UCHRI Medicine & Humanities Awards Kathleen Powers: The Andrew Vincent White and Florence Wales White Graduate Student Scholarship

Image of Kathleen Powers

Feb 13, 2020

The dissertation project, “Cybernetic Origins of Life”, is about the influence of vitalist concepts of the organism on post-war American neurology. The project focuses on the experiments and writings of neurologist Warren S. McCulloch (1898-1969) on the vertebrate nervous system to gain an understanding of how life was considered in the philosophy of science immediately before the genetic revolution. By analyzing the experiments that informed the brain-computer analogy, the project studies how the question central to 20th c. biology changed from “what is life?” to “what is information?”


The Cybernetic Origins of Life