Symbioses: A BioSocial Network FiFth Semi-Annual Retreat June 6

At this meeting we will be forming three working groups that will begin to design collaborative projects around a topic that has surfaced repeatedly in our prior meetings. These three groups will be the first in a series of working groups hosted by the network. When you register, you will be asked to select one of the following working groups: BioSocial Pegagogy, Neuroscience of Addiction, or Environment and its Limits.

RSVP by Friday, May 26*

RSVP Link:


10:30-10:40AM Welcome 

Katayoun Chamany (New School: Biology) Dorothy Roberts (UPenn: Sociology and Law), Helena Hansen (NYU: Anthropology and Psychiatry)

10:40-12PM Opening Remarks: Key Considerations for Working Groups

  • BioSocial Pedagogy: Katayoun Chamany (New School: Biology), Amber Benezra (NYU: Engineering)

  • Neuroscience of Poverty:Dorothy Roberts (UPenn: Sociology and Law), Martha Farah (UPenn: Psychology), Carl Hart (Columbia: Psychology), Sebastian Lipina (National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina (CONICET))

  • The Environment and its Limits: Sabrina McCormick (George Washington: Public Health), Jeff Shaman (Columbia: Health Sciences)

12-1PM Lunch

1PM-3PM Working Group Breakout Sessions

3-4:30PM Reports to Network and Next Steps


SAVE THE DATE! Fifth Semi-Annual Biosocial Network Retreat– June 6

Please mark your calendars! The next meeting of Symbioses: A BioSocial Network Fifth Semi-Annual Retreat will take place on, Tuesday, June 6, 2017   10AM-5PM at The New School, Starr Foundation Hall, University Center, Room UL102, 63 Fifth Avenue New York, NY

We will start with morning presentations. In the afternoon we will launch topic-focused, action-oriented working groups.  Based on network member suggestions, these include:

1) Genetics and Indigeneity

2) BioSocial Pedagogy/Education,

3) BioArt. 

***Details to follow, with instructions for registration.

Postdoctoral Researcher Position-Mexican Exposures: The Bioethnograhy of Everyday Life in Mexico City

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

I am looking for a new post-doc for my ongoing project:  Mexican Exposures: The Bioethnograhy of Everyday Life in Mexico City, starting sometime this summer. 

The position is full time and will last for at least a year (probably renewable).  The work involves a mix of 1) logistical effort– ethnographic lab management, grant management etc., and 2) conceptual effort – working with me as part of an experimental collaboration with environmental health scientists and environmental engineers as we build a bioethnographic research platform focused on everyday life in Mexico City.   

Spanish is almost a must – although if they were terrific in other ways I could be flexible about that.  The post-doc could have a PhD in a wide variety of fields - anthropology, STS, feminist theory, environmental studies, ecology, social epidemiology, data science, history etc. Knowledge of Latin America, genetics, epigenetics, epidemiology, and toxicology are all pluses.  Unphased by quantification or data management a big plus.  Detail oriented a plus. Reliability and social skills a must – this is intensely collaborative work. 

There are ample opportunities for the post-doc to take parts of the project in their own direction, as well as time for their own work.  My current post-doc had time for writing articles and successfully applying for tenure track jobs (which is why I need a new post-doc).  

The post-doc needs to be in residence in Ann Arbor.  The unfortunate reality at this point, is that I don’t have the resources to help with complicated visa issues – uncomplicated ones might work, although as you know, this is getting more difficult by the day.   

Word of mouth usually works best on these occasions so if anyone comes to mind please send them my way – 

Cheers and thank you, 

Elizabeth F.S. Roberts
Associate Professor, University of Michigan
Department of Anthropology

Calling all Submissions for the 3rd annual interdisciplinary population health research conference!

Population health scientists from any academic discipline, career stage, and sector committed to improving population health in the U.S. are warmly invited to submit papers and panel proposals. See the call for details. The submission deadline is April 7, 2017.

The conference, Improving Population Health: Now, Across People’s Lives and Across Generations to Come, will be held October 24, 2017 in Austin, Texas. It will bring scholars and practitioners from different disciplinary backgrounds together to share and discuss the science, practice and policy of population health.

This is the third of three conferences funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Clickhere for the agendas, speakers, and photos from the two prior conferences, held in 2015 and 2016. The conference is organized by the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS), the Population Research Institute at Penn State University, the Population Research

Center at the University of Texas, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University and the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Registration is required and will be open in late May. Please submit! We look forward to seeing you in Austin.

For more information about IAPHS, a new scientific organization with a cells-to-society approach to health, please see the attached flyer. 

Symbioses: A Biosocial Network, Fourth Interdisciplinary Retreat, Agenda

Hosted by the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society, and the UPenn Center for Neuroscience and Society. At Goddard Laboratories 2nd floor, 3710 Hamilton Walk (at 36th and Spruce) Philadelphia

9:30-10AMCoffee and Bagels

10-10:15AMWelcome and Goals of the Day

Dorothy Roberts (Penn Program on Race, Science and Society)

Helena Hansen (NYU Anthropology and Psychiatry)

10:15AM-12PMEcosocial Causes and Health Interventions:
Martha Farah (UPenn Neuroscience)
Emma Kowal (National University of Australia Anthropology and Medicine)

Mindy Fullilove (New School for Social Research Urban Policy and Health)
Alonzo Plough (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) 


1-2:20PMChemical Cultures
Carl Hart(Columbia Psychiatry and Psychology)
Anita Hardon (University of Amsterdam Anthropology)
Helena Hansen (NYU Anthropology and Psychiatry)

2:20-3:40PMSocial Lives of Microbes

Richard Cone (Johns Hopkins Biophysics)
Amber Benezra (NYU Anthropology)

Paul Planet (UPenn Pediatric Infectious Disease)

3:40-4PMCoffee Break

4-5PMGoing Global with Biosocial Research
Projit Mukherji (UPenn History and Sociology of Science)
Sarah Tishkoff (Genetics and Biology, UPenn)
(Discussants Emma Kowal and Anita Hardon)

5-5:30PMReflections and Next Steps

Network member Keith Wailoo featured on drug policy Congressional briefing

The Center recently held a briefing on the history of American drug policy and drug addiction epidemics.  Moderated by Alan Kraut (American University), the event featured David Courtwright (University of North Florida) and Keith Wailoo (Princeton).

