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2005 Carroll Ave., St. Paul MN 55104, USA. || FAX: 612.626.8380.


can be found here

Session index

(short titles, in alphabetical order) Use browser "search" to find individual participants.

  • 19th-c Heredity I: Human/Medical Contexts
  • 19th-c Heredity II: Lineages & Hybrids
  • NEW: 19th-c Themes: Identity, Type & Change
  • 20th-c Evolution
  • 20th-c Novelties
  • Analogies I: Evolution
  • Analogies II: Education
  • Chance -- NEW TIME
  • Conservation I: Biodiversity
  • Conservation II: Policy
  • Conservation III: Problems and Strategies
  • 'Design'
  • Ecological Objects I & II
  • Environment I & II
  • Error
  • Evolution and Development I-IV
  • Evolution & Ethics -- NEW: 2nd session
  • NEW: Experimental Techniques
  • Function, Teleology & Explanation
  • Hothouses for Biology I & II
  • 'Information'
  • Journals
  • Language as a Selection Process I & II
  • Levels I: Emergence
  • Levels II: Bridging Levels
  • 'Life' I & II
  • Medical Benchmarks
  • Memory and Molecules
  • Mechanisms I & II
  • Mind and Evolutionary Explanation I, II & III
  • Modularity (honoring Herb Simon)
  • Natural History Approaches
  • Regulatory Science I: Intellectual Property
  • Regulatory Science II: GMOs, Uncertainty & Law
  • Research Groups Revisited
  • Rhetoric I & II
  • NEW: Species
  • Unification I: Ecology
  • Unification II: New Frameworks
  • Visual Images in Biology I & II

    Weds, July 18

    Thurs, July 19 – Sat, July 21

    • paper sessions (9am-5:30pm)

    See session schedule.

    Special Events

    • PLEASE NOTE ! -- Thursday (at close of afternoon sessions): General Membership Meeting; Graduate Student Meeting immediately following.
    • Thursday evening: "President's Session"
    • Friday lunch: "Backstage at the Journals"
    • NEW -- Friday evening: reception at Yale University's Peabody Museum of Natural History, hosted by the Dept. of the History of Science & Medicine
    • Saturday evening banquet

    Sun, July 22

    Please be sure to complete forms for

    1. registration,
    2. accommodation & meals, and
    3. travel information.

    DEADLINE for pre-registration:
    15 JUNE 2001

    U.S. Quarter:  Connecticut Charter Oak

    NEW ! -- We've introduced two features at this year's meetings to further foster discussion.

    • First, in returning to early practices of the Society, many members have designated their sessions (or papers) as prepared discussion. These are marked on the program pages here with a. Papers and questions for discussion will be posted on the web by June 1, and linked from the program listing page. These sessions will assume that participants have read the materials and come prepared to discuss them.
    • In addition, formal paper sessions will conclude on Saturday. Sunday morning will feature roundtable discussions on central themes that bridge several related sessions such as:
      • Ontology in biology
      • Role of historians, philosophers and sociologists in public policy settings
      • Information and change
      • Problems in 19th-20th-century history of biology
      • Function, mechanism, reduction and explanation
    Heredity in the 19th Century I: Human/Medical Contexts
    Heredity in the 19th Century II: Species, Lineages & Hybrids
    These sessions will discuss different approaches to the problem of hereditary transmission of physical and moral characters during the 19th century in Europe. Tackling conceptions and uses of heredity developed by members or groups of different traditions (medicine, psychiatry, breeders, hybridologists), we aim at showing the fluid state of the concept of heredity during the period, and at trying to expose any common underlying structure, if any. || Carlos Beltran, John Waller, Laure Cartron, Pablo Lorenzano, Steven Orzack -- see Paper Abstracts


    19th-century Themes: Identity, Type & Change
    Biologists of the 19th-century encountered a tension between the concepts of type and historical change. What constituted organismal identity? The papers here address how different prominent biologists approached the problem from their own perspectives. Olivier Lagueux considers interpretations of double-monsters in early nineteenth-century biology, such as Geoffroy's monstrous animal specimens and new animals hard to classify at the time (the 1827 giraffe, the platypus). Cheryl Logan considers the role of diversity before there were standardized laboratory animals, by surveying two prominent German physiology journals between 1885 and 1900. Igor Popov addresses the problematic relationship of Lamarckism and orthogenesis. Finally, Juan Carlos Zamora profiles Charles Darwin's typological thinking. -- see Paper Abstracts


