Marta Bertolaso

Marta Bertolaso

Marta is an Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. Her research concerns Philosophy of Science in Practice and Philosophy of Biology with a specific focus on the dynamics of complex systems, cancer research and on the philosophical implications of the theoretical models that have been proposed to account for its occurrence. She is currently exploring the relationships between contingency, hierarchy and causal complexity in complex living systems. In particular, her interest deals with how features of organizational levels are structured. She aims at providing both a better understanding of that phenomenon and drawing lessons for the epistemology of complex systems in general.

Academic CV

Updated April 2019

Nationality:    Italian

Current Position:

Since 2nd July 2017: Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Engineering, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy.

30th July 2018: Italian Abilitazione Nazionale for Full Professor in Philosophy of Science (SSD: 11/C2).

2012-2017: Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Institute of Philosophy of the Scientific and Technological Practice (IPSTP), University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy.

2014: Italian Abilitazione Nazionale for Associate Professor in Philosophy of Science (SSD: M-Fil 02)

Academic Titles:

2008-2010: PhD in Bioethics at the Institute of Philosophy of the Scientific and Technological Practice (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome) with a thesis on the ‘Evolution of the epistemological models of cancer’ (rated Excellent). Awarding on the 13th of April 2011.

1997: National Professional Qualification for Biologists, at the University of Pavia 

1995: Degree in Biological Science, Graduation thesis presented at the National Institute for Tumours of Milan (Maximum Score and Honours).


1991: Philips National competition for “Young Researchers” with a study on “Experimental verification of the initial events in germination”.


1994-2000: Extensive work in cancer research having pursued scientific activity in laboratories in:

  • 1994-1996: INT (National Tumor Institute), Milan in the department of molecular biology with a project on the gene expression and localization of c-ERB2 in the ovarian cancer
  • 1997 (2nd June ‘97 – 1st June ‘98): obtained a Regional Grant (funded by ASL1 of Turin) for a project on “Genetic molecular alterations and malignity in primary breast cancers”, at the department of anatomical pathology, San Giovanni Vecchio Hospital, Turin (Italy)
  • 1998-1999 (1st January ‘98 – 31st May ‘99): IRCC (International Research Centre for Cancer), Candiolo, Turin, Regional Grant (funded by G. Ghirotti Foundation) for a project on “Development of a non-radioactive protein truncation test: applications in the clinical area for the analysis of mutated genes involved in familiar syndromes and sporadic cancers”


  • 2008-2010: Grant from UCBM for a research project at the Institute of Philosophy of the Scientific and Technological Practice at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome on Philosophy of Cancer and Cancer Research’.

Since 2008, after having experienced in first hand some bio-medical research (see above), I have been developing my philosophical training, skills and academic CV in research, teaching and tutoring, and research group promotion and coordination at academic level, in contact with the national and international scientific and academic environments (both Anglo-Saxon and Latin, Spanish speaking communities).

September 2017: Editor in Chief of Springer Series on “Human Perspectives in Health Sciences and Technology” (HPHS&T) starting in 2018. Springer Contact Editor: Floor Oosting.

Fellowships (in Philosophy of Science)
  • 24th – 31st March 2019: Visiting Scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Ref. Sandra Mitchell.
  • 26th August – 3rd September 2018: Visiting at Konrad Lorenz Institute (KLI) for Evolution and Cognition Research, Klosterneuburg, Vienna, Austria.
  • 6-9 May 2015: Visiting at Egenis (Centre Of Studies of Life Sciences), University of Exeter (UK). Ref. John Dupré.
  • April 2013 – May 2014: Visiting Fellow at the Centre of Biomedical Humanities of the Department of Experimental Oncology of IEO, University of Milan. Ref. Giovanni Boniolo.
  • September – December 2012: Visiting Fellow at the. Ref. Sandy Mitchell.
  • 28th February- 9th May 2011: Visiting Scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Ref. Sandy Mitchell.
  • 10th – 21st January 2011: Visiting Scholar stay at the IHPST (Intitut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Science et des Techniques), Paris, France. Ref. Jean Gayon.
Promoter and coordinator, since 2016, of the Bio-Techno-Practice (BTP) Research Empowering HUB:

Since February 2018 – Scientific director of the Human and technology section of the website Saluteuropa –

Collaborations with other research groups in Italy and Europe:
  • –  Since January 2019: enrolled in the Agorà Europe database –– Since January 2019: member of “Women&Technologies” Association –– Since October 2018: member of a group of research for the Research chair “The Social issues of precision medicine in oncology” organized by the French national cancer institute (INCa), in partnership with the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (laboratory Triangle) and the LYriCan integrated cancer research site (Léon Bérard Center and Hospices Civils de Lyon)- Since April 2018: member of the Scientific Committee of Sites de Recherche Intégrée sur le Cancer (SIRIC) at Pitié Salpétrière, Paris.

    – Since October 2017: member of Systems Biology Group Lab at La Sapienza University of Rome (

    – Since January 2017: member of “Embryo, Human Development & Society – (EHDAS –

    – 2012-2016: member of a group of research on Systemic Philosophy at the Catholic University of Milan.

    – Since 2013: Grupo de Estudio de la Conferència Càtedra “Cultura, ciència y religión” directed by Josep Corcó Juviñá, UIC, Barcelona (Spain).

    – 2012-2013: member of a group organizing seminars of epistemology at the University of the Holy Cross, Rome: “L’accesso alla dimensione spirituale della persona nel contesto della filosofia e della scienza contemporanea” – seminar.

Collaborations with EU’s consortiums

March and June 2015: Avicenna Meetings (roadmap for Horizon 2020 on ‘In Silico Clinical Trials’) Expert involved in the Avicenna consensus process (cfr. Annex 1) –

11th  January 2018: VPH Consortium Meeting in Amsterdam

26th-27th June 2018 Flagship and DigiTwins – AICAN intervent su SSH issues

Language Writing Listening Speaking Reading
Italian Mother tongue Mother tongue Mother tongue Mother tongue
English Good Excellent Very good Excellent
Spanish Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
French Good Good

University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome

  • 2019-2020: teaching English Language and Soft Skills for Engineering Sciences
  • 2019-2020: teaching Medical Humanities for Medical Faculty
  • 2019-2020: teaching Human Ecology for Human Nutrition (Cdl SANUM)
  • 2019-2020: teaching Innovazione e tecnologia per la produzione degli alimenti (Cdl SANUM)
  • 2019-2020: coordinator and lecturer for an interdisciplinary course of English Language and Soft Skills for Engineering Sciences
  • 2018-2019: teaching Ethics/Filosofia dell’uomo e della riabilitazione (Cdl Fisioterapia)
  • Since 2017: coordinator and lecturer for an interdisciplinary course within the PhD program Scienze e Ingegneria per l’uomo e per l’ambiente/Science and engineering for humans and the environment – DOT13A0534
  • 2015-2016: coordinator and lecturer for an interdisciplinary course within the PhD program “Bio-Engineering and Bio-Sciences”
  • Since 2012: teaching Philosophy of Engineering Sciences
  • Since 2015: teaching Human Ecology-Applied Ethics for engineers
  • Since 2014: teaching in Ethics of Human Nutrition
  • 2011-2012: teaching History and Philosophy of Scientific and Technological Practice

University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome

Since 2008: seminars on Ethics of Biomedicine, Philosophy of the Scientific and Technological Practice, Philosophy of Biology.

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan

a.a. 2014 and April 2019: seminars on Philosopfy of Science (in the course of Philosophy of Science and Methods of the Scientific knowledge)

University Roma 3

Nov-Dic 2012 and Dec 2013: seminars on Epistemology of Biology (in the course of Applied Biology)

University of Bologna

a.a. 2013-2014 and 2014-2015: seminar on Epistemology of Biology and Medicine (in the course of Philosophy of Science and Methods of the Scientific knowledge)

Teaching (international)

Department of Philosophy, Washington University of St. Louis, USA

November 6th to November 14th 2016: 4 hours lectures on theoretical and ethical issues related to Transhumanism, Post-Genomic Era and In Silico Medicine, in Anya Plutinsky’s course on “Biomedical Ethics” (undergraduate students).

Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP), Ludwing-Maximillians-Universitat Munchen

June 28th to July 8th 2016: weekly lectures on “Complexity and causality in Medicine” in the course for PhD students and post-doc in philosophy and bio-sciences, on Philosophy of Causality held by Barbara Osimani and Roland Pollinger.

MASTERS (teaching, scientific and coordinator boards)

  • October 2015-October 2018: Coordinator and teacher (Quality of Life and Systemic Thinking) for the Post-graduate program AIS (Autismo e Istruzione Scolastica) promoted by University Campus-Bio-Medico of Rome and IAD.
  • May 2017, Lecturer in a Master (corso di perfezionamento post-laurea) in Narrative Medicine, University of Florence


  • 23rd of September 2017, Florence (UNISER – Polo Universitario di Pistoia): Perché la scienza ha bisogno di metafore? Dalla Narrazione alla Cura, in Narrare la malattia: metafore, simboli e cura



* Coordinator of an interdisciplinary module within the PhD School in Bio-Ingeneering and Bio-Sciences of UCBM.

