"Experimenting with Animals" Workshop Keynote Address
Thursday, March 31, 2011 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM in the Memorial Union Journey Room. A public reception will follow. Meli has widespread research interests, including 16th- to 18th-century
Domenico Bertoloni Meli of the University of Indiana, Bloomington, will deliver the keynote address for the "Experimenting with Animals from Antiquity to the Enlightenment" workshop, to be held on Friday, April 1. Following is a synopsis of his talk:
In the period from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, understanding of the living world underwent profound transformations. One perspective from which to look at some of those transformations is the dichotomy between uniformity and diversity of living organisms. Bertoloni Meli has identified three levels of diversity: among species, among individuals within one species, and even within a single organism—involving seasonal and geographical variations, for example. He will argue that while in many instances the notion of uniformity of nature broke down in dramatic fashion, surprising and unpredictable parallels and analogies emerged among different fields. Snails and horsetails emerge as unlikely protagonists of those transformations, leading to radically new perspectives on sexual reproduction and to the demise of an anthropomorphic model of generation.
Bertoloni Meli teaches the history of science and medicine at Indiana University, Bloomington. He has worked on both the physico-mathematical and medico-anatomical disciplines in the early modern period. His main publications include Equivalence and Priority: Newton Versus Leibniz (Oxford, 1993, paperback 1997); Thinking with Objects: The Transformation of Mechanics in the Seventeenth Century (Hopkins, 2006); and Mechanism, Experiment, Disease: Marcello Malpighi and Seventeenth-Century Anatomy (Hopkins, 2011).
The "Experimenting with Animals" workshop is made possible through the generous support of the Horning Endowment in the Humanities.