    Trying to Shape an Evolutionary Synthesis: 20th-century Variations (and Selection?) on a Theme
    This session considers three cases in the development of evolutionary thinking in the first part of the 20th century, each at the intersection of various disciplines. The first case concerns the emergence of agricultural research on the evolution of insecticide resistance (1914-mid 1940s) and its subsequent influence on Dobzhansky's genetics. The second case considers the effort of Richard Goldschmidt and others to integrate development and evolution through the study of homeotic mutants. The third case focuses on alternative approaches to evolution and behavior - the neoDarwinian reduction championed by David Lack and the emphasis on populations pioneered by Wynne-Edwards. The work in separate fields, each related to evolution-and not always successful-helps reframe our understanding of the Evolutionary Synthesis, as conventionally portrayed in folk histories by biologists. || Mark Borello, Michael Dietrich, John Cecatti -- see Paper Abstracts


    Moments of Note: Constructing New Systems in 20th-century Biology
    Certain moments of historical change exhibit uncommon drama. This session examines three such episodes from 20th-century biology: the migration of physicists into biology, the emergence of bioweapons research, and the debate about domains in systematics. The cases offer an occasion for reflecting on factors shaping historical innovation at the intersection of disciplines, all against a backdrop of trends in 20th-century biology. || Tara Abraham, Gerard Fitzgerald, Sherrie Lyons -- see Paper Abstracts


    (Mis)Intepreting Analogies: 'Design', 'Contrivance' and 'Group'
    Analogies are common in biology, in developing and conveying ideas, as well as in structuring theoretical categories and thinking. The inherent incompleteness of analogies also allows for flexibilty in interpretation and, sometimes, error. This session explores three cases of analogy in evolutionary concepts and arguments: the notion of intelligent 'design', Darwin's use of 'contrivance', and the elusive meaning of 'group' in group selection. || Richard England, Ayelit Shavit -- see Paper Abstracts


    Analogies & Constructions in Biology Education
    To a good extent the claims scientists make about the natural world are shaped by the system of cultural values predominant in their society. Consequently, students of biology do not only learn about the natural world - they also learn about cultural convictions and practices as if they were a part of nature. Metaphors in textbooks and other educational contexts are thus not just isolated lexical phenomena. On the one hand they help to create new models of understanding. On the other hand they can remain invisible and help to construct a distorted, but apparently objective truth. This session examines educational constructions of the human immune system, human fertilization, sociobiology, and heteronormativity regarding sexual orientation. || Dorthe Ohlhoff, Carmen James Schifellite, Steve Fifield -- see Paper Abstracts


    This session address the role of chance in evolution. Lewens argues that selection is purely statistical, and that discussion of dynamics or forces is misplaced. Hong addresses the interplay of chance and reductive explanation in proposing "a gray scale of biological determinism." || Felix Hong, Tim Lewens -- see Paper Abstracts


    Conservation I: Biodiversity, the Very Idea
    Conservation II: Framing Parks and Reserves Policy
    Conservation III: Problems and Strategies
    The biodiversity concept integrates so many facets of life on earth that it may well serve as the locus of the next great synthesis in biology. Ironically, this achievement may coincide with the greatest loss of its subject matter in tens of millions of years, making biodiversity also the most salient moral issue of the 21st century. These sessions address the nature of biodiversity and its conservation. Part I examines the sometimes problematic notion of biodiversity. Part II focuses on how to operationalize the biodiversity concept in designing nature reserves and park systems. Part III addresses several "internal" questions about the relevance of biodiversity and its measures. || David Roche, Uta Eser, Irama Nunez & Ana Barahona, James Maclaurin, David Castle, Mónica Vizcaino, James Justus, Justin Garson , Kim Cuddington, Chris Kelley -- see Paper Abstracts


    By 'Design' ?
    This session examines what evolutionists mean by 'design': first, by examining the structure of functional explanations, and then by analyzing the role of reverse engineering in interpreting adaptation. || Arno Wouters, Robert Richardson. Derek Turner -- see Paper Abstracts


    Making Ecological Objects I & II
    The state of ecological objects is constituted in manifold ways -- scientifically and morally, among others. This session provides reflections on the making of ecological objects, its changes, driving forces, actors, and central concepts. The general theme can be stated as follows: Ecology has always grappled with the need to define objects scientifically and at the same time to present environmental - instrumental as well as moral - significance of objects and measures in order to maintain ecological objects within the human realm. A demand for keeping all parts, the function or the health of ecological systems has been expressed for a long time. The making of ecological objects also constitutes different role models for ecologically informed environmental action within the ecologist's community, expanding into the realm of environmental philosophy, too. Concepts and programs have been changed and challenged, respectively, ever since. Reasons for 'keeping all the parts' are reconsidered up to now, especially facing ecosystem function, ecosystem health, and the historicity and uniqueness of ecological objects. These and other issues shall be discussed by a variety of case studies from different locations and time periods, thus bringing together philosophers and historians of ecology, and practising ecologists. It shall also facilitate the communication of scholars from different countries not least by developing comparative perspectives on ecology. || Claire Waterton, Chris Young, Lisa Gannett, Patricia Bunner, Chris Eliot, Peter Taylor -- see Paper Abstracts


    Understanding Environment: Biology, Values, Policy I & II
    A central problem for environmental studies is to articulate a foundation for the intersection of environmental science, values, and policy. Differently put, what are current, basic conceptual problems at the intersection of environmental science, values, and policy and how can those problems be solved?
    Part I of the symposium asks and answers the following three questions:
    1. Why should environmental science be used to ground environmental policy? (Heather Douglas)
    2. How might the boundaries between environmental science and policy be stabilized? (Esther Turnhout)
    3. In what sense might the environment have moral and/or political standing? (Robert Skipper)
    Part II of the symposium instantiates some of the more general problems in Part I into foundational work in philosophy of ecology on the nature and preservation of species. Part II asks and answers the following three questions:
    1. Are there ecological laws/kinds? (Gregory Mikkelson)
    2. Is the US Endangered Species Act of 1973 self-defeating? (Mark Madison)
    3. How might sub-species preservation be morally and/or politically justified? (Roberta Millstein and Jeff Ramsey)

    See Paper Abstracts


    Accommodating Error
    This session examines how errors arise in biology and then how biologists find them and recover from them. In the same way that lack-of-function studies in organisms lead to understanding of biological structure and function, such historical analyses can lead to deeper understanding of the methods for developing reliable knowledge in science. Cases addressed here include:
    1. the low-dose response curves for carcinogens (and the policy implications of error in science) (Kevin Elliott)
    2. the lack of randomization in evolutionary studies (Nancy Hall)
    3. Harland Wood's ironic claim that citrate was not part of the citric acid cycle (Rivers Singleton)
    4. Commentary (Douglas Allchin)

    -- see Paper Abstracts


    Evolution and Development I - IV
    Evolution has resulted in organisms that develop. For a long time the processes of evolution and development have been theoretically and empirically largely independent. This was epitomized by the gene selectionist view of evolution, which rendered the process of development largely epiphenominal to the evolutionary business of evolving the genome. However, there is now a growing awareness that an understanding of development is essential to a complete understanding of evolution and vice versa. This session addresses what this 'developmental synthesis' may contribute and some difficulties that must be overcome for its success in four sessions:
    1. Modularity & Continuity: Roger Sansom, Kim Sterelny, Gunter Wagner & Chi-hua Chiu
    2. DST & Reductionism: Andrew Ariew, Denis Walsh
    3. Cause & Effect: Lee Zwanziger, Jason Robert et al, Julio Tuma
    4. Developmental Genetics: Marion Blute, Richard Burian

    -- see Paper Abstracts


    Evolution & Ethics
    Natural selection continues to pose puzzles for interpreting the origin of morality and its meaning and/or justification. Through critiques of David Hume, E.O. Wilson and Michael Ruse, this session examines the status of moral realism, the nature of moral agency, and the relation of human motivation to natural selection. & More || John Mizzoni, Julio Munoz-Rubio, Phil Roberts, Jonathan Kaplan, John Lemos -- see Paper Abstracts


    Evolution of Experimental Techniques
    The idea of the session will be to explore the scope and limitations of evolutionary models of experimental techniques. Students of experimental science, including Karen Knorr-Cetina and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger have relied on metaphor and analogies between biological evolution and the development of experimental techniques. Metaphors and analogies may lead us to successful explanatory models, as the history of science has showed us. The question, however, is whether an evolutionary model of techniques can be elaborated in a way which is more than a mere analogy. The later requires to understand an evolutionary model as a more general theory than organic evolution. We suspect that evolutionary models of techniques can be more explanatory than evolutionary models of theories because techniques have a material basis which is a source of variations, a notion which has remained too vague or diffuse for the case of theories. || Edna Suarez, Sergio Martinez, Hans-Jorg Rheinberger -- see Paper Abstracts