*  Since 2015: Coordinator of the Tutoring activity for the Faculty of Engineering, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.

* Since 2000: Tutoring for undergraduate students in the University of Milan, for the University of Turin, and at UCBM.

Mentor/Tutor for Thesis or Post-Doc students

  • 2014-2015: Undergraduate thesis in Philosophy (University of Bologna): Filippo Landi – co-supervisor
  • 2014-2018: PhD thesis in Philosophy of Science (University of Roma Tor Vergata and IHPST-Paris): Anna Maria Dieli – tutorial lecturer from 2014 to 2017, final examiner in 2018
  • 2016-2017: post-doc grant, Mattia Della Rocca (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome) – member of examining board during PhD thesis dissertation – substitute
  • 2017: post-doc grant, Mattia Della Rocca (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome) – member of examining board
  • 2016-2017: post-doc grant, Federico Boem (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome)
  • 2017-2018: post-doc grant, Fabio Sterpetti (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome)
  • 2018: PhD thesis in Philosophy of Science: Alessandra Passariello (Sapienza University of Rome) – final examiner
  • 2018: PhD thesis in Philosophy of Science: Elsa Muro (Universidad Navarra) – final examiner
  • 2018-2019: post-doc grant in Philosophy of Science (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome): Chiara Beneduce – supervisor
  • 2018-2019: PhD Laura Corti (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome), “Lo schema corporeo nei soggetti con neuroprotesi: un’analisi fenomenologica”.
  • 2018-2021: industrial PhD thesis in “Studio sul processo di modellizzazione in silico di dinamiche biologiche multilivello in oncologia” (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome): Andrea Pensotti – supervisor

Previous to 2008 Training Activities & Initiatives for students

  1. At the University:

* From 1992 to 1995, co-organization of an orientation day for the last year of Secondary School sponsored by the University of Milan in collaboration with ISU and F.RUI.

* 1990-1995: tutorship at the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Milan.

* 1994-1995: active participation at the Journal clubs organized by the Department of Physiology of the Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Milan.

* 1997-1999: lectures in Genetics and Molecular Biology courses at the Medical University of Turin.

* 2000-2006: lectures and seminars on Bioethics’ topics in the Department of Anthropology, Biomedical Campus of Rome.

  1. In other academic and educational contexts:

With the RUI Foundation (Residenze Universitarie Italiane)

* 1991: promotion of a volunteer project in Trentino.

* 1993-1995: tutorship and organization of conferences and cultural activities at the University College Viscontea, Milan.

* 1990-1995: organization of a seminar at the University College Viscontea (Milan) in preparation to the Histology test at the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Milan.

* July 1993 and 1994 participation at the national conferences organized by RUI on interdisciplinary themes; coordination in workshops to promote volunteer initiatives in Italy and abroad (Kenya, Russia, Poland, Romania, etc.).

* 1999-2002: member of the Organizing and Scientific Committee of these Conventions.

* June-July 1995, sponsoring and organization of a series of professional refresher courses: “Study, work and professionalism” (Milan).

With ICU (Institute for Universitary Cooperation)

* February 1995: participation at the National Congress UNIV with a report on The laws of marketing; achieved a scholarship.

* February 1997: participation in the National Congress UNIV wall newspaper with a single theme on the life of high school; achieved a scholarship.

* 5th to 12th April 1998: report at the XXXI International University Congress organized by ICU (Institute for University Cooperation) in Rome on Human Progress and Human Rights

With AEC (Association for Education and Culture), Turin

* March-May 1996-98: Bioethics course in Turin for students of the Faculty of Medicine.

* 1996-1999: cooperation in tutorship at the Turin Universities; speaker at academic and professional seminars on bioethics topics.


  • Since 2019 Member of the External Faculty of Konrad Lorenz Institute (KLI) for Evolution and Cognition Research, Klosterneuburg, Vienna, Austria
  • Since 2018 Member of Scientific Committee of CUIR (Collegio Universitario Internazionale di Roma)
  • Since 2015 Member of Collegio docenti – Dottorato di Ricerca in Scienze e Ingegneria per l’uomo e l’Ambiente


– Since 2013: SPSP (Society of Philosophy of Science in Practice)

– Since 2012: BIOM (Italy)

PSA (American Philosophy of Science Association)

SILFS (Società Italiana di Logica e Filosofia della Scienza)

-Since 2011: AIFB (Asociación Iberoamericana de Filosofía de la Biología)

EPSA (European Philosophy of Science Association)

-Since 2010: ISHPSSB (The International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology

FOUNDATIONS – Board & Director

Since 2019: Research Empowering Hub –  REH (London) co-founder and board director.

Since 2011: Director of Oikia Foundation, Rome.

Since 2006: Director of Home Renaissance Foundation (London) and Scientific Committee Member for the area of “Health and Primary Care”:

JOURNALS – Member of Editorial Boards/Scientific Committee

  • Since 12th of July 2017: OrganismsAn International Journal of Biological Sciences (Scientific Board) ISSN: 2532-5876
  • Since January 2017: Journal Scienze e Ricerche (Editorial Board) – ISSN: 2283-5873,
  • Since 2016: Filosofia e saperi. Sconfinamenti tra saperi umanistici e scienze della vita/ Crossing borders between humanities and life sciences (Scientific Committee member)
  • Since 2016: Medicina e Storia (Executive Board),
  • Since June 2015: Bioethics Update – Editor in Chief: Evandro Agazzi (Editorial Advisor)- ISSN 2395-938X
  • Since 2014: Journal Scienze e Ricerche (Scientific Committee member) ISSN: 2283-5873,
  • Since November 2013: Journal Current Bioinformatics (Book Review Editor) ISSN: 2212-392X (Online) ISSN: 1574-8936 (Print)
  • Since September 2013: Per La Filosofia, International Peer-Reviewed Journal (Comitato di redazione) ISSN 0394-4131 / ISSN elettronico 1724-059X
  • Since October 2012: Medic – Metodologia didattica e innovazione clinica (Editorial Board) ISSN 1824-3991

Papers REFEREE for

  • CiBio
  • International Studies in the Philosophy of Science
  • Axiomathes
  • Topoi
  • Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
  • Acta Biotheoretica
  • F1000 Research
  • Edward Elgar
  • Lato Sensu: revue de la Société de philosophie des sciences
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Epistemologia
  • Medic-Metodologia Didattica ed Innovazione Clinica
  • Acta Philosophica
  • Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Philosophy Study (David Publishing Co.)
  • Scienze & Ricerche
  • Rivista di Neo-Scolastica
  • IEEE Automation & Robotics
  • SHPSC (Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences)
  • Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicina & Storia
  • Organisms (Journal of the University La Sapienza)
  • Synthese
  • Biology & Philosophy
  • HPLS (History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences) Journal

Book (proposal) REFEREE for

  • Oxford University Press (New York)
  • Elsevier
  • CNR (

Referee or member of panel of judges for Research Foundations and Prize evaluation:

  • 2015: Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)
  • 2015: Editorial Prize for Scienze&Ricerche
  • 2016: SISRI within the call “Spazio, tempo e rappresentazione del mondo: trasformazioni culturali dei nostri sistemi di riferimento a 100 anni dalla Relatività generale di Albert Einstein”.
  • 2016: Italian prize for scientific dissemination books
  • 2018: Università Italo Francese-Università degli Studi di Torino (

Certified Attended Training Programs and Activities

– 7th – 10th September 2011, Rome: Refresher course on “Natura, vita ed evoluzione. La filosofia della natura di fronte all’evoluzione biologica”, University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

– 7th – 10th January 2009: Seminar series “Bio-X. Il caso e la finalità. Come sopravvivere alla complessità della scienza moderna” ((Chance and teleology. How to survive the complexity of modern science)), promoted by Prof. F. Keller, University Campus Bio- Medico of Rome.

– 24th January & 21st March 2009: “Questions of philosophy of nature and life” (2 encounters with seminars and group work), DWG (DISF Working Group), DISF (Documentation Interdisciplinary of Science and Faith), Rome.

– 9th – 12th June 2008, Milan: PhD training programme “From genes to models and return – Systems Biology: the theory and application”, Departments of Biological Sciences and Molecular Biology, University of Milan.

– January-June 2007: post-graduate course on Science and Ethics in Rome at the Institute of Bioethics of Rome. Topic of the final exam: “Gene technologies: from therapy to enhancement”.

Chair/Commentator at recent International Conferences

Florence, 29th November 2017: XII Forum Risk management in sanità, chair of the session “In silico medicine: opportunities, risks and models validation”.

London, 16th – 17th November 2017: Session organizer and coordinator at the Conference “A home: a place of growth, care and wellbeing” at The Royal Society of Medicine.

