17th Annual International Philosophy of Nursing Conference
in association with the
International Philosophy of Nursing Society

September 7th, 8th and 9th, 2013

The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Genes, Neurons, and Nurses:
Implications of 21st Century Science for Nursing Care

The biological knowledge base for health care practice has expanded dramatically.   Genetics and neuroscience, in particular, have motivated ambitious efforts toward biobehavioral integration and translational medicine.  The 17th International Philosophy of Nursing Conference will explore the relationship between 21st century knowledge of the human body and nursing care.   How should biological models be integrated into nursing knowledge and practice, especially given nursing’s concern with the psychological, emotional, and social dimensions of health?  Does understanding of genetic or neurological mechanisms change how we should think about “evidence-based practice”?  What are the political implications and presuppositions of mechanistic models of disease processes?  And what are the ethical issues that arise out managing the vast amounts of data about both populations and individuals?  What challenges does this biological knowledge base present for patient communication and education? Should it change the way we think about the nurse’s role, nursing education, and the shape of the discipline of nursing?

Plenary Speakers

Robyn Bluhm
Old Dominion University (US)
“The (Dis)unity of Nursing Science”

Katie Featherstone
Cardiff University (England)
“The Individual, The Family, And The Clinic: Making Sense Of Genetic Risk”

Michael Yeo
Laurentian University (Canada)
“New Horizons in the Body of Knowledge: Does Knowing More Mean Caring Less?”

John Paley
University of Sterling (Scotland)
“Empathy, Self-Knowledge And Cognitive Science The Empirical Challenge To Nursing’s Moral Psychology”


Abstract Submission Instructions

Abstracts of papers are invited for concurrent sessions. Abstracts may be on the conference theme or on any philosophical aspect of health and health care. Presenters should plan to speak for 20 minutes to allow time for discussion.

Abstracts should be emailed to  In order to support blind review, please send the abstract as an attachment (MS Word, or another common word processor format).  In this document, please include only:

  • Title of paper
  • 250 word abstract.

In the body of the email, please include:

  • Title of the paper
  • Name and title of presenter/s
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Contact address, phone number and email address
  • Any audio visual aid requirements, e.g. overhead projector, Powerpoint.

Abstracts are being accepted on a rolling basis, with a deadline of August 3, 2013.  Please direct queries to Mark Risjord (

The conference will be held at the Emory University Conference Center in Atlanta Georgia.  Registration and hotel information are available on the IPONS website.


For more information about the International Philosophy of Nursing Society, see our website:


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