Profile image of Maurizio Meloni

A/Prof. Maurizio Meloni



Associate Professor - Sociology


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Hum & Social Science


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus


PhD in Social Theory, University of Catania, 2004
Master of Philosophy, University of Naples IUO, 1997


Biography summary

Maurizio Meloni is a social theorist and a science and technology studies scholar. He is the author of L'Orecchio di Freud. Societa' della comunicazione e Pensiero Affettivo (Dedalo, 2005); Political Biology: Science and Social Values in Human Heredity from Eugenics to Epigenetics (Palgrave 2016); Impressionable Biologies: From the Archaeology of Plasticity to the Sociology of Epigenetics (Routledge, 2019); co-editor of Biosocial Matters (Wiley 2016); and chief editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society (2018). He is currently an ARC Future Fellow and Associate Professor of Sociology at Deakin University, Australia. He has benefited from several research grants, including two Marie Curie fellowships, a Fulbright scholarship, funded visits at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG, Berlin), DAAD and OEAD fellowships in Germany and Austria, and an annual membership at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (NJ).

You can find Maurizio's publications on his Academia page.


2013- International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB)

2011- 2016 British Sociological Association (BSA)

2011- Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S)

Knowledge areas

Social Theory

History and Philosophy of Biology and Medicine
Sociology of Epigenetics
Intellectual History
Social Studies of Science

Media appearances

Maurizio Meloni on his recent article 'Porous Bodies: Environmental Biopower and the Politics of Life in Ancient Rome', in Theory Culture and Society, 2020

'Impressionable Biologies: An interview with Maurizio Meloni' in Theory, Culture & Society, 23 October, 2019.

'Re-Thinking the History of Biopower', Discover Society, March 2019

'Epigenetics: Living with a permeable genome', Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, 7 August, 2019.

'New book sheds light on long history behind the rise of the field of epigenetics', Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, 6 Frebruary, 2019.

'Welfare poison: why everything you believed about the politics of nature-nurture may no longer be true' in Discover Society, 5 July, 2016. 

'If we’re not careful, epigenetics may bring back eugenic thinking' in The Conversation, 16 March, 2016. 

'C is for complexity. Why genetics doesn't outweigh teaching' in Discover Society, 6 January, 2014. 


Impressionable Bodies: Epigenetic Models of Plasticity in the Global South (ARC Future Fellowship)
This project aims to investigate how epigenetics, the science of how environmental factors switch genes on or off, is reshaping notions of the body, heredity and biological plasticity in the global South., Using case studies in Australia, India and South Africa this project comparatively analyses how epigenetics is mobilised in public debates on responsibility, risk and the amelioration of disadvantage. This project expects to ensure the policy translation of epigenetics maximises social benefits and reduces risks of social harm, particularly to vulnerable minority groups.

Epigenetics and Indigenous Australia (ARC Discovery Project, Emma Kowal Lead Investigator, Megan Warin Adelaide Investigator)
This project aims to investigate how epigenetics is being received by Indigenous Australians, and to identify the potential risks and opportunities that narratives of biosocial damage entail. Epigenetics is a rapidly evolving science concerned with how life experiences, such as trauma or stress, can modify DNA and be passed on to negatively affect children's (and possibly grandchildren's) health and development. This project will offer an understanding of the relationships between Indigenous health and epigenetics that will help Indigenous researchers, policymakers, and government bodies make well-informed decisions about the application and direction of this new science. The research will make a significant contribution to understanding how the interplay of biology, race, and society unfold at the intersection of different knowledge systems and at the forefront of technological progress.


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Forgetting how we ate: personalised nutrition and the strategic uses of history

Christopher Mayes, Maurizio Meloni

(2024), Vol. 46, pp. 1-26, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Revitalizing Air: More-than-Human Relations in Urban Health Beyond the Modern-Premodern Binary

M Meloni, C Maller

(2024), pp. 1-17, GeoHumanities, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Airs, Waters, Places... and the Exposome: Steps Toward an Integrative Health

Maurizio Meloni

(2023), pp. 1-5, Integrative Approaches in Environmental Health and Exposome Research, Berlin, Germany, B1

book chapter

Biopolitics After COVID: Notes from the Crisis

M Meloni, M Vatter

(2023), Vol. 26, pp. 368-392, Theory and Event, C1

journal article

Foetal programming meets human capital: biological plasticity, development, and the limits to the economization of life

