The International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) brings together scholars from diverse disciplines, including the life sciences as well as history, philosophy, and social studies of science. The biennial ISHPSSB summer meetings are known for innovative, transdisciplinary sessions, and for fostering informal, co-operative exchanges and on-going collaborations.

Off-Year Workshops offer an opportunity to ISHPSSB members to meet and discuss particular topics both in traditional formats and also in unconventional formats. It is also a way to encourage our youngest members to organize discussions on issues that promote their research careers. For 2016, the ISHPSSB Off-Year Workshop Committee selected two meetings, one devoted to extra-scientific issues in astrobiology and the other to the debate on function and malfunction in biological, biomedical and social sciences.

More information about the schedules and the application procedure can be found at the respective websites. Graduate student members of ISHPSSB are eligible for subsidies to offset the costs of travel and accommodation. Send applications and supporting documentation to Laura Perini, ISHPSSB Treasurer, via email attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Below you can found more details and links to the websites.

SoCIA 2016: Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

This workshop will be a place to discuss conceptual, ethical and meta-scientific issues about the emerging field of astrobiology. It is designed to promote discussion in an area that will probably become more important and which will offer very complex challenges in the coming years. It is open to researchers in any discipline interested in applying their expertise to thinking about astrobiology. The meeting will take place on September 24–25 at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, USA. The deadline for applications is June 1st. See the Call for Applications at

Function and Malfunction in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and the Social Sciences

This workshop will reassess the modern philosophical debate on function in the dual perspective of (1) malfunction (or dysfunction), and (2) with respect to the use of such concepts in both the biological and the social sciences. Early-career scholars in the history and philosophy of the life sciences (including medicine) and early-career social scientists are invited to apply. The meeting will take place on September 5–9, 2016 at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research in Klosterneuburg near Vienna, Austria. The deadline for applications has been extended to April 15. See the Call for Papers at