Rome, 25th – 27th October 2017:  organizer of the conference “Where are the biological science going?”, Urbaniana University.

(*) 30th May 2017: Organizer of Focus on family and domestic environment Global Home Index after the presentation at United Nations, NY, Palazzo Mattei di Giove, Roma.

Barcelona 24th – 27th September 2014: II International Conference on Family and Society (

New York (USA) – 29th Nov 2012: discussant of the talk of Prof. P Fagan on “Purpose, Quality & Dynamic of the Work of the Home & its Impact on Physical & Character Development of Persons” within a Seminar on “Professional Work and the Work of the Home”, IESE School, New York.

San Diego (USA, CA) – 15th – 17th November 2012: chair of the symposium on Risk and Cancer: Decision Making Under Uncertainty” in the International Conference of PSA2012.

Seattle (USA) – 16th – 17th August 2012: commentator of the 4th session “What are the Implications of Systems Biology for investigating complex systems?” of the ASU-ISB 2012 ISHPSSB Off-Year Workshop “What’s New about Systems Biology?”

Rome (Italy) – 27th-28th February 2011: chair of the second morning session of the XX Annual Conference “Consciousness and Personal Identity. Philosophical Perspectives and Neuroscience”, at Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

Member of Committees International Conferences/WS

London, 25th – 26th February 2019: Academic Leader at the Conference “The Home in the Digital Age” at The Royal Society of Medicine.

Member of the Scientific Commitee of the “XIII Congreso Internacional de Antropología”, Espana, September 2018.

Member of the ELIS Scientific Committee “Management by Ethics 2017-18”

Member of Orgnizing Committee: Systems Biology Group Lab, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Member of the Scientific Committee for the Seventh National Conference on Systems Science of AIRS (Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sui Sistemi on Systemics of Incompleteness and Quasi-Systems.

Member of the Scientific Committee: Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 November 2012: International Conference “Home and Identity: The Private-Public Nexus”, promoted by Home Renaissance Foundation, Fondazione Oikia, the Universities of Waikato and Roma 3.

Member of the Scientific Committee: 30th of March 2015: 2015 Workshop: “Successes and Challenges in Valuing the Work of the Home”, Rome

Member of the Selection Committee: “Evidence, Inference, and Risk” – Munich 31st March – 2nd April 2016

Member of the Program Committee of MuST9 (Evidence, Inference, and Risk) Workshop (Munich-Sydney-Tilburg): Munich 31st March – 2nd April 2016

From 2002 to 2008: Member of the Organizing Committee and Scientific International University Congress sponsored by ICU (Institute for University Cooperation) every year in Rome.

From 2003 to 2008: Member of the Scientific Committee of the Annual International Conference Roman Meeting sponsored by the Center ELIS, Rome.

Current Main Research Areas

  1. Philosophy of Scientific Practice and Philosophy of Life Sciences

I have been focusing my research on the Epistemology of Science and Philosophy of Biology and Medicine. In particular, both my previous laboratory work in oncology and current endeavours in the Philosophy of Science have dealt with different aspects of regulatory and control issues of complex biological systems, organizations, and growth. I have also studied how different explanatory theories evolve in science, and how (mechanical) models can be considered a way towards discovery in the bio-technological field. How science works in practice, from biology to bio-engineer, has also been one of the most recent areas of research and philosophical reflection. A particular attention has been paid to Systems Biology as it has been strictly connected with contemporary research on the organismic dynamics.

A.1. Main Talks at International Workshops/Conferences on these topics

Selected paper or (*) invited speaker

(*) Bologna, 7th December 2018, International Workshop “The epistemology of single cases: philosophical and medical issues”, general discussion and final remarks.

Madrid, 13th – 16th November 2018, IX Conference of the Spanish Society for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, symposium “Issues at the intersection between metaphysics and biology”.

(*) Bordeaux, 15th – 17th October 2018, workshop “Philosophy of Cancer Biology”, talk “Modeling cancer: how the explananda change in the research programs”.

(*) Barcelona – July 2nd -3rd, 2018, 20th International Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society, The Meaning of Work in a World without Work, IESE Business School, talk “Is work as human activity still meaningful and valuable?”

(*) L’Aquila, 30th May 2018, seminar “Le proprietà emergenti nella pratica scientifica della Systems Biology e della ricerca sul cancro – Verso una più chiara distinzione tra sopravvenienza e mereologia”, Università de L’Aquila

(*) Rovigo, 13th -14 h April, 2018, workshop at Accademia dei Concordi “La cura del cancro e l’innovazione tecnologica – Aspetti etico e sociali”, talk: “Precisione o personalizzazione? Il processo di integrazione delle -omics nella ricerca sul cancro. Questioni etiche e sociali”

(*) Florence, November 29th, 2017, XII Forum Risk management in sanità, talk “Validation of simulation vs validation of experiments: some epistemological remarks” with Fabio Sterpetti

(*) KLI (Klosterneuburg, Austria) November 9th – 12th  2017, XXXV Altenberg Workshop in Theoretical Biology “A Revised Theory of Cancer”, Talk “A Disease of Biological History: A Dynamic and Relational View of Cancer”

(*) Rome. 25th – 27th October 2017 Conference “Where are the biological science going?”, talk “Biological Complexity and Scientific Practice in Cancer Research”, Urbaniana University.

Oxford. 19th – 23rd  July 2017 Conference “Religion, Society, and the Science of Life”, Talk

“Robustness between Biology and Technology: Melting Pot or Trading Zone?”

San Paolo, Brazil. 16th – 21st July. ISHPSSB 2017: Talk with NJ Lavagnino and G Folguera, “Omics in cancer research: winds of change or same old story?”

Leibniz University Hannover, June 14th, 2017: Workshop with Philip Kitcher Progress in science and society, Talk “What progress, if any, in cancer research?”

Bologna, 20th – 23rd June 2017. SILFS 2017, Organizer of a Symposium with Fabio Sterpetti “On the Concept of Organism”, personal talk on “The Organism inside Cancer and Cancer Research”

Atlanta, 5th of November 2016: PSA. Talk with Anya Plutynski on “Cancer Systems Biology: a New Approach to Biological Explanation?”

(*) Università di Macerata 4th – 6th October 2016: “The Preferred (Causal) Model Systems in the light of Cancer Biology” within a conference on Explanation in Logic, Ontology and Science.

Pittsburgh 23rd-24th September 2016: within the KenFest ( presenter on “The Preferred (Causal) Model Systems in the light of Cancer Biology”.

(*) Florence 14th June 2016: Talk on “Il cancro: una definizione semplice o una patologia complessa?” within the Laboratorio congiunto “Metodi e Tecniche di Analisi delle esperienze di Malattia (MetaES)”.

(*) Cambridge University (UK) 31st May – June 1st 2016: Discussant on “Common questions between philosophy, theology, and the sciences” in the ‘Inclusive Fitness Theory’ Symposium.

(*) 30th April 2016: talk on Il processo neoplastico: ‘un studio di modelli interpretatvi del cancro in Hallmarks in Cancer Discovery, the generation 2.0: new target, new drugs. At Campus Bio-Medico. 

(*) IHPST (Intitut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Science et des Techniques), Paris, France: Workshop on ‘Philosophy & Cancer’: April 28th 2016. Talk “Philosophy of Cancer – Overcoming dichotomies in Life Sciences”. 

(*) Catholic University of Milan: 25th February 2016 “Il processo di crescita del vivente e l’importanza delle categorie relazionali per comprenderlo” seminario all’interno del gruppo di Sistemica di Milano Ricerche sistemiche in filosofia, nelle scienze e nelle arti

EPSA, European Conference of Philosophy of Science (Duesseldorf, Germany): 23rd – 26th September 2015. Bertolaso M, Campaner R, “Modeling multi-level disorders: overcoming the mechanistic-systemic dichotomy”, in a Symposium on Philosophy of Bio-Medical Practice.

CLMPS, Congress on Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (Helsinki, Finlandia): 5th-8th August 2015. Raffaella Campaner and Marta Bertolaso “Representing and explaining: On modeling disorders”, in a Session on “Models and pluralism in the health sciences”.

DLMPS, Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (Helsinki, Finlandia): 3rd August 2015. Bertolaso M, Borghi L “Linking Philosophy and History in a Unified Story: How Epistemology of Science Emerges from Scientists’ Biographies”.

ISHPSSB, International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology, (Montreal, Canada): 5th-10th July 2015. Bertolaso M & Caianiello S: Organizers and speakers in a Session on “Robustness and emergence”, Talk on Robustness as organized heterogeneity.

SPSP (Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice), University of Aarhus (Aarhus, Denmark) Fifth Biennial Conference 2015: 23rd of June: Bertolaso M. “Context Dependencies and Multi-Level Explanations in Biological Sciences” & ‘Thinking Out of the Box: the Role of Philosophy in Scientific Training’.

