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Cymraeg

Nature and Nurture - A false divide?

02 March 2009

Cardiff University’s Darwin anniversary celebrations continue next week as a leading American academic claims one of our most fundamental biological concepts is mistaken.

Professor Evelyn Fox Keller is Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She will be giving a lecture in Cardiff on March 11 entitled The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture.

Professor Keller will question the idea that we develop characteristics in two entirely separate ways: Nature, through the genes we are born with; and Nurture, through our upbringing and environment. She will claim the concept first arose through ideas of inheritance which are now disproved and persists today through misunderstanding of the language of genetics.

The lecture takes place on March 11, at the Reardon Smith Lecture Theatre, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum of Wales at 7pm. It is organised by the Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genetics (Cesagen) which researches many of the issues arising from new genetic knowledge. Free admission is by ticket only from cesagenevents@cardiff.ac.uk and 029 2087 0024.

ENDS

Notes to editors

The media are welcome to attend the lecture. It is preceded by a wine reception in the Origins Exhibition Gallery beginning at 6pm.

Please contact either

Flo Ticehurst
Communications Officer, ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen)
Cardiff University
029 20875846
email: TicehurstF@cf.ac.uk

or

Mel Evans
Centre Manager, ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen)
Cardiff University
029 20870024
email: evansm6@cf.ac.uk

Professor Evelyn Fox Keller

Professor Evelyn Fox Keller is Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the history and philosophy of modern biology and on gender and science. One of her best-known books, The Century of the Gene, chronicles genetic biology’s progress in the 20th Century and argues that a new awareness of the complexity of the genetic process will take us into the century beyond the gene. She has been awarded numerous academic and professional honours, including most recently the Blaise Pascal Research Chair by the Prefecture de la Region D’Ile-de-France for 2005-7.

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.
Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk .