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Plants, Animals, and Ownership Innovation and Interllectual Property Protection in Living Organisms since the 18 TH Century - 3-5 juin 2011

Plants, Animals, and Ownership Innovation and Interllectual Property Protection in Living Organisms since the 18 TH Century

New Haven, CT, USA June 3-5, 2011

An international workshop will be held at Yale University, New Haven, CT (USA) from June 3-5, 2011. The workshop is sponsored by The Yale Program in the History of Science and Medicine with assistance from CERMES, Paris, and organized by Daniel J. Kevles (Yale University) and Jean-Paul Gaudillière (INSERM, Paris).


The history of plant and animal innovation and of IP protection in living organisms is a relatively new field but one of rapidly increasing importance that is drawing a growing number of senior and, especially, junior scholars. This history forms the background to the contemporary global enterprise in biotechnology, yet little of it is yet known. The workshop thus aims to call attention to the rich variety of topics that await exploration and to acquaint the participants with each other and each other's work. An important goal is to foster the further development of an international network in the field whose formation has been stimulated in the last few years by several workshops and conferences in England, Europe, and the United States.

The aim of the workshop is to link the question of the changing ways of manipulating organismes and creating variation with the problem of property and market development. Also of interest are therefore papers on the various means devised since the 18th century to establish and protect what would become explicitly recognized as IP in living organisms. Topics here include the specification of living properties by attempts to establish methods of plant and animal identification with systems of nomenclature, botanical illustrations, and animal portraiture through the nineteenth century, and then increasingly through biochemical methods, expert analysis, and ultimately gene sequencing in the twentieth century. These topics also encompass the various arrangements constructed throughout the period for appropriating living beings, including breeding associations, pricing mechanisms, contracts, trademarks, and registries, all of which emerged by the late nineteenth century, and then in the twentieth century the establishment of an international system of plant variety protection and, finally, the extension of utility patent protection to living organisms other than human beings.

Friday, June 3

- 9 :00 - 9 :30 Welcome and Introduction : Dan Kevles and Jean-Paul Gaudilliere

I. Plants and Property : Part 1

- 9 :30 -10:00 Erica Hannickel, Northland College, "An Agricultural Empire of Grape Vines : Grape Culture and the U.S. Patent Office in Antebellum America"

10:00 - 10 :30 Coffee break

- 10:30 - 12:00 Emily Pawley, Dickinson College, "Coining Foliage into Gold : Speculation, Value, and the Mulberry Bubble, 1826-1839"

Kathryn Irving, Yale University, "'As Much His Property As Any Man's House' : Intellectual Property and Botanic Medicine in the Early American Republic"

Comment : Mario Biagioli, University of California, Davis ; Discussion

Lunch, 12:00 – 1:00

II. Plants and Property, Part 2

- 1:00-2:30 Phillip Thurtle, University of Washington, "Manufacturing Horticultural Novelties : Variance and Standardization in the Production and Marketing of Luther Burbank's Creations"

Nicholas Blanchard, Oregon State University, "Cultural Exchange and Identity in Early Genetics : William E. Castle, Clyde E. Keeler, and the Breeders"

Comment : Robin Scheffler, Yale University ; Discussion

- 2:30 to 3:00 Break and walk to the Yale Center for British Art (SW corner, Chapel and High Sts.)

III. Art and Property : The 19th Century (Session at the Yale Center for British Art)

- 3 :00 – 3:45 Dan Kevles, Yale University, "Art and Property in Plants and Animals" (Room 2FCR)

- 3:45 – 5:15 Angus Trumble, Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, and Amy Meyers, Director, YCBA, Tour of paintings/illustrations as resources for the historical interplay of art, plant and animal breeding, and intellectual property protection

- 5 :15 – 6 :00 Wine and cheese, Yale Center for British Art

Saturday, June 4

IV. Plants and Property : Part 3

- 9-10:30 a.m. Courtney Fullilove, Wesleyan University, "For Amber Waves of Grain : Putting Wheat Genes in the American Bread Basket"

Helen Anne Curry, Yale University, "'The Luther Burbank of the Atomic Age' : W. Ralph Singleton and Agricultural Research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1945-1955"

Commentator : Jean-Paul Gaudilliere, INSERM, Paris ; Discussion

- 10:30 to 11 Coffee break

V. Animals and Property, Part 1

- 11-12:30 Lisa Onaga, Cornell University, "A Blend of Breeds and Brands ? Toward a Resolution of Silkworm Varieties in 20th-Century Japan"

Brendan Matz, Yale University, "Creating New Values in Animals in the Age of Mendel's Rediscovery"

Commentator : Berris Charnley, Leeds University ; Discussion

Lunch, 12:30 – 1:30

VI. Animals and Property, Part 2

- 1:30-3:00 Miranda Paton, Yale University, "The Plastic Pig : The Science and Politics of Reshaping the Bacon Hog, 1900-1937"

Bert Theunnisen, University of Utrecht, "Breeding for Nobility or for Production ? Cultures of Dairy Cattle Breeding in the Netherlands, 1945-1995"

Commentator : Harriet Ritvo ; Discussion

- 3:00-3:30 Break

VII. Law and Living Properties : Part 1

- 3:30 – 5:00 Berris Charnley, University of Leeds, "Why Didn't An Equivalent to the 1930 U.S. Plant Patent Act Emerge in Britain ?"

Christophe Bonneuil, Centre Koyré (CNRS, Paris), "Why the Dwarf Genes of the Green Revolution Were Not Patented"

Commentator : Dan Kevles, Yale ; Discussion

Sunday, June 5

VIII. Law and Living Properties, Part 2

- 9 :00 – 10:30 Alain Pottage, London School of Economics, "Archived Life : On the Functions of Patent Depositories"

Jean-Paul Gaudilliere, INSERM, Paris, "Industrializing Medicinal Plant Preparations : Property and Protection at the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European Patent Office and the indian Traditional Knowledge Digital Library."

Commentator : Bruno Strasser, Yale ; discussion

10:30-11:00 Break


- 11:00 – 12:30 Round Table Wrap-Up Dan Kevles, Yale (moderator) : Mario Biagioli, UC Davis ; Jean-Paul Gaudilliere, INSERM ; Harriet Ritvo, MIT ; Bruno Strasser, Yale ; Alain Pottage, LSE.

Contact and web site : http://www.hssonline.org/profession/meetings/detail.lasso?-Search=Action&-Table=Events%20web&-Database=hssguides&-KeyValue=6293
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