T Moll, M Meloni, A Issaka

(2023), pp. 1-28, BioSocieties, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

The 'government of men': Moving beyond Foucault's binaries

M Meloni, G Bashirov

(2023), pp. 1-23, Economy and Society, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Epigenetic science and Indigenous health: key issues and considerations for future research

Jaya Keaney, Henrietta Byrne, Megan Warin, Emma Kowal, Maurizio Meloni, Stephanie Gilbert, Jeffrey Craig, Kym Rae, Mark Wenitong, Alex Brown

(2023), Vol. 14, pp. 1-24, International Indigenous Policy Journal, London, Canada, C1

journal article

A Foucauldian Moment or the Longue Durée? COVID-19 in Context

Maurizio Meloni

(2022), pp. 53-71, The Viral Politics of Covid-19: Nature, Home, and Planetary Health, Berlin, Germany, B1

book chapter

Molecular Epigenetics, the Biology of Memory, and Biology as Memory

Maurizio Meloni

(2022), Cultural Memory: From the Sciences to the Humanities, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

A biosocial return to race? A cautionary view for the postgenomic era

M Meloni, T Moll, A Issaka, C Kuzawa

(2022), pp. 1-24, American Journal of Human Biology, London, Eng., C1

journal article

An unproblematized truth: Foucault, biopolitics, and the making of a sociological canon

M Meloni

(2022), pp. 1-20, Social Theory and Health, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Situating the Father: Strengthening Interdisciplinary Collaborations between Sociology, History and the Emerging POHaD Paradigm

Christopher Mayes, Elsher Lawson-Boyd, Maurizio Meloni

(2022), Vol. 14, pp. 1-12, Nutrients, Basel, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Thinking embodiment with genetics: epigenetics and postgenomic biology in embodied cognition and enactivism

M Meloni, J Reynolds

(2021), Vol. 198, pp. 10685-10708, Synthese, C1

journal article

Porous Bodies: Environmental Biopower and the Politics of Life in Ancient Rome

M Meloni

(2021), Vol. 38, pp. 91-115, Theory, Culture and Society, C1

journal article

Bodies of the Anthropocene: On the interactive plasticity of earth systems and biological organisms

M Meloni, R Wakefield-Rann, B Mansfield

(2021), Anthropocene Review, C1

journal article

Gender Beneath the Skull: Agency, Trauma and Persisting Stereotypes in Neuroepigenetics

E Lawson-Boyd, M Meloni

(2021), Vol. 15, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Switzerland, C1

journal article

The politics of environments before the environment: Biopolitics in the longue durée

M Meloni

(2021), Vol. 88, pp. 334-344, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, England, C1

journal article

Indigenous Knowledge in a Postgenomic Landscape: The Politics of Epigenetic Hope and Reparation in Australia

M Warin, E Kowal, M Meloni

(2020), Vol. 45, pp. 87-111, Science Technology and Human Values, London, Eng., C1

journal article

"It's Never Too Early": Preconception Care and Postgenomic Models of Life

M Pentecost, M Meloni

(2020), Vol. 5, Frontiers in Sociology, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Impressionable biologies: From the archaeology of plasticity to the sociology of epigenetics

M Meloni

(2019), New York, NY>, A1


A postgenomic body: histories, genealogy, politics

M Meloni

(2018), Vol. 24, pp. 3-38, Body & society, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and social responsibility: Perspectives from the social sciences

M Meloni, R Müller

(2018), Vol. 4, Environmental Epigenetics, England, C1

journal article

The Epigenetic Imperative: Responsibility for Early Intervention at the Time of Biological Plasticity

M Pentecost, M Meloni

(2018), Vol. 18, pp. 60-62, American Journal of Bioethics, United States, C1

journal article

The Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society

M Meloni, J Cromby, D Fitzgerald, S Lloyd

(2018), London, Eng., A7

edited book

The biosocial genome?

