We explore the distinctive characteristics of Mexico's society, politics and history that impacted the establishment of genetics in Mexico, as a new disciplinary field that began in the early 20th century and was consolidated and institutionalized in the second half. We identify about three stages in the institutionalization of genetics in Mexico. The first stage can be characterized by Edmundo Taboada, who was the leader of a research program initiated during the Cárdenas government (1934-1940), which was primarily directed towards improving (...) the condition of small Mexican farmers. Taboada is the first Mexican post-graduate investigator in phytotechnology and phytopathology, trained at Cornell University and the University of Minnesota, in 1932 and 1933, respectively. He was the first investigator to teach plant genetics at the National School of Agriculture and wrote the first textbook of general genetics, Genetics Notes, in 1938. Taboada's most important single genetics contribution was the production of "stabilized" corn varieties. The extensive exile of Spanish intellectuals to Mexico, after the end of Spain's Civil War (1936-1939), had a major influence in Mexican science and characterizes the second stage. The three main personalities contributing to Mexican genetics are Federico Bonet de Marco and Bibiano Fernández Osorio Tafall, at the National School of Biological Sciences, and José Luis de la Loma y Oteyza, at the Chapingo Agriculture School. The main contribution of the Spanish exiles to the introduction of genetics in Mexico concerned teaching. They introduced in several universities genetics as a distinctive discipline within the biology curriculum and wrote genetics text books and manuals. The third stage is identified with Alfonso León de Garay, who founded the Genetics and Radiobiology Program in 1960 within the National Commission of Nuclear Energy, which had been founded in 1956. The Genetics and Radiobiology Program rapidly became a disciplinary program, for it embraced research, teaching, and training of academics and technicians. The Mexican Genetics Society, created by de Garay in 1966, and the development of strains and cultures for genetics research were important activities. One of de Garay's key requirements was the compulsory training of the Program's scientists for at least one or two years in the best universities of the United States and Europe. De Garay's role in the development of Mexican genetics was fundamental. His broad vision encompassed the practice of genetics in all its manifestations. (shrink)
It is with great sadness that I record the death of Francisco Varela, who passed away at his home in Paris, on May 28, 2001. With his passing, the science of consciousness has lost one of its most brilliant, original, creative, and compas- sionate thinkers.
Comment from Author (12-17-13): Please note that the correct term for the theological attempt to resolve the problem of how evil can exist in a world ruled by a loving and all-powerful God is "theodicy," not "theodicity" as indicated in the second paragraph on the first page of the article. I apologize for the error.
What are the main debates in philosophy of biology today? The present book (part of the series Contemporary Debates in Philosophy) attempts to identify and discuss some of the most important of these. The endeavour is, I think, successful; the collection is a valuable contribution to the literature of philosophy of biology. Before discussing some particular lines of thought in the book, some brief remarks on its structure and organization: the book consists of ten parts, each of which is centred (...) around an important issue in philosophy of biology. Like other collections in this series, each part includes two papers arguing for opposing views concerning the central issue, together with postscripts where the authors have the opportunity to directly confront the arguments of the opposition. There is also considerable interaction between the authors in the main body of their papers, short introductions by the editors and lists with suggestions for further reading. This arrangement is the mai ... (shrink)
Se indaga la relación que se da en la República entre los dos significados de ousia: como propiedad en el sentido de posesiones y riqueza, o en el sentido de esencia o sustancia. Aparte de las relaciones económicas asociadas al préstamo, al intercambio y al interés, se examina la función que, respecto de la ousia, cumple la moneda en la economía como recurso para disociar la riqueza de las posesiones, con lo cual logra un nivel de universalidad y equivalencia equiparable (...) al del propio ser. The article inquires into the relation established in the Republic between the two meanings of ousia: property in the sense of possessions and wealth, and essence or substance. Besides the economic relations associated with loans, exchange, and interest, the paper examines the role of currency in the economy, with respect to ousia, as a means of dissociating wealth from possessions, thus achieving a degree of universality comparable to that of being itself. (shrink)