The Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society

  • Maurizio Meloni
  • John Cromby
  • Des Fitzgerald
  • Stephanie Lloyd

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Maurizio Meloni, John Cromby, Des Fitzgerald, Stephanie Lloyd
    Pages 1-22
  3. History of the Biology/Society Relationship

  4. Genomics, Postgenomics, Epigenetics and Society

  5. Neuroscience: Brain, Culture and Social Relations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 339-339
    2. Jan Slaby, Suparna Choudhury
      Pages 341-370
    3. Fernando Vidal, Francisco Ortega
      Pages 371-390
    4. Christian von Scheve
      Pages 391-415
    5. John Cromby
      Pages 473-489
  6. Social Epidemiology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 517-517
    2. Michelle Kelly-Irving, Cyrille Delpierre
      Pages 519-540
    3. Silvia Stringhini, Paolo Vineis
      Pages 541-559
    4. Rasmus Hoffmann, Hannes Kröger, Eduwin Pakpahan
      Pages 611-637
  7. Medicine and Society

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 639-639
    2. Patrick Bieler, Jörg Niewöhner
      Pages 641-662
    3. Nadine Levin
      Pages 663-681
    4. Ayo Wahlberg
      Pages 727-748
    5. Elizabeth F. S. Roberts, Camilo Sanz
      Pages 749-775
  8. Contested Sites/Future Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 777-777
    2. Catherine Bliss
      Pages 779-797
    3. Stefan Helmreich, Nicole Labruto
      Pages 851-876
    4. Ed Cohen
      Pages 877-895
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 925-941

About this book


This comprehensive handbook synthesizes the often-fractured relationship between the study of biology and the study of society. Bringing together a compelling array of interdisciplinary contributions, the authors demonstrate how nuanced attention to both the biological and social sciences opens up novel perspectives upon some of the most significant sociological, anthropological, philosophical and biological questions of our era. 

The six sections cover topics ranging from genomics and epigenetics, to neuroscience and psychology to social epidemiology and medicine. The authors collaboratively present state-of-the-art research and perspectives in some of the most intriguing areas of what can be called biosocial and biocultural approaches, demonstrating how quickly we are moving beyond the acrimonious debates that characterized the border between biology and society for most of the twentieth century. 

This landmark volume will be an extremely valuable resource for scholars and practitioners in all areas of the social and biological sciences.

The chapter 'Ten Theses on the Subject of Biology and Politics: Conceptual, Methodological, and Biopolitical Considerations' is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license via

Versions of the chapters 'The Transcendence of the Social', 'Scrutinizing the Epigenetics Revolution', 'Species of Biocapital, 2008, and Speciating Biocapital, 2017' and 'Experimental Entanglements: Social Science and Neuroscience Beyond Interdisciplinarity' are available open access via third parties. For further information please see license information in the chapters or on


biology and society Lamarckisms Scientific Sociology the nature-nurture debate epigenetics Social & Behavioral Epigenetics Plasticity Molecular Multicultures social justice in education Candomblé Trance the maternal capital model health in the life course postgenomic bodies The Postgenomic Politics of Race Environmental Epigenetics biopolitcs

Editors and affiliations

  • Maurizio Meloni
    • 1
  • John Cromby
    • 2
  • Des Fitzgerald
    • 3
  • Stephanie Lloyd
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Sociological StudiesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.School of ManagementUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  3. 3.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  4. 4.Department of AnthropologyLaval UniversityQuébecCanada

Bibliographic information