We are happy to announce that Diagrams 2022 will host the following workshops as its associated events. The workshops will take place on September 13 2022

Diagrams of Life and Evolution

organised by Nathalie Gontier

Workshop description
The evolution of life today is commonly illustrated by diagrams that include timelines, phylogenetic trees, and networks. Each of these diagrams more or less associate with different evolution schools that aim at depicting different aspects of the evolutionary process. Timelines associate with older natural history research that began to situate the evolution of life in deep time, phylogenetic trees were mostly developed within Neodarwinian schools to illustrate the descent with modification of species, and network models primarily associate with research on interactions that occur during development (e.g. gene regulatory networks) and ecology (e.g. food networks, host-microbiome relationships) or interactions that underlie reticulate evolution (evolution that occurs by means of lateral gene transfer, symbiosis, symbiogenesis, hybridization or infective heredity). These evolutionary diagrams, moreover, find their intellectual precursors in cosmographies that include scales of nature or chains of being, life cycles or wheels of time, genealogies and pedigrees.

This workshop will investigate these major diagrams of evolution, their precursors in intellectual history, and their adequacy in depicting the mechanisms and processes or general aspects of life that they intent to illustrate. Along the way, the workshop furthermore aims to expose curious parallels between diagrammatic research in the life and the natural sciences, reasons for which might be found in the way humans conceptualize diagrams cognitively. This workshop is therefore also relevant for participants in the psychological tract.

Cycles of Life – Chains of Being – Scales of Nature – Pedigrees and Genealogies – Trees of life – Evolutionary Timelines – Phylogenetic trees – Networks – Mode and Tempo of Evolution – Hierarchy theory

Call for Participation
In this workshop, we call for abstracts that provide historical, philosophical, psychological, or educational analyses of diagrams that either depict the evolution of life or that precede these diagrams in intellectual history. Diagrams can include:

  • Evolutionary timelines, phylogenetic trees, networks
  • Scales of nature, chains of being, religious and mythological trees of life
  • Pedigrees and genealogies (including Jesse and Adamic trees)
  • Wheels of time, cycles of life and death, coming and becoming, generation and decay

Topics of discussion can include, but are not limited to the following research questions:

  • What are the cultural precursors of evolutionary diagrams?
  • What, if any, is the historical relation between older cosmographies and evolutionary diagrams?
  • How does the intellectual history of diagrams of life and evolution correlate with advances in mathematics?
  • What are the historical parallels with diagram formation in the biological and the natural sciences?
  • How able are evolutionary diagrams in depicting the theories, mechanisms, processes, phenomena they intent to illustrate?
  • How able are evolutionary diagrams in depicting the mode and/or tempo in evolution?
  • What are the major differences between timelines, trees, and networks?
  • How are evolutionary hierarchies depicted in diagrams?
  • How is evolutionary causation depicted in diagrams?
  • How do evolutionary diagrams depict time and space?
  • How do evolutionary diagrams underlie model-based reasoning?
  • How do evolutionary diagrams facilitate scientific or public understanding of evolution?
  • Do evolutionary diagrams drive evolutionary thinking?
  • Diagrams as educational tools

A selection of submissions will be considered for publication in the Springer Nature book series Interdisciplinary Evolution Research.

Instructions on how to submit you Abstract
Interested scholars can send their abstracts (max. 500 words) together with title, author name/s, affiliation/s, and contact details directly to Nathalie Gontier. Be sure to mention Diagrams2022 in the email subject. The deadline for abstract submissions is June 15th, 2022. Notification will follow by June 30th.

Important Notice
Note that accepted participants will have to register as regular participants of the main conference.

Cordial thanks to our sponsers!