviews
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Executive Director, Association for Politics and the Life Sciences (APLSnet.org)
2013 APLS MEETING May 21, 2013Posted by ronwhite54 in Public Policy.
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ASSOCIATION FOR POLITICS AND THE LIFE SCIENCES
TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
OCTOBER 25-26, 2013
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Thirtieth Annual Meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences (APLS) will be held October 25-26, 2013, on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Ron White: email@example.com
Steve Peterson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Erik Bucy: email@example.com
Gregg Murray: firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL FOR PAPERS: Individual paper presentations, panel, and roundtable proposals are welcome on any topic that pertains to the following broad categories: new directions in politics and the life sciences, biobehavior, life science policies (e.g., health policy, genetically modified foods, stem cell research), neurobiology and politics, bioethics, bioterrorism, environmental policy and communication (e.g., media coverage and public opinion about global warming) genetics and politics, biotechnology, and other biopolitical topics.
THEME: This year’s theme will be “Evolution, Consumption, and the Political.” The importance of evolutionary and other biologically based theories to consumer behavior and economic analysis has become increasingly evident with the growth of research in neuromarketing, thin slice forecasting, the evolutionary bases of risk taking, and related areas. Theme panels and presentations relevant to political behavior, public policy, and ethics might address the following questions:
• How does evolutionary biology clarify economic and political theory?
• What are the political implications of behavioral economics?
• What are the public policy implications of biological and evolutionary theories?
• How might biological and evolutionary theory elucidate such pressing issues as gun control, health care, global warming, drug war, and the recent financial crisis?
• How does evolutionary biology explain international instability as in Tunisia, Egypt, and the Middle East?
• How do biological and evolutionary theories inform us about the rapid development of social networking technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Wiki-Leaks?
NOTE: Although participants are encouraged to address the conference theme, other topics are also welcome.
TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS: The Program Committee will consider proposals for individual paper presentations, research panels, and roundtables. For paper presentations, please send via email attachment to the Program Director an abstract (preferably in Word) not to exceed 200 words that includes: the title of your presentation, your name and title, and institutional affiliation.
For research panels and roundtables, send to the Program Director a description not to exceed 200 words of the proposed panel or roundtable that includes the panel title, your name as “organizer,” your affiliation, and contact information for all other panel and roundtable participants. All panel members should submit individual abstracts for their papers and indicate their panel affiliation.
The deadline for receipt of proposals is July 30, 2013.
KEYNOTE LECTURE: The keynote lecture for this year’s meeting will be delivered by Gad Saad, professor of marketing and research chair in evolutionary behavioral sciences and Darwinian consumption at Concordia University in Montreal. Professor Saad is the author of:
• The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature (2011)
• Evolutionary Psychology in the Business Sciences (2011)
• The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption (2007)
HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS: To be arranged individually. Although there is no main “conference hotel,” the hotels closest to campus are the Overton Hotel, 2322 Mac Davis Lane, Lubbock, (806) 776-7000, and the Staybridge Suites, 2515 19th Street, Lubbock, (806) 765-8900. Rooms are available at both hotels for $110-$120 per night.
AIR TRAVEL: Flights can be arranged directly to Lubbock International Airport (LBB), a convenient 15-minute drive from campus.
Students: $50 (contact Erik Bucy to inquire about fee waivers: email@example.com)
To avoid a $20 late fee, please pay by September 30, 2013.
Note that a Membership with online subscription to Politics and the Life Sciences is $25. To join, visit: http://apls.msj.edu/membership.html
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ron White: Program Director)
APLS blog: http://politicsandlifesciences.wordpress.com/
Gregg Murray’s Blog February 13, 2013Posted by ronwhite54 in Public Policy.
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Here is Gregg Murray’s new blog titled “Cave Man Politics: How Evolution Impacts Politics.”
“My “little” girl is not so little anymore. She’s a college-level athlete who physically towers over many of her peers and who is smart as a whip (yes, proud papa, guilty as charged). She’s grown into a self-sufficient young woman in college, but is way beyond my protective reach at a school more than 500 miles away. And I all too well remember the talks with her when she was truly little about “stranger danger”: don’t talk to strangers, don’t accept gifts from strangers, and for goodness’ sake just be careful.”
2013 APLS MEETING February 13, 2013Posted by ronwhite54 in Public Policy.
Tags: 2013 APLS Meeting, Program Director
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The board is in the process of planning the 2013 APLS Meeting. It will be at Texas Tech University sometime in October 2013. Right now we are looking for a Program Director. If you are willing to serve in this capacity contact Ron White at email@example.com . He will explain what is involved and will help you get started.
The Evolution of Evolutionary Theory: Philosophical Observations on E.O. Wilson’s, THE SOCIAL CONQUEST OF NATURE June 2, 2012Posted by ronwhite54 in Public Policy.
I’ve been reading E.O. Wilson’s new book, The Social Conquest of Earth (Norton: 2012) and thought it would be a worthwhile topic for the APLS Blog. I will limit my comments to a few general philosophical points, in the hope that others might follow up with other more specific lines of discussion.
