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The Epistemic Revolution Induced by Microbiome Studies: An Interdisciplinary View

Abstract : Many separate fields and practices nowadays consider microbes as part of their legitimate focus. Therefore, microbiome studies may act as unexpected unifying forces across very different disciplines. Here, we summarize how microbiomes appear as novel major biological players, offer new artistic frontiers, new uses from medicine to laws, and inspire novel ontologies. We identify several convergent emerging themes across ecosystem studies, microbial and evolutionary ecology, arts, medicine, forensic analyses, law and philosophy of science, as well as some outstanding issues raised by microbiome studies across these disciplines and practices. An ‘epistemic revolution induced by microbiome studies’ seems to be ongoing, characterized by four features: (i) an ecologization of pre-existing concepts within disciplines, (ii) a growing interest in systemic analyses of the investigated or represented phenomena and a greater focus on interactions as their root causes, (iii) the intent to use openly multi-scalar interaction networks as an explanatory framework to investigate phenomena to acknowledge the causal effects of microbiomes, (iv) a reconceptualization of the usual definitions of which individuals are worth considering as an explanans or as an explanandum by a given field, which result in a fifth strong trend, namely (v) a de-anthropocentrification of our perception of the world.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 19, 2021 - 3:06:52 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:41:24 PM
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Eric Bapteste, Philippe Gerard, Catherine Larose, Manuel Blouin, Fabrice Not, et al.. The Epistemic Revolution Induced by Microbiome Studies: An Interdisciplinary View. Biology, MDPI 2021, 10 (7), pp.651. ⟨10.3390/biology10070651⟩. ⟨hal-03290801⟩



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