(*) Catholic University of Milan (Italy): 26th February 2015: “Quanto è Robusta l’Informazione Biologica?” seminario all’interno del gruppo di Sistemica di Milano “Ricerche sistemiche in filosofia, nelle scienze e nelle arti”

(*) Macerata (Italy): 9th-10th February 2015 – “Ontology, Context Dependencies, and Complex Biological Systems” in the workshop on “Ontologia e Scienza” organized by the PRIN PROJECT; ID:20122T3PTZ

(*) Exeter (UK), 20th and 21st November 2014, workshop “Process philosophy of biology”, talk “Robustness as dynamic coupling of biological processes: learning from the biology of cancer” (session “Process Biology”)

Rome, 21st– 22nd November 2014 – AIRS 2014 – “Explaining and Understanding Systems’ Dynamics”, with Nicola Di Stefano.

(*) Buenos Aires, Monday 4th – Friday 8th August 2014 – Austral University – in Philosophy of Biology. Biology asks philosophy – Workshop Determinism and Indeterminism. From biology to philosophy.

Lille 24th– 27th June 2014: SPS (Société de Philosophie des Sciences) 2014 Meeting, Metaphysics of science: “The multilevel phenomenology of cancer and the robustness of levels: a case for strong emergence” with Silvia Caianiello (CNR Naples)

Rome, June 18th 20th 2014: Triennial International Conference of the Italian Society for Logic and Philosophy of Sciences – SILFS  ( 2014. Talk: “Disentangling Context Dependencies in Biological Sciences”.

(*) Milan, 5th May 2014: Talk on ‘Epistemologie influenti nelle ricerche scientifiche’ in the International Conference on ‘Esistenza e Identità’, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

Bergamo (Italy) 12th-14th September 2013: Workshop on ‘Synthetic Modeling of Life and Cognition: Open Questions’. Title of my selected paper: ‘On the Bio-Logic of Cognitive Robotics: Soft Robotics as Functional Integrated Systems’.

Helsinki, 28th-31st August 2013: EPSA (European Philosophy of Science Association) conference. Organizer and commentator of a Symposium with Cerezo M. (University of Murcia, Spain) on ‘Biological change’.

Montpelier (France), 7th 12th July 2013: ISHPSSB (International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology) conference. Title of my selected paper: ‘The impact of biological uncertainty on the study and understanding of complex biological systems’.

Toronto, 26th-29th June 2013: SPSP (Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice) conference, at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) of Victoria College, (University di Toronto). Title of my selected paper: ‘Why what is impossible in practice is more relevant than what is impossible in principle’.

(*) Murcia (Spain), 12th June 2013: seminar within a Workshop on Epistemology of Life Sciences. Title of my talk: ‘Inter-level regulations in biological sciences’. University of Murcia.

(*) Murcia (Spain), 13th June 2013: conference on ‘Interpretative Models and Epistemological Assumptions in Cancer Research’. Department of Philosophy, University of Murcia.

(*) Pittsburgh, 12th October 2012: talk at the Center for Philosophy of Science on ‘The Philosophy of Cancer: towards a Systemic Approach in Cancer Research’, Pittsburgh University.

(*) Seattle (ISB), 16th-17th August 2012: speaker and discussant in the ASU-ISB 2012 ISHPSSB Off-Year Workshop ‘What’s New about Systems Biology?’ with a talk on “Collective Behaviours: Shaping the Conceptual Framework of Systems Biology (Session 2: What are the methodological and conceptual foundations of systems biology?)

(*) Rome, June 24th 2012: talk on: “The Bio-Logic of Embodied Intelligence. Biological Change as Functional Integration of Levels” within the Workshop on “Embodied Intelligence an Epistemological Outline” of the IEEE (Advancing Technology for Humanity).

(*) Paris, 22nd-23rd May 2012: at the Centre Cavaillès (Paris) for a workshop on “Holism/Reductionism in Biology. History, Philosophy and Theory thereof”.

(*) Milan, 20th January 2012: invited seminar on “The Systemic Perspective in Oncological Research: Epistemological implications” for the Systemic Philosophy Research Group within the Catholic University of Milan.

Athens, 5th – 8th October 2011: European Conference of Philosophy of Science (EPSA 2011). Title of my selected paper: ‘An apparent circular causality to account for the phenotypic stability of the organism: insights for the biology of cancer’.

(*) Urbino, 20th July 2011: invited speaker in the Summer Stage organized by the International Center of Intercultural Studies of Semiotics and Morphology and by the Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo”. General title of the Seminar: “Evoluzioni storiche e cambiamenti epistemologici del concetto di forma: dal piano di organizzazione di Goethe e G. Saint-Hilaire alle idee morfologiche di D’Arcy Thompson e René Thom”. Title of my talk: “Reciprocità con asimmetria. Una riflessione sull’organizzazione biologica dell’organismo vivente a partire dalla biologia del cancro”.

Salt Lake City, 10th – 15th July 2011: International Congress of ISHPSSB (University of Utah). Title of my selected paper: “Tumour Heterogenity: Insights from the Biology of Cancer on the Hierarchical Organization of the Organisms”.

(*) Siracusa, 23rd May 2011: Invited speaker at the Workshop on “Contenimento Economico e Umanizzazione dell’assistenza” organized by the Rete Assistenza Oncologica – ASP (Assistenza Sanitaria Provinciale) 8 Siracusa and by Università Bocconi of Milan. Title of my talk: “Le frontiere dell’oggettività e le nuove prospettive aperte dalla ricerca oncologica”

Geneva, September 10th 2010: Contributed paper on “Hierarchies and causal relationships in the interpretative models of cancer” at the EAPLS (European Seminar in Philosophy of the Life Sciences), Geneva, CH.

(*) Latina, April 9th 2010: Invited speaker on “Elements for the new ethical challenges in oncology: the interpretative models of cancer”. XIV Incontro Oncologico Pontino. Latina, Italy

(*) Rome, October 2008: Master’s Seminar at the School of Nursing of University Campus Bio-Medico. Title: “Biological complexity and cancer”.

A.2. Selected Posters

July 2009 – Towards a new use of phenomenology in cancer research, Workshop: “Emerging modelling methodologies in medicine and biology”, ICMS, 20-24 of July 2009, Edinburgh, UK.

April 1999: Germline APC mutations al AACR Annual Meeting, 10-14 April, 1999, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

A.3. Promoted Activities

  • 2nd – 4th February 2020: organizer and discussant of “Personalized Medicine. A Multidisciplinary Approach to Complexity”, Experts Meeting in collaboration with Social Trends Institute at Campus Bio-medico University of Rome.
  • 10th May 2019: organizer and invited speaker Experts Meeting “Impatti etici della Artificial Intelligence”, Istituto Luigi Sturzo and Fondazione Marco Vigorelli, Rome (Italy).
  • 14th and 15th of February 2019: organizer and invited speaker Workshop “Understanding Complexity in Life Sciences” at Bicocca University of Milan, “The hidden simplicity of biological complexity” and final remarks.
  • 5th and 6th of March 2018: organizer and discussant of “Will science remain human? Frontiers of the Incorporation of Technological Innovations in the Biomedical Sciences”, Experts Meeting in collaboration with Social Trends Institute at Campus Bio-medico University of Rome.
  • 3rd of October 2016: Analogia e incompletezza come proprietà pre-sistemiche, at Campus Bio-Medico. In collaboration with AIRS (Italian Association of Systemic Research:, title of my talk: “La filosofia dell’agire scientifico e tecnologico nel dibattito contemporaneo”
  • 4th– 8th July 2016: organizer and invited speaker Workshop “In silico medicine” within the CIR (Centro Integrato di Ricerca) conference “I³: Innovazione, Internazionalizzazione e Interdisciplinarità in biomedicina e bioingegneria” at Campus Bio-medico University of Rome.
  • 6th of June 2014: talk “ll caos quantistico e la teologia trinitaria possono avere qualcosa in comune?” within a seminar of the Systemic group (Catholic University in Milan) invited speaker: Giulio Maspero.
  • October 2014: Workshop “Bio*” at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. Steering Committee: Sandra D. Mitchell (University of Pittsburgh); Jane Maienschein (Arizona University – School of Life Sciences).
  • October-December 2013: training talk: ‘Interdisciplinary and Team work’ within the Course for Researchers on ‘Ethics of Scientific Investigation’ at the University Campus-Bio-Medico of Rome.
  • February-March 2012: talk on the “Epistemology of the Scientific Discovery” within winter school for students
  • May 2010: Organization of the first Dialogue on Systems Biology. Supervisors: Prof. A. Marcos (University of Valladolid), Prof. A. Giuliani (ISS), Prof. S. Filippi (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome
  • January – December 2009: I organized and promoted a cycle of 8 seminars, “Biological complexity and Cancer”, at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome
  • 16th March 2009: Organization of the Seminar in University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, “Cancer. It can be cured: Life from the prospects of cancer to the illness”, speaker: Dr. Sylvie Menard, AIRC, National Tumour Institution. 
  1. Scientific Practice: Contemporary Epistemological Issues, Virtues and Ethics

The main topics I have been focusing on have been Artificial Intelligence and human work (Big Data), management and transmission, human enhancement with their ethical and social implications.