    Function, Teleology & Explanation
    What counts as a biological explanation of function, especially with regard to processes that exhibit an element of projection, or so-called teleology? Two major themes have emerged, analytical-mechanical and etiological-selectionist. This session examines these traditions and their application, offering fresh perspectives and alternatives. || Scott Thomson, Andrew Aavatsmark, Peter Schwartz -- see Paper Abstracts


    Hothouses for Science: Hybrid Institutions and the Study of Plants I & II
    Agricultural experiment stations, land grant colleges, horticultural societies, and botanical gardens have all shaped the study of plants in the United States. At these hybrid institutions, practical challenges and theoretical concerns have been both fortuitously juxtaposed and creatively fused to advance many sciences--from botany, horticulture, and agronomy to genetics and evolutionary theory. Our subject is this interplay, both scientific and institutional, across several points and places in the history of the plant sciences in the United States. || Barbara Kimmelman, Philip Pauly, Peter Mickulas, Kim Kleinman, Petra Werner & F.L. Holmes, Steven Conn -- see Paper Abstracts


    Wherein Information?
    The three papers of this session share a common disagreement: that genetic, or biological, information is substantively encoded by the DNA alone, as John Maynard Smith has recently defended in response to earlier criticisms of the informational construal of genetics and developmental biology. There are two well-worn routes to conceiving of genetic information: that the use of information terminology is mostly metaphorical and heuristic, and that the theoretical use of information meaningfully references biological phenomena. Michelle Little discusses the desirability of taking the first route. Sahotra Sarkar and Stephen Downes each argue for the second, but in a novel way: they present alternatives to Maynard Smith's conception of where genetic information exists. -- see Paper Abstracts


    Backstage at the Journals
    [This is a special session being held over lunch on Friday.] Designed primarily for graduate students and others new to academic publishing, this informal session will provide an opportunity to chat with members of the editorial staffs of the Journal of the History of Biology, Isis, Philosophy of Science, and Studies in the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (perhaps also Biology & Philosophy). The staff members will speak very briefly, but mainly the session will consist of questions and answers about submitting papers, refereeing, what common pitfalls to avoid, etc. || Jane Maienschien, Gar Allen , Marie Glitz, Karen Oslund, Anne Mylott, Kim Sterelny, Christiane Groeben -- see Paper Abstracts


    Language Change as a Selection Process I & II
    The session deals with the evolution of language. Might historical linguists have something to say on this score? Linguists have been treating language scientifically for years. A few are now trying to treat it as a selection process in particular. || William Croft, Thorbjorn Knudsen, Gregory Radick, Salikoko Mufwene, Zeynep Tufecki, David Hull -- see Paper Abstracts


    Levels I: Property Emergence
    Property emergence has recently become, once again, a very much discussed issue in the philosophy of biology as well as in other domains of philosophical research, particularly, in the philosophy of mind. In part, this was due to the remarkable influence of the sciences of complexity, such as Artificial Life, Artificial Intelligence, cognitive science, theoretical biology, and so on. Among the issues regarded as relevant to a cogent explanation and/or definition of property emergence in biological, mental, and other complex systems, one finds the nature of causality in these systems, and, specially, the idea of downward causation. || Charbel El-Hani, Mark Bedau, Sami Pihlstrom, John Symons -- see Paper Abstracts


    Levels II: Bridging Levels
    What is the relation between functional integrity and its component processes, between part and whole, where selection acts on multiple levels or scales simultaneously? The problems are particularly acute in cases of the origin of new levels of organization or the creation of ontologically distinct entities - whether slime mold colonies, multicellular organisms or populations of sexually reproducing organisms (populational lineages). This session offers new approaches to the problem of bridging levels by considering: (1) how emergent functionality affects the complexity of its parts; (2) why adaptations accrue primarily at the organismal level; and (3) how conflicts between selection at different levels of organization are resolved in the case of slime mold behavioral polymorphism. || Dan McShea, [Eduardo Wilner,] Ian Nyberg -- see Paper Abstracts


    What is Life? I & II
    The definition of life in modern biology has been ignored in both theory and philosophical analysis. We will use this session as an invitation to reflect upon and discuss questions about the concept of life, its history and philosophy, the ontology of life, life's emergence and autonomy, standard as well as non-standard approaches to living systems in theoretical biology, the generality, specificity and unity (or disunity) of biology, and the role of definitions and base concepts in science. || [Ina Roy,] Naomi Dar, Claus Emmeche, Marina de Lima-Tavares, David Magnus, Robert Pennock -- see Paper Abstracts


