Nature vs Nurture?  Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Vitalism and Epigenetics

by Michael A. Osborne

Epigenetics is linked to inheritance, health, and longevity

For portions of the next three years I’ll be a Senior Fellow at the Aix-Marseille Institute for Advanced Study and working on epigenetic inheritance systems.   I have mapped out collaborations with European colleagues on the theme of “Scientific and Social Physiology in Context.”  Why Marseille? Because the project investigates the historical linkages between human physiology and the social determinants of health and does so through focused examination of a style of physiology promoted in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Provence, the region around Marseille.  I am trying to link scientific conceptions about the body and health with ideas about society and (possibly) spirituality.  Continue reading