More recently, I have been asked also to reflect on the implications for technology, sociology, economics, education and theology of some emerging concepts in philosophy of science and philosophy of life sciences such as complexity, intelligence, critical thinking, sustainability.

B.1. Invited lectures/seminars on this topic 

Vatican City, 14th – 15th October 2019: International Symposium on “Dignity and the Future of Work in the Age of the 4th Industrial Revolution”, Casina Pio IV.

Minneapolis (USA), 1st – 4th May 2019: “Artificial Intelligence & Human Flourishing” conference at the Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas (Minnesota).

Pozzuoli (Italy), 19th November 2018: Workshop on the “Lab-on-chip & Bio-Data Analytics – Per una sanità post-fordista”, talk: “Lab-on-chip technologies: tra innovazione e nuove sfide etiche in una società che cambia”. 

Stresa (Italy), 13th – 14th October 2018: “La Discretio di Santa Ildegarda nell’approccio integrato alle malattie croniche”, 2° Convegno Nazionale di Medicina Ildegardiana; title of my talk: “Le scienze bio-mediche oggi: verso quail nuovi modelli di cura?”.

Paris, 4th October 2018 – Sorbonne University – International Colloquium on “Democracy in Health and Science: Epistemology, Ethics and Pluralism”, talk: “The emerging epistemology of cancer: why pluralism is not relativism”. 

Pilar, Monday 6th – Thursday 9th August 2018 – Austral University – Workshop on the “Semana de la Investigación Interdisciplinar ‘Del yo a la Persona’ ”, involved in the “El cerebro y la persona. ¿Qué novedad aportan las neurociencias a nuestro conocimiento de la persona humana?” project, co-financed by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. Talk with Mariano Asla on “¿Cuál es el valor del límite biológico en la constitución de la vida de una persona?”

12th of May 2018 – PUSC (Pontificia Università della Santa Croce) “Metodi contraccettivi. Aborto – A 50 anni dalla pubblicazione dell’Humanae vitae del Beato Paolo VI”, talk: “Maternità surrogate e surrogazione di maternità: considerazioni, limiti e prospettive”

5th of May 2018 –  XIV Edizione Festival Biblico – title of my talk: “I.A. QUALE FUTURO PER NOI UMANI? La fine dell’antropocene

9th February 2017: UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), talk on “Emerging Epistemological Issues in Cancer Research: Learning from the Complexity of Cancer”.

2nd February 2017: UPAEP (Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla), “Be-Com-Ing: Emerging epistemological issue in the study of the dynamic unity of the organism” in the Conference on “La unidad del viviente desde un enfoque interdisciplinar, a partir de la filosofia y de las ciencias biologicas”.

15th November 2016: Tor Vergata, “Il Cancro e l’oncologia: sviluppo storico e dimensioni epistemologiche, in “La natura della scienza, oggi”.

10th September 2016: “Science in Media”, International Seminar for Professional Journalists Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis, at the University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

Sfruz (Trento): 10th August 2016: “Trovare spazi nella ricerca” in “Non solo quello che studi e che gli altri ti dicono: l’autoformazione” Fondazione Segni Nuovi.

19th – 21th November 2015 – University of the Holy Cross. Talk on “Understanding Biological Dynamics: the Emerging Relational Categories”, within a workshop on “The Threshold of Scientific Rationality” (Martinez R, Giménez Amaya JM, Organizers).

Bologna (Italy) 30th April 2014: talk Limiti e Possibilità del Riduzionismo in Biologia: il Caso della Ricerca sul Cancro, within dipartimento di filosofia Università di Bologna

Macerata (Italy) 11th December 2013: talk Il riduzionismo in biologia e i suoi limiti nella ricerca sul cancro, within dipartimento di filosofia Università di Macerata

Firenze (Italy) 5th December 2013: La complessità del cancro. Verso nuove categorie concettuali per comprendere la rilevanza del contesto. In “Fratelli d’ombra. Un percorso di approfondimento sull’esperienza dei fratelli e delle sorelle dei bambini oncologici”, Palazzo Strozzi.

Rome, 4th June 2013: seminar on ‘Può la scienza far presagire la spiritualità?’, University of the Holy Cross.

February 29th 2012: seminar within a winter course organized by Fondazione RUI (Rome) for students on the “Epistemology of the Scientific Discovery”, Porta Nevia.

July 24th 2010: “Uomo, natura, cosmo: i confini dell’umano” ((Man, nature, universe: frontiers of the mankind)). Conference for the XXXIV National Conference Organized by RUI Foundation, Castelgandolfo, Rome, Italy.

8th May 2010: “Le HET e la complessità biologica” (HET and biological complexity). Seminar for the Project, promoted by RUI Foundation and University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome “Human Enhancement and the Pursuit of Happiness. Prospects and Implications”, Porta Nevia.

12th November 2009: “Enhancement or Empowerment in Medicine”. One-day conference for students of University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome: “Dr. Carlisle Cullen. La medicina di Twilight” (Dr. Carlisle Cullen. Twilight’s Medicine).

4th April 2009: “The concept of enhancement: between therapy and technology”. One-day seminar on “Applications of regenerative medicine in the processes of tissue repair”, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.

28th March 2009: “The Human Enhancement Technologies: experimental medicine beyond therapy”. Seminar at Università Lateranense, Rome

11th September 2008: “Facing the new bioethical challenges”, International Seminar for Professional Journalists, University of the Holy Cross, Rome. 

9th-10th November 2006: Attendance at the XXI Congreso internacional de comunicación (Pamplona, Spain) with a report entitled Los jóvenes y el nuevo escenario de la comunicación. Contenidos creativos que generan cultura: Revistas y juveniles Teenink Tamezin.

4th May 2003: report entitled Clones’ time in a workshop organized by the RUI Foundation in Rome.

7-14th  February 2001: with Rome’s Education Agency, speaker in 2 conferences on transplants and cloning in refresher courses for Secondary School’s teachers at the Scientific High School “E. Majorana “.

January to June 1999: with for Turin’s Education Agency, speaker at 4 seminars in the refresher courses for Secondary School’s teachers on The new frontiers of bioethics

26th November 1997: lecture on Transplantation, death’s ascertaining death: the new frontiers of solidarity with Prof. Linari in a refresher course for Turin’s Education Agency in collaboration with IRRSAE Piemonte.


Since February 2019: promoter and member of Home Renaissance Foundation (HRF):

  1. Philosophy of Health Care Sciences & Management

In dialogue with recent developments in engineering, economy and social sciences I have been expanding my reflections on biological dynamics to care sciences and to the emerging concept of Hospital 4.0. I am interested both in the peculiar object of such sciences (from the concept of the home to the analysis of how care assistance is embedded with the new technologies and to the growing field of the Managed Care Industries) and on the impact that emerging care paradigms can have on organizations, enterprises, welfare programs and policies.

C.1. Lectures/Talks/Seminars on this topic (* invited

(*) 12th March 2019 – Talk event SmartPeople4SmartCities, “Intelligenza urbana: spazio geografico, sociale, fisico e biologico”.

(*) 8th – 10th November 2018 – XXIV Congresso Nazionale CID Italia Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, “Società post-moderna: rivoluzione antropologica e implicazione per il sistema salute”.

(*) 6th of November 2017 – The Value of Home.  Launch of the Global Home Index Results at the House of Commons.

19th – 20th October 2017 – XVIII Conference at PUSC (Pontificia Università della Santa Croce) – “The heart of work- The future of work and its meaning: New Christian Perspectives 500 years after the Reformation” – presentation with Maria Rosaria Brizi: “The long road towards sustainability: the contribution of domestic work”

(*) 30th May 2017: Focus on family and domestic environment Global Home Index after the presentation at United Nations, NY, Palazzo Mattei di Giove, Roma.

20th – 23rd June 2016 – ForItAAL (Ambient Assisted Living Forum Italiano) University of Pisa: ForKeefe H, Frezza G, Bertolaso M, Work of the Home and Social Relationships as a Guide to Domestic Care for the Elderl

(*) 2nd – 3rd November 2015: The Work of the Home, A response to Alfredo Marcos’ presentation on “What a Home is: an Ontological inquiry”, at the Expert Meeting on “The Home a Complex Field” organized by HRF ( and STI (, London.



