25 Gen 2023 10:00

Maurizio Meloni: Health and Bodies in Postgenomics

Ca' Bottacin, Dorsoduro 3911 Venice

January 25th, 10.00 am at Ca' Bottacin (Dorsoduro 3911)

Maurizio Meloni (Deakin University) presents: Health and Bodies in Postgenomics: From Genetic Causality to Organism/environment(s) Entanglement


After the completion of the Human Genome Project in the early 2000s, postgenomics has emerged as an increasingly discussed umbrella term to cover all research on the complex molecular architecture that connects genomic sequences to the phenotype, expanding to a new set of approaches dubbed the “-omics” (e.g. epigenomics, microbiomics, transcriptomics: Richardson & Stevens, 2015). In the first part of my presentation, I will discuss the multiple semantics of the concept and its different operationalizations in medicine, philosophy, history, and sociology of biology (Griffiths & Stotz, 2013; Richardson and Stevens, 2015; Keller, 2015; Landecker & Panofsky, 2013; Meloni, 2016). In the second part I will focus on one specific aspect of this polysemic term, that is the emerging logic of imprint by which the experiential and physical milieu “originating outside the body” is seen as impacting directly the biological body producing “shifts in conformation deep inside cells” (Lappé & Landecker, 2015: 153). Environmental epigenetics and DOHaD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease) are particularly representative of this biosocial exchange between inner body and outer environment, particularly early life conditions. In conclusion, I will try to discuss both possible overlap with current research in microbiomics and highlight some of the social implications of seeing our biological body as deeply "impressionable" by ecological and social conditions.


Maurizio Meloni is a social theorist and a science and technology studies scholar with a strong interest in the history of biology (both premodern and modern). He is the author of Political Biology: Science and Social Values in Human Heredity from Eugenics to Epigenetics (Palgrave, 2016: Winner of the Human Biology Association Book Award, 2020), Impressionable Biologies: From the Archaeology of Plasticity to the Sociology of Epigenetics (Routledge, 2019), co-editor of Biosocial Matters (Wiley 2016), and chief editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society (2018). He is currently Australian Research Council Future Fellow at Deakin University (Australia) working on a 4-year project on "Impressionable Bodies: Epigenetic Models of Plasticity in the Global South". 

Prof. Meloni has benefited in the past from several international research grants and fellowships, including two Marie Curie fellowships in the UK (University of Nottingham, 2009-2014), a Fulbright scholarship (University of Chicago, 2006-2007), an annual membership at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (NJ, 2014-2015), a Silverman Professorship at the Cohn Inst. For the History and Philosophy of Science, Tel Aviv University (2022),  and funded postdoctoral visits at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG, Berlin, 2007-2008) and the Bios Centre (LSE, 2008).

This event is organised by the HealthXCross Project, P.I. Roberta Raffaetà, 'GA n. 949742 ERC-HealthXCross'


L'evento si terrà in inglese


NICHE, HealthXCross Project


Poster 2095 KB

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