Systematics is a branch of biology that seeks the perfection of the organisms’ classification system, i.e., the process of identifying and grouping organisms according to their kinship. It is a conceptual and synthetic science that includes Phylogeny, Taxonomy, Ecology and Paleontology. But how should Systematics work as a science? And Phylogeny?
Today, with the technological advances in the genetics field, Systematics has to many different methods and perspectives available, often conflicting. To choose the appropriate option for each study became harder day after day, so more and more often researchers option is to skip this step, which is widelyaccepted as intrinsic part of the scientific method. In an attempt to reverse this trend Dr. Kirk Fitzhugh, Curator of the polychaete collection of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles since 1990 and Researcher at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, offerslong ago the course ‘Philosophy of Biological Systematics’ worldwide.
From the perspective of the philosophical foundations of science, Dr. Fitzhugh, offers a critical and unique course where attendees will examine the essence of scientific research together with the requirements of systematics to work within the established principles of rational reasoning. What do we need to test phylogenetic hypotheses? How can we judge the empirical support for these hypotheses? What approaches are scientifically unacceptable in terms of phylogenetic analysis?
The course ‘Philosophy of Biological Systematics’ first arrived in Spain hosted by the Consolidated Research Group of Benthic Ecology of the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC). It is addressed to researchers working in fields related to biology and other sciences where phylogenetic and/or systematictechniques apply. University professors and students, as well as pre-doctoral, doctoral and post-doctoral students in these areas are also welcome.
The course will last 5 days, from February 27 to March 3. It will take place in the CEAB’s Auditorium and will be completely free for all attendees.
More information on the course is available at www.ceab.csic.es/phylosophy-biological-sciences/, along with the registration form. All those interested to attend the course have to fill out the form and then sendit to email@example.com.