  1. Venesio T, Balsamo A, Scordamaglia A, Bertolaso M, Arrigoni A, Sprujevnik T, Rossini FP, Risio M (2003). Germline APC mutation on the beta-catenin binding site is associated with a decreased apoptotic level in colorectal adenomas. Mod. Pathol, 16(1): 57-65. ISSN 0893-3952
  2. Bertolaso M, Gaudino C, (2007) Leben aus dem Labor? Die Aktualität von “Donum Vitae”, Imago Hominis, Band 14 – Heft 2, 110-112.ISSN: 1021-9803
  3. Piredda M, Bertolaso M, Tartaglini D, De Benedictis A, De Marinis MG (2008). Valenza etica del nursing (The Ethical Valence of Nursing). Ital J Rehab Med – MR, 22: 229-33. ISSN: 1128-4935
  4. *Bertolaso M (2009) Towards an Integrated View of the Neoplastic Phenomena in Cancer Research, Hist. Phil. Life Sci., 31:79-98. ISSN: 0391-9714
  5. Bertolaso M (2009) The neoplastic process and the problems with the attribution of function, Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum, 102:273-295. ISSN: 0035-6050
  6. Bertolaso M, Olsson J, Picardi A, Rakela J (2010). Gene Therapy and enhancement for diabetes (and other diseases): the multiplicity of considerations. Diabetes Metab Res Rev, 26:520-524. ISSN: 1520-7552, doi: 10.1002/dmrr.1116
  7. Bertolaso M, Giuliani A, Degara L (2010) Systems Biology reveals biology of systems, Complexity, 16: 1-7. ISSN: 1076-2787, doi: 10.1002/cplx.20353
  8. Bertolaso M (2011), The two sides of the hourglass: analytic and synthetic approaches in cancer research, Ludus Vitalis. Journal of Philosophy of Life Sciences, 19 (35): 73-95. ISSN 1133-5165
  9. -Pennacchini M, Bertolaso M, Elvira MM, De Marinis MG (2011), A brief history of the Quality of Life: its use in medicine and in philosophy. Clin Ter, 162 (3), e99-103. ISSN: 0009-9074
  10. *Bertolaso M (2011), “Hierarchies and Causal Relationships in the Interpretative Models of the neoplastic process”, in Special Issue “Causation and Disease in the Post-Genomic Era”, Hist. Phil. Life Sci., vol. 33(4): 515-536 ISSN: 0391-9714
  11. Bertolaso M (2011), “Epistemology in Life Sciences. An Integrative Approach to a Complex System like Cancer“, in a Forum on “Possibilities for multidiscipline”, Ludus Vitalis. Journal of Philosophy of Life Sciences, 19(36): 245-249 ISSN: 1133-5165
  12. -(*)Ugolini S, Bertolaso M, (2011), Scienza e Società: la Medicina della Saga di Twilight (Science and Society: Medicine in the Twilight Saga), Medic. Metodologia Didattica ed Innovazione Clinica, 19(2): 42-48. ISSN: 1824-3991
  13. Cherubini C, Gizzi A, Bertolaso M, Tambone V, Filippi S (2012), “A Bistable Field Model of Cancer Dynamics”, CiCP (Commun. Comput. Phys.), Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 1-18. ISSN: 1815-2406, 10.4208/cicp.270710.220211a
  14. *Bertolaso M. (2012) La Dimensione non Riduzionista del Riduzionismo nella Ricerca Sperimentale Dai Modelli Molecolari a Quelli Sistemici nella Ricerca sul Cancro. Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica, Vol. 4. p. 687-705 ISSN: 0035-6247
  15. -Barcaccia, B., Esposito, G., Matarese, M., Bertolaso, M., Elvira, M., De Marinis M.G. (2013) Defining quality of life: a wild-goose chase?, Europe’s Journal of Psychology, special issue Quality of Life in Social Science & Clinical Medicine, February 2013, Vol. 9(1), 185–203, doi:10.5964/ejop.v9i1.484 ISSN: 1841-0413
  16. *Bertolaso M (2013). On the Structure of Biological Explanations: Beyond Functional Ascriptions in Cancer Research. Epistemologia, vol. 36, p. 112-130. ISSN 0392-9760
  17. Bertolaso M. (2013) La Indeterminación Biológica y las Perspectivas Sistémicas de la Biología Contemporánea – Biological Uncertainty and the Systemic Perspectives of Contemporary Biology . Anuario Filosófico, vol. 46/2, p. 365-386. ISSN 0066-5215
  18. Bertolaso M (2013) Breaking Down Levels of Biological Organization, Theoretical Biology Forum (Rivista di Biologia), Vol 106(1-2), 49-71 ISSN 0035-6050, ISSN ELETTRONICO 1825-6538
  19. *Bertolaso M (2014) Why It Proves so Difficult to Pin Down a Definition of Nature. In a Special Issue on “Rethinking Nature”, Teoria (call for a special issue), 34(1): 75-92. ISSN 1122-1259
  20. *Bertolaso M, Ghilardi G (2014) Semantic roots of reductionism limits, Rivista di Filosofia Neo-scolastica, 3: 481-500. ISSN: 0035-6247
  21. Giuliani A, Filippi S, Bertolaso M (2014) Why network approach can promote a new way of thinking in biology, hosted by Dr(s) Xiaogang Wu, Hans Westerhoff, Pierre De Meyts, Hiroaki Kitano in Frontiers in Genetics (Systems Biology), Vol 5 (83), 1-5. ISSN: 1664-8021
  22. Bertolaso M (2014) La complessità del cancro. Verso nuove categorie concettuali per comprendere la rilevanza del contesto, Medicina & Storia, Anno 14, 5 n.s.: 97-120. ISBN: 9788846739797/ISSN: 1722-2206
  23. Loppini A, Capolupo A, Cherubini C, Gizzi A, Bertolaso M, Filippi S, Vitiello G (2014), On the coherent behavior of pancreatic beta cell clusters, Physics Letters A, 378: 3210–17. ISSN: 0375-9601
  24. Di Stefano N, Bertolaso M (2014) Understanding Musical Consonance and Dissonance: Epistemological Considerations from a Systemic Perspective. In a Special Issue “Towards a Second Generation General System Theory”, Systems, 2: 566-575. ISSN: 2079-8954
  25. -(*)Bertolaso M (2014), Il cancro e la sua complessità: aspetti etici ed epistemologici (Cancer and its complexity: epistemological implications) (Editorial), in “Cancer and its Complexity: Epistemological and Ethical Reflections”, Numero Speciale Medic. Metodologia Didattica ed Innovazione Clinica, M. Bertolaso (Ed.), Vol. (22) 2: 7-14. ISSN: 1824-3991
  26. *Bertolaso M (2015), Emerging Epistemologies in life sciences, Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica, Vol. 1-2, pp. 29-35. ISSN 0035-6247
  27. Bertolaso M; Capolupo A; Cherubini C.; Filippi S.; Gizzi A.; Loppini A.; Vitiello G. (2015), The Role of Coherence in Emergent Behavior of Biological Systems, IEBM: Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 34 (2), 138-140, ID: 1036069 ISSN: 1536-8378
  28. -(*)Di Bernardo M, Dieli AM, Bertolaso M (2015) Thinking out of the box: Education as a Relational Challenge (Pensare fuori dagli schemi: l’educazione come sfida relazionale), Medic. Metodologia Didattica ed Innovazione Clinica, 23(1): 90-96. ISSN: 1824-3991
  29. *Bertolaso M, Caianiello S (2016) Robustness as Organized Heterogeneity, Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica, Vol. CVIII (2), pp. 293-303. ISSN 0035-624
  30. -Valera L & Bertolaso M (2016) Understanding biodiversity from a relational viewpoint, Tópicos, Revista de filosofía Vol 51, 37-54. ISSN: 0188-6649
  31. Giuliani A, Bartolini E, Bertolaso M (2016), L’humus della scienza: per una necessaria riscoperta della meraviglia e della cooperazione nella ricerca scientifica. Scienze e Ricerche, 28:1-4. ISSN: 2283-5873
  32. *Bertolaso M. & MacLeod M (Eds) (2016) In Silico Modeling: the Human Factor, Humana.Mente Journal of Philosophical Studies, Vol. 30 III-V, pp. III-XV. ISSN 1972-129
  33. Bertolaso M, Di Bernardo M (2016) Questioni Epistemologiche Emergenti nelle Bio-Discipline (Epistemic Values at the intersection of Bio-Techno-Practice. An introduction to Biodisciplines) in Biodisciplines (a cura di Marta Bertolaso e Mirko Di Bernardo), Scienze e Ricerche, 30: pp. 5-8. ISSN: 2283-5873
  34. -(*) Bertolaso M, Frezza G (2016), Bio-techno-practice: personal and social responsibility in the academic work (Bio-techno-practice: responsabilità personale e sociale nel lavoro di ricerca), MEDIC. Metodologia Didattica ed Innovazione Clinica 2016; 24(1): 75-84. ISSN: 1824-3991
  35. Bertolaso M (2016) Maternità surrogata, in “Nobiltà del nascere” (Maria Pia Garavaglia & Paola Binetti, Eds), L’Arco di Giano, Rome, numero 88, pp. 67 – 75. ISSN: 1721-0178
  36. Bertolaso M, Mitchell SD (2017), Pluralismo integrador. Un nuevo enfoque para comprender la complejidad biológica Investigación y Ciencia. pp. 50-51, Gennaio, N. 484, ISSN 0210-136X
  37. Bertolaso M (2017) Building bridges – Between, in and for the philosophy of biology. Introduction to the Monothematic Section, in Emerging trends in Philosophy of Biology (Ed. Marta Bertolaso), Acta Philosophica, 26 (1): 11-18 ISSN: 1121-2179
  38. *Bertolaso M, Della Rocca M (2017) On the Processes of Growth of the Living Being and the Relevance of Relational Categories to Understand it, annata CIX, fascicolo 2, Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica, pp. 255-268 ISSN: 0035-6247
  39. *Bertolaso M (2017), Uncoupling Mereology and Supervenience: A Dual Framework for Emergence and Downward Causation, in “Causality and Explanation in Scientific Practice” (Evandro Agazzi, Marco Buzzoni Eds), Axiomathes. Vol. 27, Issue 6, pp. 705-720 ISSN: 1122-115
  40. *Bertolaso M, Sterpetti F (2017), Evidence amalgamation, Plausibility and Cancer Research, Synthese, pp. 1-39, S. I. EVIDENCE AMALGAMATION IN THE SCIENCES, ISSN: 0039-7857, DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1591-9
  41. Bertolaso M, Dieli AM (2017), Cancer and Intercellular Cooperation, Royal Society Open Science, pp.1-14. ISSN: 2054-5703, DOI 10.1098/rsos.170470.
  42. *Osimani B, Bertolaso M, Poellinger R, Frontoni E (2018), Real and Virtual Clinical Trials: A Formal Analysis, in “Foundations of Clinical Reasoning: An Epistemological Stance” (Mattia Andreoletti (Campus IFOM-IEO, Milan), Paola Berchialla (University of Turin), Giovanni Boniolo (University of Ferrara), Daniele Chiffi (Tallinn University of Technology) Eds), Topoi, pp. 1-12 ISSN: 0167-7411, DOI: 10.1007/s11245-018-9563-3
  43. *Sterpetti F, Bertolaso M. (2018): “The Pursuit of Knowledge and the Problem of the Unconceived Alternatives. An International Review of Philosophy”, Topoi., pp. 1 – 12, ISSN: 0167-7411, doi: 10.1007/s11245-018-9551-7
  44. Bertolaso M, Valera L (2018), Verità e fiducia nell’era del Transumanesimo, in SCIO – Revista de filosofía XV, pp. 97-122, ISSN: 1887-9853
  45. *Plutynski A, Bertolaso M (2018), What and How Do Cancer Systems Biologists Explain? Philosophy of Science. Vol. 85, Issue 5, pp. 942-954, ISSN: 0031-8248, DOI: 10.1086/699716
  46. *Bertolaso M, Campaner R, (forthcoming) Scientific Practice in Modelling Diseases: Stances from Cancer Research and Neuropsychiatry, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, ISSN: 0360-5310
  47. Bertolaso M, Rocchi M, (forthcoming) Specifically Human: Human Work and Care in the Age of Machines, in Special Issue: The Meaning of Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution


Proceedings – Conference papers – CONTRIBUTO IN ATTI DI CONVEGNO


  1. Lo Celso A, Bertolaso M (2008) Contenidos creativos que generan cultura. Análisis de las revistas Teenink y Tamezin. Actas del XXI Congreso internacional de comunicación: Los jóvenes y el nuevo escenario de la comunicación, EUNSA. ISBN: 978-84-313-2523-7
  2. Frezza G, Keefe H, Bertolaso M (2017), Work of the Home and Social Relationships as a Guide to Domestic Care for the Elderly, in Ambient Assisted Living, Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, Springer, eBook, vol. 426, pp. 79-86 ISBN 978-3-319-54283-6 DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-54283-6 Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-54282-9 Series ISSN 1876-1100
  3. Brizi M R, Bertolaso M (2017), “The long road towards sustainability: the contribution of domestic work”, in “Il volto del lavoro professionale. Servizio alla famiglia e alla società”, Atti del Convegno “The Heart of Work – Quale anima per il lavoro professionale”, Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Roma, 19-20 ottobre 2017. Vol. V. ISBN: 978-88-8333-764-


Books and Papers Reviews – RECENSIONE IN RIVISTA


  1. -(*) Bertolaso M. (2007). La sfida della bioetica. La Vita, la Libertà e la Difesa della Dignità Umana (Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: the Challenge for Bioethics) di L. R. Kass. Recensione. MEDIC. Metodologia didattica e innovazione clinica, 15: 118-119. ISSN: 1824-3991
  2. Bertolaso M (2010) L’ordine della complessità di Alessandro Giuliani e Joseph P. Zbilut, Recensione, Acta Philosophica, 19 (1): 213-216. ISSN: 1121-2179
  3. -(*)Bertolaso M (2016), Filosofia chimica di Ermanno Bencivegna e Alessandro Giuliani (Recensione), MEDIC. Metodologia didattica e innovazione clinica 2016, 24(1): 111-112. ISSN: 1824-3991
  4. Bertolaso M (2017), REVIEW of: G. Boniolo & M.J. Nathan (eds.) Philosophy of Molecular Medicine: Foundational Issues in Theory and Practice, Routledge, 2017, Notre Dame Press.
  5. Bertolaso M (2017) Referee Report For: Puzzles in modern biology. III. Two kinds of causality in age-related disease [version 2; referees: 2 approved]. F1000Research, 5:2533 (doi: 10.5256/f1000research.11457.r19508) ISSN: 2046-1402.



  1. Bertolaso M, (2010) “Super-naturali” come vampiri: l’enhancement in medicina, in La Medicina dei Nuovi Vampiri, Vittoradolfo Tambone and Luca Borghi (eds). Academia Universa Press, pp. 100-115. ISBN: 978-8864440361
  2. Bertolaso M, (2011) Le Human Enhancement Technologies e l’Irriducibilità della Complessità Biologica, in Migliorare l’uomo? La sfida etica dell’enhancement. S. Kampowski – D. Moltisanti (eds.) Cantagalli, Siena, pp. 35-58. ISBN: 978-8882726010
  3. Bertolaso M (2013). Le frontiere dell’oggettività e le nuove prospettive aperte dalla ricerca oncologica. In: Elio Borgonovi e Paolo Tralongo. Contenimento Economico e Umanizzazione dell’assistenza. p. 41-57, EdiScience ISBN: 978-8895760292
  4. Bertolaso M. (2013) Sull’irriducibilità della prospettiva sistemica in biologia. Un’analisi delle convergenze dei modelli interpretativi del cancro, in “Strutture di Mondo. Il pensiero sistemico come specchio di una realtà complessa.” (Urbani Ulivi L.), Vol. II, p. 143-169, Bologna, Il Mulino. ISBN: 978-8815139856
  5. Bertolaso M, Giuliani A, Filippi S (2014) The Mesoscopic Level and its Epistemological Relevance in Systems Biology. In: Recent Advances in Systems Biology Research (André X. C. N. Valente, Abhijit Sarkar and Yuan Gao Eds) Nova Science Publishers, Inc., pp. 19-36 ISBN: 978-1-62948-736-6
  6. Bertolaso M, Di Stefano N, Ghilardi G, Marcos A (2015) Bio-Techno-Logos and Scientific Practice –, in “The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’”, Bertolaso M. (Ed.), Pickering & Chatto Publishers, pp.179-191 ISBN: 978-1848935624, doi: 10.4324/9781315653693
  7. Bertolaso M (2015) Philosophy within Science in “The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’”, Bertolaso M. (Ed.), Pickering & Chatto Publishers, pp. 1-12 ISBN: 978-1848935624, doi: 10.4324/9781315653693
  8. Bertolaso M (2015) “Stabilità VS Specificità. La rilevanza delle categorie relazionali nelle scienze biologiche”, in “Strutture di Mondo” (Urbani Ulivi L. Ed.), Vol. III, 107-131. ISBN 978-88-15-25830-4
  9. Di Stefano N & Bertolaso M (2016) Changing Framework in Explaining Complex Dynamics: Convergences on Systemic Accounts from Two Different Case Studies. In “Towards a post-Bertalanffy Systemics”, Minati G., Abram M. R. and Pessa E., (eds.), Springer, New York, 159-167. ISBN: 978-3319243894, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-24391-7
  10. Bertolaso M, Güell F (2016) ¿Requiere la complejidad biológica un marco indeterminista? en “¿Determinismo o Indeterminismo? Grandes preguntas de las ciencias a la Filosofía”, C. E. Vanney & J.F. Franck (eds.), Colección “De las Ciencias a la Filosofía”, Logos-Universidad Austral, Rosario-Pilar, pp. 277-307. ISBN 978-987-732-067-1
  11. Bertolaso M. (2017), “A System Approach to Cancer. From Things to Relations”, in Green, S. (ed.), Philosophy of Systems Biology – Perspectives from Scientists and Philosophers. Dordrecht, Springer, History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences (HPTL), pp. 37-47. ISBN 978-3-319-46999-7, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-47000-9
  12. Bertolaso M (2016) “Disentangling Context Dependencies in Biological Sciences”, in L. Felline, F. Paoli, E. Rossanese (Eds) New Directions in Logic and Philosophy of Science, College Publications, London, pp. 245-255. ISBN 978-184-890-160-5,
  13. Bertolaso M, Buzzoni M (2017), Causality and Levels of Explanation in Biology, in “Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Downward Causation”, Edited by Michele Paolini Paoletti and Francesco Orilia, Part II – Downward Causation and the Sciences, Routledge, pp.164-179 ISBN: 978-1138195059, doi: 10.4324/9781315638577
  14. Bertolaso M, Di Stefano N (2017). Preface in: The Hand- Perception, Cognition, Action. SAPERE, Springer. Vol. 38, pp. V-VII, ISSN 2192-6255 ISBN: 978-3319668819, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-66881-9
  15. Marcos A, Bertolaso M (2018) “What is a Home? On the intrinsic nature of the home”, in The Home, Antonio Argandona (Ed), Edward Elgar, ISBN: 978-1786436566, DOI 10.4337/9781786436573
  16. Bertolaso M, Dupré J (2018), A processual perspective on cancer, in Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology (Eds. J. Dupré and D. Nicholson), OUP ISBN: 9780198779636
  17. Bertolaso, M. (2018), “The Threshold of Scientific Rationality. The Relational Ontology of Levels: Emerging Epistemology for Biological Sciences”, in Velázquez, H. (comp.), Tirant Lo Blanch, Madrid, ISBN: 9788417203573
  18. Boem F, Malagrinò I, Bertolaso M (2018), In Silico Clinical Trials: a Possible Response to Complexity in Pharmacology, in Uncertainty in Pharmacology, (Ed. B. Osimani)
  19. Bertolaso M, Ratti, E (2018) Conceptual challenges in the Theoretical Foundations of Systems Biology, in Bizzarri, M. (ed.), Systems Biology, series: Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1702. New York, Springer, pp. 1-13, series ISSN: 1064-3745, ISBN 978-1-4939-7455-9, DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7456-6_1
  20. Bertolaso, M. (2018), “Be-Com-Ing: Cuestiones emergentes en el estudio de la unidad dinámica del organismo”, in Velázquez, H., Contreras, L., Mendoza, F. (eds.), La unidad del viviente desde un enfoque interdisciplinario: del origen de la vida a la generación de hábitos. Una aproximación desde la filosofía y las ciencias biológicas., Comares, Granada
  21. Brizi M R, Bertolaso M (forthcoming), Sostenibilità e generatività: alcune considerazioni sulla condizione femminile ai margini dell’enciclica Humanae Vitae