Ruth Mueller, Clare Hanson, Mark Hanson, Michael Penkler, Georgia Samaras, Luca Chiapperino, John Dupre, Martha Kenney, Christopher Kuzawa, Joanna Latimer, Stephanie Lloyd, Astrid Lunkes, Molly Macdonald, Maurizio Meloni, Brigitte Nerlich, Francesco Panese, Martyn Pickersgill, Sarah Richardson, Joelle Ruegg, Sigrid Schmitz, Aleksandra Stelmach, Paula-Irene Villa

(2017), Vol. 18, pp. 1677-1682, EMBO REPORTS, England, C1-1

journal article

Race in an epigenetic time: thinking biology in the plural

Maurizio Meloni

(2017), Vol. 68, pp. 389-409, BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, England, C1-1

journal article

Disentangling life: Darwin, selectionism, and the postgenomic return of the environment

M Meloni

(2017), Vol. 62, pp. 10-19, Studies in history and philosophy of science part c: studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Political biology: Science and social values in human heredity from eugenics to epigenetics

M Meloni

(2016), Berlin, Germany, A1


The biosocial: sociological themes and issues

M Meloni, S Williams, P Martin

(2016), Vol. 64, pp. 7-25, The Sociological Review Monographs, Chichester, Eng., B1

book chapter

From boundary-work to boundary object: how biology left and re-entered the social sciences

M Meloni

(2016), Vol. 64, pp. 61-78, The sociological review, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

The transcendence of the social: Durkheim, Weismann, and the purification of sociology

M Meloni

(2016), Vol. 1, pp. 1-13, Frontiers in sociology, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Эпигенетическая революция в пристальном рассмотрении

М Мелони, Д Теста, M Meloni, G Testa

(2015), Vol. 7, pp. 450-467, Политическая концептология: журнал метадисциплинарных исследований, Rostov-on-Don, Russia, C1

journal article

Эпигенетическая революция в пристальном рассмотрении

Мaurizio Meloni, G Testa

(2015), Vol. 7, pp. 450-467, Biosfera, Saint Petersburg, Russia, C1

journal article

Epigenetics for the social sciences: justice, embodiment, and inheritance in the postgenomic age

M Meloni

(2015), Vol. 34, pp. 125-151, New genetics and society, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Comprehending the body in the era of the epigenome

M Lock, W Burke, J Dupré, H Landecker, J Livingston, P Martin, M Meloni, G Pálsson, R Rapp, K Weiss, A Buchanan

(2015), Vol. 56, pp. 163-177, Current anthropology, Chicago, Ill., C1

journal article

Scrutinizing the epigenetics revolution

M Meloni, G Testa

(2014), Vol. 9, pp. 431-456, BioSocieties, Basingstoke, Eng., C1

journal article

Biology without biologism: social theory in a postgenomic age

M Meloni

(2014), Vol. 48, pp. 731-746, Sociology, London, Eng., C1

journal article

The social brain meets the reactive genome: neuroscience, epigenetics and the new social biology

M Meloni

(2014), Vol. 8, pp. 1-12, Frontiers in human neuroscience, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1

journal article

How biology became social, and what it means for social theory

M Meloni

(2014), Vol. 62, pp. 593-614, Sociological review, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

On the growing intellectual authority of neuroscience for political and moral theory: Sketch for a genealogy

M Meloni

(2013), pp. 25-49, Essays on Neuroscience and Political Theory : Thinking the Body Politic, London, Eng., B1-1

book chapter

Moralizing biology: the appeal and limits of the new compassionate view of nature

M Meloni

(2013), Vol. 26, pp. 82-106, History of the human sciences, London, Eng., C1

journal article

The cerebral subject at the junction of naturalism and antinaturalism

M Meloni

(2011), pp. 101-115, Neurocultures: glimpses into an expanding universe, Frankfurt, Germany, B1-1

book chapter

Freud in un' età naturalistica. Tra psicoanalisi e neuroscienze cognitive

M Meloni

(2009), Vol. 55, pp. 931-949, Rivista Italiana di Psicoanalisi, Rome, Italy, C1-1

journal article

A triangle of thoughts: Girard, Freud, Lacan

M Meloni

(2002), Vol. 14, pp. 27-56, Journal of European psychoanalysis, Rome, Italy, C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Impressionable Bodies: Epigenetic Models of Plasticity in the Global South - External - Dr Maurizio Meloni

A/Prof Maurizio Meloni

ARC Fellowships - Future Fellowships

  • 2022: $123,902
  • 2021: $247,284
  • 2020: $245,353
  • 2019: $235,671
  • 2018: $112,639

The politics of epigenetic hope and hype in Indigenous Australia

Prof Emma Kowal, A/Prof Maurizio Meloni, Asst/Prof Megan Warin

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2021: $99,784
  • 2020: $101,759
  • 2019: $91,682


Principal Supervisor

Elsher Lawson-Boyd

Thesis entitled: Under the Skull: A Study of Embodied Trauma in Neuroepigenetics

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences