What is PhilInBioMed?

PhilInBioMed is both an interdisciplinary institute located at the University of Bordeaux, France, and a national and international network of interdisciplinary institutes. PhilInBioMed aims at promoting philosophy in the biological and medical sciences, a co-production of knowledge by the direct interactions of philosophers, biologists, and medical doctors.

The mission of PhilInBioMed is to promote short-term and long-term stays of philosophers in biology and medicine labs, as well as short-term and long-term stays of biologists and MDs in philosophy labs, and, ultimately, collaborative publications by philosophers, biologists, and medical doctors.

2020 Summer School Philosophy in Biology and Medicine

From May 25th-29th 2020 PhilInBioMed and the ERC IDEM project organize the interdisciplinary summer school Philosophy in Biology and Medicine. 20 young scholars (PhD students and Postdocs) from the fields of philosophy of science, the life sciences, and medicine will come together and learn to use interdisciplinary methods to address conceptual issues in scientific research.

Course leaders will be there to present practical examples of interdisciplinary partnerships from their career, and to advise and interact with participants throughout the week. This is a unique opportunity for young researchers to develop new interdisciplinary approaches that will benefit the participants throughout their career. Read more here.



Upcoming events


‘What is an Individual Organism? Philosophical Problems’ Conference in Krakow

  Understanding the origins and nature of biological individual constitute important problems in the biological sciences. For instance, what separates a genuine biological individual from an aggregate of lower units, or from a population of interacting lower entities? Answering these questions could permit us to understand better the status of ant colonies or honey bees,… Read more »

New Philosophy of Biology section in eLIFE

  The importance of philosophy in the life sciences is becoming more and more obvious – to philosophers and scientists alike. One marker for the increased awareness is the new "Philosophy of Biology" section of eLIFE. This peer-reviewed journal targets an audience in the biomedical and life science field. The fact that they now welcome… Read more »

Summer school: Data & Health

Big data and algorithms are profoundly transforming contemporary medicine. The program of this interdisciplinary summer school will present the genetic and bioinformatics foundations of this evolution and its philosophical, ethical, legal, sociological and psychological issues. Each session will include a conference and a workshop on a specific case. Students will actively participate in the final… Read more »


Latest positions

A question, a position to advertise?

If you have any questions, and/or if you would like to advertise an interdisciplinary position (wherever in the world), please contact us.

Latest projects

IDEM is an ERC-funded project (2015-2020) located at the interface between philosophy of biology and biology. Hosted by the CNRS in Bordeaux, France, IDEM is conducted by Thomas Pradeu. More information about this project here.  

The members of this interdisciplinary project attempt to propose a refined definition of the notion of tumor microenvironment, at the interface between cancer biology, developmental biology, immunology, and studies on angiogenesis. People involved: Andreas Bikfalvi (Inserm), Dorothée Duluc, Lucie Laplane (IHPST & IGR), Nicolas Larmonier, Thomas Pradeu. More information about this project here.  

Initiated by Jean-François Moreau, this project is based on the idea that mobility is central to immunity. In the transition from unicellularity to multicellularity, all cells have mostly lost their mobility – except for the immune cells. We are interested in better characterizing this link between immunity and mobility, and the way it emerged through… Read more »

Latest publications

Multicellularity exists in all domains of life, spanning from microbial biofilms to plans and metazoans. Clearly multicellularity offers many advantages (increase in size, division of labor, increased complexity), but also comes with a number of challenges (control and coordination of cells, availability of nutrients and signaling molecules,…). A number of publications have looked at the… Read more »

For decades cancer research had focused exclusively on the tumor. Later the vision was broadend to the tumor microenvironment (TME). Today five researchers – both philosophers and scientists – call for a look beyond the tumor microenvironment. In the minireview they show the crucial importance of the tumor organismal environment (TOE). Find the full article… Read more »

    The availability of big data has the potential to transform many areas of the life sciences and usher in new ways of doing research. Sabina Leonelli argues that big data biology also raises fundamental questions in the philosophy of science: for example, what is a good dataset, and how can reliable knowledge be… Read more »