You can read a recap on the AHA Today Blog:

"The Opioid Crisis in Historical Perspective" by Dane Kennedy

Or watch a recording of the event in our Video Library.

RSVP: Symbioses retreat (5/31)

Please RSVP here:

Symbioses: A BioSocial Network
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New York University School of Medicine
One Park Avenue (between 32nd and 33d streets) 7th floor "Central Park" Conference Room
(On same block as 33d St NYC subway stop, #6 line)

9:30AM Coffee and bagels

10AM Introductions

10:30AM Exposure  
Arieh Shalev (Psychiatry, NYU)
Rebecca Jordan-Young (Women and Gender Studies, Barnard)
Nancy Campbell (Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer)

12PM Lunch

1PM Plasticity and Stabilization
Darcy Kelley (Biological Sciences, Columbia)
Victoria Pitts-Taylor (Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Wesleyan)
Stephen Flusberg (Psychology, SUNY Purchase)

2:30PM Coffee break

3PM Visual Bio-Narratives
Sabrina McCormick (George Washington University, Environmental and Occupational Health)
Abou Farman (New School, Anthropology)

4:30PM Next Steps

5PM Close

Whose Body, What Choice: Egg Provision, Gestational Surrogacy, and Extending Parenthood (Mar. 10, New School)

Whose Body, What Choice:

Egg Provision, Gestational Surrogacy, and Extending Parenthood

March 10th, 2016
6:00-8:00 p.m.

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
Arnhold Hall
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY10011

As the scope of reproductive technologies expands, individuals with specific reproductive desires are capitalizing on new ways to create families, policymakers are scrambling to regulate practices locally and internationally, and researchers are making use of the “leftover” bioresources to support biomedical research.  The Interdisciplinary Science and Gender Studies Programs invite you to join a panel of scholars to discuss the societal and legal dimensions of reproductive and stem cell technologies that involve and invoke bodies, labor, and care.  The panel will be preceded by a brief presentation by Katayoun Chamany, Associate Professor of Biology at Eugene Lang College, and Lisa Rubin, Associate Professor of Psychology at The New School will moderate.  Refreshments will be provided.

 Panelists Include:

Daisy Deomampo, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Fordham University, alumna of The New School, and author of Transnational Reproduction: Race, Kinship, and Commercial Surrogacy in India (2016).

Laura Mamo, Professor of Health Education and Associate Director of the Health Equity Institute for Research, Practice and Policy at San Francisco State University, author of Queering Reproduction: Achieving Pregnancy in an Age of Technoscience (2010).

Lisa Ikemoto, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at U.C. Davis School of Law and Bioethics Associate of the U.C. Davis Health System Bioethics Program, author of several articles focused on labor connected to egg, surrogacy, and stem cell markets.

Co-sponsored by The Department of Natural Sciences and Math at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts; Gender Studies at The New School; and Student Health Services, Wellness, and Health Promotion.

This event is part of the Gender Studies Labors of Love series and the Health Challenges for the 21st Century: The Global and National Landscape .

Call for Papers: International Journal of Mental Health

SPECIAL ISSUE: Biosocial Approaches to Understanding Mental Health and Behavior

This special issue will feature original research, conceptual essays and reviews that bridge social science and life science in theory and method. It asks how interdisciplinary approaches lead us to reconceptualize the interaction of social with biological processes. Relevant topics include but are not limited to epigenetics, neuroplasticity, and the microbiome, as well as the dynamics of gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status in shaping mental health and behavioral outcomes through the interaction of social and biological systems.

Kavli Conversations on Science Communication (New York University)

A live, interactive webcast from New York. Join us!

What happens when leading journalists who cover science and eminent scientists who reach mass audiences get together to exchange ideas? What do their differing perspectives tell us about how science communication is changing and how we can do it better?

Please join in our next interactive, live webcast by visiting this page at 6:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 24 and by tweeting your questions with the #KavliConvo hashtag.

Sponsored by the Kavli Foundation and the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at NYU. Moderated by Robert Lee Hotz, science writer at the Wall Street Journal.

Full information available here.

April 11, NYC: The Search for Genetic Origins of Human Behavior; Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications

The Search for Genetic Origins of Human Behavior: Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications

April 11, 2016 - 1:00 pm

Columbia University Medical Center

Please join us for our Annual Conference on Monday, April 11, 2016.

The Search for Genetic Origins of Human Behavior: Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications

The search for genes that influence human behavior raises important ethical, legal, and social issues.  How will our attitudes change if we learn that people’s behavior is due, at least in part, to genes?  Should genetic tests that predict tendencies to behave in certain ways be developed, and if so, how should they be used?   If genetic contributions to gender identity are found, will that alter how we view sexuality and gender?  What impact will identification of genes that contribute to criminal behavior, including violence, have on our views about personal responsibility?  Should the legal system alter its approach to culpability for criminal actions and punishment? At this conference, ethical, legal, and social issues related to behavior genetics will be discussed in the context of two particularly timely topics: gender identity and violent behavior.

Full schedule available here.