Making sense of Genotype-Phenotype Distinction, another version 6

The revised draft begins:

The predominant current-day meaning of genotype is some relevant part of the whole genome, the DNA passed to the organism by its parents. The phenotype is the physical and behavioral characteristics of the organism, for example, size and shape, metabolic activities, and patterns of movement.   The distinction is especially important in evolutionary theory, where the survival and mating of organisms depends on their traits, but it is the DNA, held to be unaffected by the development of the traits over the life course, that is transmitted to the next generation.

However: Continue reading

Learning from experience in the past and elsewhere to prepare one’s community for epidemics that may or may not happen

This “Design sketch” is to initiate a series of Collaborative Explorations (CEs) in one’s community on a range of angles on epidemics and community responses. It arose for Case 3 for the session, “Gathering into Community,” of Design for Living Complexities,  Continue reading

Historical scans and Situational Analysis

Here are some quick reflections and questions about Situational Analysis (SA), a qualitative research approach based on grounded theory (Clarke 2005).

Central to SA are maps of the complexity of considerations, social worlds, relationships, and positions. The goal is to capture the situation as it is experienced and relevant to the people working and living in it. A key tension is how much theory informs the way the researcher identifies and conceptualizes what goes into the maps in contrast to how much theory and concepts emerge from the analysis. Continue reading

Four steps to interpret and move beyond nature-nurture (for a handbook on environmental studies)

My four steps to interpret and move beyond nature-nurture for the current draft of a 1500-word entry for a handbook on environmental studies: Continue reading

Making sense of genotype-phenotype distinctions, version 5

The predominant current-day meaning of genotype is the DNA passed to the organism by its parents. The phenotype is the physical and behavioral characteristics of the organism, for example, size and shape, metabolic activities, and patterns of movement. The distinction between the terms seems straightforward, but their use opens up a range of conceptual and methodological questions. Continue reading

Who inquires into the basis for inquiry?

[This book] reminds us that the quest for knowledge demands uncompromising skepticism and abundant humility alongside the insatiable curiosity that has always characterized the human heart. M. Engel 2016

Scientists often make grand claims about their profession like this one.   Which scientists show skepticism about such claims,  humility about what goes into being able to pursue science, and curiosity about how to understand the human social dynamics—something not captured well by a romantic invocation of the heart that all humans (or anyone laying claim to being fully human)—that shape what inquiries get pursued and accepted?

Bringing interventions into the research itself, in Ontario and Santiago?

I am wondering whether there are points of fruitful interaction to be had between a proposed approach to research within the Ontario Health Study and the work on cultivating citizen volunteers among users Twitter in responding to disasters in Chile. Continue reading