SHEtalks: "From socio-cultural organization to microbial and molecular regulation of life" by Wim Van Daele

Welcome to SHEtalk by Associate Professor Wim Van Daele. Wim will talk about "From socio-cultural organization to microbial and molecular regulation of life, and back: Towards an interdisciplinary integration through biosocial pathways and entanglements."

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Photo: University of Agder

Please send an email to Trine Kleven if you want to join the talk.


With the proliferation in studies of the epigenome and microbiome (and the associated microbiomania), social scientists have eagerly begun to research some of the social and moral implications as well as reconsider the definition of being human. In this presentation, I discuss possibilities for a more radical interdisciplinary cooperation where socio-cultural research can contribute to the actual research design and the science of these exciting fields. I discuss rare examples of such cooperation, including strengths, weaknesses and problems encountered. Thereafter, I suggest further strengthening this interdisciplinary cooperation by meticulously examining through the biosocial network of food the multiple pathways and entanglements between the socio-cultural organization of life, on the one hand, and the microbial and molecular regulation of life, on the other. I discuss the difficulties of translating this proposal into practice at the hand of my experiences in setting up pilot projects in Ecuador and Sri Lanka in cooperation with epigenome and microbiome researchers.

Short bio

Wim Van Daele is Associate Professor at the Department of nutrition and public health at the University of Agder where he is also attached to the top priority research center Lifecourse Nutrition. He has obtained his Joint PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies and Comparative Science of Cultures in Belgium in 2013 and was a visiting scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, the University of Chicago and Columbia University. During his postdoc at the University of Oslo, he was working with Thomas Hylland Eriksen and increasingly delving into the fields of medical anthropology, epigenetics, nutrition and (gut) microbiota. He is currently developing and starting up pilot projects grounded in such a solid interdisciplinary cooperation together with relevant specialists and research institutes.


SHEtalks are open lectures and a collaboration between KNOWIT and SHE.


Emneord: Nutrition, Microbial, Molecular nutrition, socio-cultural, anthropology
Publisert 2. okt. 2020 12:00 - Sist endret 17. feb. 2021 11:19