First of all, this book is about the recent “evolution” of evolutionary theory and the revolution that is now underway in evolutionary biology from the “exclusive fitness paradigm” (kin altruism and gene selection) to the “eusocial paradigm” (group selection). This is portrayed not only in terms of the evolution of science, but also the evolution of his own thought. That, of course, really makes for compelling reading for those of us that have read his earlier books, and it’s also a sound business plan for selling his books, but we’ll leave that for a later topic.
It is noteworthy that although he has changed his mind on the nature of evolutionary theory, he is still a positivist at heart, which means that he is still engaged in the quest to “biologize” philosophy and the social sciences, and he still views Science as one single, unified line of inquiry rooted in Newtonian Science. Hence, he still believes that the ultimate goal of Science is to generate one single over-arching theory rooted in physics, therefore he still pursues mathematical modeling as a primary scientific value. Moreover, don’t expect to find anything in this book on the sociology of scientific knowledge or the economics of science. Like all well-versed positivists, these forces are conveniently “bracketed” if not totally ignored. And as an evolutionary philosopher, I’m still puzzled by his woefully misguided understanding of what philosophers actually do, especially philosophers of science. Any good philosopher would quibble with his use of notoriously vague concepts such as “eusocial” and “conquest.” And he still has not done much evolutionary economics, evolutionary politics, or complex adaptive systens theory.
To me the biggest hole in the new Eusocial Paradigm is it’s failure to take cultural evolution seriously. Or to be more precise, his attempt to explain it in biological terms. If one of the necessary conditions for the emergence of eusociality was the “defense of a stable nest,” then why isn’t the emergence of cultural evolution attributed to the “defense of a stable nest of ideas?” Sure, he acknowledges that human cultural evolution is responsible for most of what we regard today as valuable. But why are some nations more innovative and adaptive than others? Why is the culture of Science constantly under assault? One reason for Wilson’s persistent myopia is that he assumes that Science and scientists are primarily engaged in the pursuit of Truth and that social structure and economics are relevant only to the extent that they either advance that goal or impede it. Finally, I would add that Wilson is still the undisputed master of seamlessly shifting between “facts” and “values.” If violating the “naturalistic fallacy” were a crime, E.O. Wilson would be on the “most wanted list” of serial offenders.
However, in the final analysis this is obviously an important, even revolutionary book. It’s written with typical Wilsonian charm and grace, and you’ll learn a whole lot about ants, termites, and humans and about the recent history of evolutionary theory. This is all important stuff. However, as a philosopher I would argue that we still cannot understand biological evolution apart from an over-arching theory of cultural evolution. To get to that higher level of philosophical analysis we must eventually escape from the Wilsonian “black box” and re-examine the seminal works of the evolutionary philosophers: Charles Sanders Peirce, F.A. Hayek, Karl Popper, and Thomas Kuhn. .
APLS-CINCINNATI: SEMI-FINAL PROGRAM SCHEDULE September 8, 2011Posted by ronwhite54 in Ethics, Organizational, Political Behavior, Public Policy.
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Here is the link to the semi-final draft of the APLS-Cincinnati program.
This draft includes a couple of additions, a couple of withdrawals, and a couple of schedule changes. I also took the liberty to appoint several program chairs without consulting those individuals. (Sorry but I’m buried in work right now!) If you would rather decline that appointment/invitation let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org RON
Online Registration for APLS Cincinnati, 2011 August 28, 2011Posted by ronwhite54 in Public Policy.
Here is the link to pay your APLS membership dues and register for the Conference in Cincinnati. https://timssnet2.allenpress.com/ECOMPOLS//timssnet/common/tnt_frontpage.cfm
APLS 2011 MEETING: REGISTRATION August 16, 2011Posted by ronwhite54 in Public Policy.
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For more hotel information: Garfield Suites Hotel, 2 Garfield Place, Cincinnati OH 45202. Toll-free reservations: (800) 367-2155.
AIRPORT: Executive Transportation shuttle service is available from the Greater Cincinnati International Airport to the Garfield Suites If you wish to obtain pricing information or make use of this service please call (800) 990-8841 or log onto their website:
HERE IS THE PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE: http://inside.msj.edu/academics/faculty/whiter/PRELIMINARYSCHEDULE.pdf Report corrections to email@example.com
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ron White, Program Director)
APLS MEETING IN CINCINNATI, OCT 13-15. June 17, 2011Posted by ronwhite54 in Ethics, Organizational, Political Behavior, Public Policy.
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The deadline for submission of abstracts for the APLS meeting in Cincinnati is June 30. We have openings on several panels and roundtables that we’re looking to fill. We have a roundtable discussion of Scott M. James new book An Introduction to Evolutionary Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell). I have a couple of free copies of the book available if anyone is interested in sitting on that panel. I reviewed it for Choice Magazine. It’s a great book. Scott will be attending. (no abstract required for roundtable participants!) We will have a similar roundtable discussion of our keynote’s new book : Mark van Vugt’s Naturally Selected: Naturally Selected: The Evolutionary Science of Leadership. It would be great if a substantial number of APLS members could read it before the meeting.
Right now we have several panels in need of 1-2 members including: warfare, ethics, environmental issues, health care reform, various aspects of leadership and followership, and the “Arab Spring.” We are also looking for abstracts on the relationship between biology and various strands of social and political theory, especially: totalitarianism, welfare liberalism, and libertarianism.