Special Issue (Editor) – CURATELE

Bertolaso M (Ed) (2017) Emerging trends in Philosophy of Biology. Acta Philosophica ISSN: 1121-2179

  1. Bertolaso M. & MacLeod M (Eds) (2016) In Silico Modeling: the Human Factor, HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies. ISSN: 1972-1293
  2. Bertolaso M, Di Bernardo M (Eds) (2016) Bio-Disciplines, Scienze & Ricerche. ISSN: 2532-134X
  3. Bertolaso M (Ed) (2014), Cancer and its Complexity: Epistemological and Ethical Reflections, Special Issue, Medic. Metodologia didattica ed innovazione clinica, Vol. 2. ISSN: 1824-3991


Invited Entry for Enciclopedia – VOCE (IN DIZIONARIO O ENCICLOPEDIA)

  1. Bertolaso M, James f. O’ Brien, August Edward Manier (2013). Mechanisms. In: New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2012-13: Ethics and Philosophy, vol. 1. Detroit: Robert L. Fastiggi, pp. 982-991 ISBN: 978-1414480855,
  2. Bertolaso M, Cerezo M (2017). Robustez Biologica. In Diccionario Interdisciplinar Austral, Claudia E. Vanney, Ignacio Silva y Juan F. Franck. (Eds), pp. 1-31 ISSN: 2524-941X
  3. Dieli AM, Bertolaso M (2017) Selección natural. In Diccionario Interdisciplinar Austral, Claudia E. Vanney, Ignacio Silva y Juan F. Franck. (Eds), pp. 1-16 ISSN: 2524-941X
  4. Bertolaso M (2017) Organismo. In Diccionario Interdisciplinar Austral, Claudia E. Vanney, Ignacio Silva y Juan F. (Eds), pp. 1-26 ISSN: 2524-941X 



  1. Bertolaso M (2012) – Il Cancro come questione. Modelli Interpretativi e Presupposti Epistemologici, Monografia, Franco Angeli, Milano. ISBN 978-88-568-4629-4
  2. Bertolaso M (2013) – How Science works. Choosing Levels of Explanation in Biological Sciences, Aracne s.r.l., Rome. ISBN 978-88-548-6088-9
  3. Bertolaso M (2015) “The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’”, Bertolaso M. (Ed.), Pickering & Chatto Publishers. London:Pickering and Chatto Publishers, ISBN: 978-18-489-3562-4, doi: 10.4324/9781315653693
  4. Bertolaso M (2016) Philosophy of Cancer – A Dynamic and Relational View. Springer Series in “History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences” 18. ISBN 978-94-024-0863-8


Edited Books – CURATELA

  1. Bertolaso M (Ed) (2015), The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’, Pickering & Chatto Publishers, London. ISBN 978-18-489-3562-4
  2. Bertolaso M, Di Stefano N (Eds) (2016) The Hand – Perception, Cognition, Action – Springer, SAPERE. ISBN: 978-3319668802
  3. Bertolaso M, Caianiello S, Serrelli E (Eds) (2018). Biological Robustness – Emerging Perspectives from within the Life Sciences, in History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences, vol. 23. Springer, ISSN: 2211-1948


Forthcoming Edited Books – CURATELA

Bertolaso M, Sterpetti F (Eds) (forthcoming), A Critical Reflection on Automated Science – Will Science Remain Human?, in Human Perspectives in Bio-Medical Sciences and Technology, Springer.



  1. Interview for Marco Vigorelli Foundation: “Prospettive umane dell’Industria 4.0: tra Bio-Medicina e Tecnologia”,
  2. Brizi M R, Bertolaso M (2018), “La cura e la sostenibilità”, in Studi e documenti, Fondazione Alberto Sordi,

3.         Bertolaso M (2018), “Saremo governati dalle intelligenze artificiali? Riflessioni sul progetto di Macron”, Saluteuropa, in Uomo e Tecnologia,

4.         Bertolaso M (2018), “Ecco come tech e digital ci stanno rendendo più soli”, Saluteuropa, in Uomo e Tecnologia,

5.         Bertolaso M (2018), “Uomo e Tecnologia: dove stiamo andando?”, Saluteuropa, in Uomo e Tecnologia,

6.         Bertolaso M (2019), “La semplicità nascosta della complessità biologica”, Saluteuropa, in Uomo e Tecnologia, 

Marta Bertolaso Books’ reviews

  • Silvia Caianiello (University of Naples), A Possible Role for Philosophy: Bridging the Conceptual Divide in Cancer Research. Essay Review of Marta Bertolaso: Philosophy of Cancer: A Dynamic and Relational View, Springer, Dordrecht, 2016, 190 pp, ISBN: 978-94-024-0863-8, in Acta Biotheoretica, (2018), 1-8.
  • Anya Plutynski (University of Saint Louis), Philosophy of Cancer: A Dynamic and Relational View, in HPLS, Springer, 2017
  • Valentina Savojardo (Università di Macerata): The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’, in Medic, 2017 ISSN: 1824-3991
  • Guillermo Folguera (Universidad de Buenos Aires): The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’, in Rivista di Neo-Scolastica, 2016
  • Alfredo Marcos (Universidad de Valladolid): How Science works. Choosing Levels of Explanation in Biological Sciences, in Estudios Filosóficos, 2014. ISSN: 0210-6086
  • Valentina Savojardo (Università di Macerata): Il Cancro come questione. Modelli Interpretativi e Presupposti Epistemologici, in Epistemologia, 2015. ISSN: 0392-9760
  • Mattia della Rocca (Università Tor Vergata, Roma): Il Cancro come questione. Modelli Interpretativi e Presupposti Epistemologici, Testo e Senso, 2013. ISSN: 1592-646X
  • Mary Ann G. Cutter (University of Colorado), Thinking through Breast Cancer. A Philosophical Exploration of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survival, Oxford University Press, 2018. ISBN-13: 978-0190637033
  • Anya Plutynski (University of Saint Louis), Explaining Cancer: Finding Order in Disorder, Oxford 2018, ISBN-13: 9780199967452
  • Evandro Agazzi, L’oggettività scientifica e i suoi contesti, Bompiani, Milano 2018. ISBN: 88-452-9872-8

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