Exploring A Landscape: Research into the development and influence of CH Waddington’s Epigenetic Landscape.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Epigenetics is currently an expanding field of biomedical research relating to changes in gene expression, phenotype and heredity as a result of external or environmental factors. The term, an adaptation of Aristotle’s theory of Epigenesis, was initially coined by developmental biologist and philosopher C.H. Waddington in 1942 to describe how genes might interact with their surroundings.
To illustrate this concept, Waddington developed a visual metaphor in the form of a ball in a landscape.
This visualisation of an ‘Epigenetic landscape’ has been such an effective model that it has become something of an icon within the biomedical sciences – particularly in recent years as Epigenetics has become an increasingly dynamic field. The model has been reinterpreted many times, including by Waddington himself as a metaphor for navigating any complex system. In ‘Tools for Thought’ (Edinburgh 1976) – Waddington’s final publication (published posthumously) he collaborated with artist Yolanda Sonnabend to extend the visualisation of the concept of the Epigenetic Landscape.
During my recent research as resident artist with the EpiGeneSys European Network of Excellence I have been reviewing this work and collaborating with other artists and scientists to explore the concept of the Epigenetic Landscape - and how it can be further applied in a contemporary context. This work is currently being developed in a variety of media, but with print and printmaking methods as the principal means of exploration, the processes of which can also be considered generally as analogous to this model of the Epigenetic Landscape.
Note: EpiGeneSys is a European Network of Excellence based at the Institut Curie, Paris. The intention of the network is to bring together the emerging research areas of Epigenetics and Systems Biology.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2018
EventIMPACT 10 - ENCUENTRO - Santander 2018 Conferencia Internacional Multidisciplinar de Gráfica - Santander, Spain
Duration: 1 Sep 20189 Sep 2018
https://www.impact10.es

Conference

ConferenceIMPACT 10 - ENCUENTRO - Santander 2018 Conferencia Internacional Multidisciplinar de Gráfica
Abbreviated titleIMPACT 10 - ENCUENTRO - Santander 2018 Conferencia Internacional Multidisciplinar de Gráfica
CountrySpain
CitySantander
Period1/09/189/09/18
Internet address

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    Dibujando por Pensamiento: Impact 10, Santander

    Translated title of the contribution: Drawn for ThoughtHarrison, P., 2018

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    Harrison, P., 2018

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    Cite this

    Harrison, P. (2018). Exploring A Landscape: Research into the development and influence of CH Waddington’s Epigenetic Landscape. . Paper presented at IMPACT 10 - ENCUENTRO - Santander 2018 Conferencia Internacional Multidisciplinar de Gráfica, Santander, Spain.