Flavio D'Abramo

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Jan 2019-Dec 2020)


My research situates at the intersection of history, philosophy, and sociology of science. I have been using this approach to produce arguments to dissect the inception of biomolecular, genetic, and epigenetic models and their application for the development of biomedical technologies amidst policies of national and communitarian agencies, and the cultural patterns underpinning the scientific production within the healthcare systems.

After having obtained my doctorate in Rome (La Sapienza) with fieldwork undertaken at the Imperial College London (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health), I have been collaborating with the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) and was a visiting scholar at the Ruhr-University Bochum (Institute of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine). I was Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Freie University Berlin, with fieldwork undertaken at the Charité University hospital.

My project at the MPIWG is an inquiry into the historical, philosophical, and political factors underpinning different scientific models that have been developed to consider organisms’ biological changes in relation to different kinds of environmental stresses (e.g., changes in temperature, photoperiod or diet, exposition to X-rays, the belonging to a specific social groups or social class, and migration). Particular attention will be given to the different (temporal and spatial) scales and values within the models and explanations used by scientists so as to facilitate a transdisciplinary debate that is able to consider the scientific uncertainties related to key notions such as toxicity and risk. The historical phenomena considered will be framed in long durée approach in order to develop the elements for a grand narrative that can highlight the role of biology within the contemporary debate around the Anthropocene.


IV. Knowledge in and of the Anthropocene


No projects were found for this scholar.

Selected Publications

D'Abramo, F. (2018). An appraisal of the biological sublime between eugenics, epigenetics and the political economy of life sciences. Azimuth, 12(VI), 129-145.

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Rispoli, G., & D'Abramo, F. (2019). Ivan I. Schmalhausen (1884–1963). In L. Nuño de la Rosa, & G. B. Müller (Eds.), Evolutionary developmental biology: a reference guide (pp. 1-13). Cham: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-33038-9.

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D'Abramo, F., & Landecker, H. (2019). Anthropocene in the cell. Technosphere Magazine, (20.3.2019), 1-7.

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Yarborough, M., Bredenoord, A., D'Abramo, F., Joyce, N. C., Kimmelman, J., Ogbogu, U., Sena, E., Strech, D., & Dirnagl, U. (2018). The bench is closer to the bedside than we think: uncovering the ethical ties between preclinical researchers in…

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Anthropocene and Public Health


Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

“Contextualising epigenetics. Sociohistorical remarks”
Epigenetics: Innovation of Memory? Life Science Paradigms as Challenge and Opportunity for Historians 

Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

“The neoliberal turn of epigenetics”
The Politics of Plasticity: On Solidarity and Mutual Aid

Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Institute of Philosophy, Prague


“Biotechnologies for present and future generations”
CRI Research Seminar

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (CRI), Paris

“Big data for biomedical research, a democratic endeavour? The case of biobanking”
Internal Workshop

University of Campinas, Institute of Geosciences, Group for S&TS, Campinas

“Can the Biomedical Enterprise be a Public and Democratic Endeavour? The Case of Biobank Research”
Science and Democracy Network, 16th Annual Meeting

Harvard Law School, Cambridge (MA)