Originally founded in 1975, the Jacob Bronowski Memorial Lecture series offers an accessible and interdisciplinary approach to topics in science. Past lecturers include David Suzuki, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan and John Polanyi.

This year’s lecture features Professor Susan Oyama, Professor Emeritus at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York.

Jacob Bronowski Memorial Lecture:
Logos and Biologos: Biology’s Language of Language

Thursday, November 21, 6-8pm

William Doo Auditorium, 45 Willcocks Street

Dr. Oyama will examine the flaws in current genetic discourse, and offer an alternative: the developmental systems theory.


Lecture Abstract:
 is Dr. Oyama’s term for the “language of language” that dominates contemporary discourse about genes (information, transcription, translation, etc.). Such gene-talk can be mischievous, encouraging tacit preformationism and essentialism, even though both are supposed to have been banished from modern biology.

Insofar as it implies that the DNA contains preexisting representations of organisms, Biologos also works against attempts to undo troublesome nature-nurture contrasts.

Dr. Oyama argues that the concept of the developmental system offers a fruitful alternative to this complex of deeply traditional habits of thought.

Date: November 21st, 2013
Start Time: 6:00pm
Cost: Free
Location: William Doo Auditorium, 45 Willcocks St. (corner of Willcocks and Spadina)