NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

July 29

NHGRI Conference To Celebrate Work of David Depew

head and shoulders image of Depew
An NHGRI conference will celebrate the work of Dr. David Depew, professor emeritus at the University of Iowa.

The NHGRI History of Genomics Program will host a 1-day conference, From the “Baldwin Effect” to Genes of Small Effect: Celebrating the Work of David Depew. The event will be held virtually on Thursday, July 29 at 11 a.m. (ET). 

Depew, professor emeritus at the University of Iowa, was among the first philosophers and historians of genetics to also address some of the fundamental legacies of Aristotle in modern biology. 

Depew’s work speaks to some of the foundational questions that have emerged out of the evolutionary synthesis, affirming that philosophy of biology without the history of biology cannot address fundamental questions about the natural world. His work underscores the political and social ramifications of biological knowledge, while also affirming that developments in philosophical vocabulary continually inform discussions of biology and evolution.

Eight internationally recognized scholars will draw from themes in Depew’s work across several areas of the history and philosophy of biology.

The History of Genomics Program collects, organizes and makes accessible historic materials related to the field of genomics and NHGRI. By bringing together historians and philosophers of biology, the conference will help to increase the understanding of genomics, its history and its philosophical and ethical implications in the scholarly community and among the wider public.

To register, visit

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