Philosophy of Science Association - Event Information - Philosophy of Science Association

Event Name:
Ancestry: Evidence, Inference, and Identity

Event Type(s):


Event Date:
1/22/2021 - 1/23/2021



The aim of this virtual conference is to bring together anthropologists, biologists, historians, and philosophers of science to address the concept of ancestry in relation to scientific inferences about the evolutionary history of humans. In the past 50 years, ancestry and the inference thereof have become molecularized, automated, and commodified. This shift has profound implications. The history and philosophy of molecular systematics raises important questions about the epistemic priority of competing sources of evidence, the scope and limitations of computational phylogenetics, the challenges of representing relationships among taxa in both the past and present, the social epistemological dimensions of big data acquisition and analysis, and the possibility of specific legitimate and responsible role(s) for political values in postgenomic inference. Participants in this workshop are invited to explore how such practices both inform and interact with both phylogenetic and popular notions of identity.

Keynote Speakers

Rob DeSalle (American Museum of Natural History and the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics)

Matt Haber (Philosophy Department, University of Utah)

Edna Suárez-Díaz (Science and Technology Studies, National University of Mexico)

Submission Guidelines

Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words by November 30,2020. Notifications will be sent in December 2020.

Abstract submission is electronic, and must be made through Easy Chair


We encourage early career scholars and individuals working in range of disciplines to submit their proposals for this conference. We particularly welcome submissions from members of underrepresented groups.

Organizing Committee

Michael R. Dietrich (History and Philosophy of Science) Marina R. DiMarco (History and Philosophy of Science) Jeffrey H. Schwartz (Anthropology)

All questions about submissions should be emailed to Michael Dietrich (

Outlook/ vCalendar/ Google:
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1/22/2021 - 1/23/2021