A history of epigenetic 'revolution' Event as iCalendar

19 October 2018

12:30 - 1:30pm

Venue: Liggins Institute – Room 503-020

Location: 85 Park Road, Grafton, Auckland

Contact email: s.gusso@auckland.ac.nz

17_03_27Liggins_Staff-Student_Tatjana Buklijas_077
Dr Tatjana Buklijas

About the talk: This talk will be based on Dr Tatjana’s current Marsden-funded research project on the history of epigenetics. This fast expanding field is at present generating much public interest. While epigenetics was originally conceived as the study of the recruitment of genes in development, it is now best known for the propositions that environmental influences—including nutrition, pollution, environmental toxins, as well as deprivation, stress and parental care—not only modulate and/or supplement the information encoded in the DNA sequence, but can be inherited by future generations. Once the province of geneticists and developmental biologists, epigenetics has become a meeting point of medical sciences, public health, evolutionary biology, but also social science and activist groups seeking recognition of historical trauma. In this talk, she will briefly outline the history of epigenetics from Conrad Waddington’s introduction of the term around 1940, through the speculations on the role of methylation in the early to mid-1970s and first methylation studies in the following decade, work on imprinting and consolidation of the field in the 1990s. She will end talk with an overview of fields entering epigenetics such as DOHaD, reproductive biology and psychiatry, in the socio-political context of the late 20th/early 21st century. Throughout, she intend to use examples from the history of epigenetics to show why understanding history of science is useful for both scientists and policy makers.   

About the speaker: Dr Tatjana Buklijas was trained in medicine (Zagreb) and in history and philosophy of science (Cambridge). She has worked in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, and at the Liggins Institute, in the fields of evolutionary medicine and DOHaD, as well as history of science, especially: history of heredity, development and evolution; the relationship between science and politics; science in the city; ethics in science in the historical context. Working with the former Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor's Office, now Centre for Science in Policy, Diplomacy and Society at the University of Auckland, she has contributed to science policy and science advice at national and international level.