Introduction: Eric Davidson and the molecular biology of evolution and development

Michel Morange, Ute Deichmann

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Between November 30th and December 2nd, 2015, the Jacques Loeb Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva (Israel) held its Eighth International Workshop under the title “From Genome to Gene: Causality, Synthesis and Evolution”. Eric Davidson, the founder of the concept of developmental Gene Regulatory Networks, had regularly attended the previous meetings, and his participation in this one was expected, but he suddenly passed away 3 months before. In this paper, we provide an introduction and overview on five papers that were presented at the workshop and examine the importance of genomes and gene regulatory networks in extant biology, developmental biology, evolutionary biology and medicine, as well as a collection of remembrances of Eric Davidson, of his personality as well as of his scientific contributions. Historical perspectives are provided, and the ethical issues raised by the new tools developed to modify the genome are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalHistory and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Developmental biology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Gene regulatory network
  • Genome
  • Molecular medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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