About Me

James Griesemer

I am a Distinguished Professor Emeritus (as of July 1, 2023) in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis, the UC Davis Department of Science and Technology Studies, the Center for Science and Innovation Studies, the Cultural Studies Graduate Group, the Population Biology Graduate Group, and the Center for Population Biology. I am also Past-President of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology a current member of the Scientific Advisory Board of KLI in Klosterneuberg, Austria, and newly appointed Senior Advisor to the journal, Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society.

My primary interests are philosophical, historical, and social understanding of the biological sciences, especially evolutionary biology, genetics, developmental biology, ecology and systematics. I have written on a wide variety of topics in history, philosophy and social studies of biology, including models and practices in museum-based natural history, laboratory-based ecology, units and levels of inheritance and selection in evolutionary biology, and visual representation in embryology and genetics.

I am perpetually writing a book, Reproduction in the Evolutionary Process, which develops a theory of reproduction more comprehensive than current philosophical accounts of inheritance, with applications to theoretical problems ranging from the nature and origin of living systems, evolutionary transitions, eco-evo-devo, and cultural change.

I am the PI of an NSF-funded project on the Re-situation of Scientific Knowledge. My collaborator, Carlos Andrés Barragán, is an anthropologist, archeologist, historian and science studies scholar. The project explores what happens when objects of knowledge (such as datasets, models, software, findings, or visualizations) move between situations of scientific inquiry, e.g. when one team, project, or research shop adopts analytical software developed by another team, in a different project, or another research shop. Our focus is human population genomics ancestry studies.

I am the PI of a project to study the sociology of the “Purpose Project” (SoPP) funded by The John Templeton Foundation. It is a study of interdisciplinarity in formation, focusing on the Templeton funded project: Agency, Directionality and Function.

Office & Lab – Three different approximations