    Establishing Medical Benchmarks
    What constitutes health, what disease? What are the appropriate foundations for interpreting the emergence of a dysfunctional medical condition, whether physiological or psychological, genetic or environmental? The papers in this session consider: (1) how cultural background shapes researchers' interpretations of the specific etiology of stomach cancer (genetic v. environmental), and (2) how psychiatrists' attitudes shape the discourse on the effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs. || Joao Nunes, Andrew Garnar -- see Paper Abstracts


    Memories and Molecules: Long-Term Potentiation and the Mechanisms of Memory
    An understanding of the neural mechanisms of memory would be an important first step towards understanding the neural mechanisms of the mind. So it is not surprising that there is considerable controversy over the putative role of Long-Term Potentiation (LTP), a well-known form of synaptic plasticity, in the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. This symposium includes presentations by both philosophers and scientists with a common interest in evaluating the link between LTP and learning and in assessing the conceptual and evidential burdens facing any such theory. Issues to be discussed include experimentation, explanation, mechanisms, reduction, and theory structure in contemporary neuroscience and its history. || John Bickle, Carl Craver, Louis Matzel, Maurice Schouten -- see Paper Abstracts


    Mechanisms in Biology I & II
    Talk of mechanisms is ubiquitous in biology, but the topic has received surprisingly little discussion. These sessions show a growing interest in the topic. In Session I, Jeff Ramsey will explore the relations between models and mechanisms in discoveries about protein folding. Lindley Darden will discuss reasoning strategies for constructing, evaluating, and revising hypothesized mechanisms in molecular biology. Larry Holmes will serve as commentator, drawing on his work on Hans Krebs's discussion of mechanisms in biochemistry.
    In Session II, Maria Jesus Santesmases will discuss mechanisms of enzyme action. George S. Levit will survey literature in both German and English on "mechanicism" and provide critiques. Stuart Glennan, whose work will be discussed by Levit, will serve as commentator for the session. -- see Paper Abstracts


    Mind and Evolutionary Explanation I-III
    Philosophers and scientists are increasingly turning to evolutionary biology in order to formulate naturalistic accounts of human mental processes. For example, evolutionary psychologists, such as Cosmides and Tooby, claim that their programme can and will ultimately supply a "precise definition of human nature", which will take the form of a set of domain-specific, functionally individuated cognitive adaptations called 'modules'. Also influential in philosophical circles are teleological theories of representation (e.g. Millikan [1984, 1993], Papineau [1987, 1993]), which attempt to naturalise intentional states by appealing to a biological selectionist account of function. Whilst many philosophers are flocking towards a naturalistic, biological account of mind, others, such as Thomas Nagel, charge such approaches with 'scientism' and with taking for granted a naive, overly restricted conception of 'scientific objectivity'. The papers in these sessions set out to explore the limits of evolutionary approaches to human mentation: Do such approaches constitute an illuminating - or even comprehensive - window onto the mind? What are their methodological, epistemological and ontological limitations? What room do they leave open for alternative perspectives? In what ways, if any, are they misguided?
    1. Sally Ferguson, Matthew Ratcliffe, Thomas Polger
    2. Wendy Hamblet, Terence Sullivan, Mark Russell
    3. Brian Garvey, Andrew Fenton, Elizabeth Lloyd

    -- see Paper Abstracts


    Modularity in Complex Natural Systems (remembering Herb Simon)
    Herbert Simon's landmark work on nearly-decomposable systems is the premier source for ideas about thinking in terms of modules. This session will honor Simon, who died recently, by addressing modularity of biological systems (in development, in evolution, in mind). || Werner Callebaut, Diego Rasskin-Gutman, William Wimsatt -- see Paper Abstracts


    Varieties of Theory in Natural History
    Over the years, research in natural history and comparative biology has used alternative ways of theorizing. This session considers several questions about these usages, for example:
    • How does theorizing in natural history differ from theorizing in the mechanical-experimental tradition?
    • How do the different theories of change (e.g. natural selection, inheritance of acquired characters, and internal drives) relate to one another?
    • What is the relation between notions of teleology and theories of change?
    Lamarck and Darwin, for example, were both natural historians who theorized, in different ways, about the dynamic properties of parts and wholes. Barker focuses on Lamarckism in order to describe the analytical requirements of an adequate teleological theory. Gerson describes the development of a new class of theories in natural history. Winther & Oyama explore three models of change that have been employed in various fields: selectional, instructional, and maturational. || Gillian Barker, Elihu Gerson, Rasmus Winther & Susan Oyama -- see Paper Abstracts


    Regulatory Science I: Intellectual Property
    Regulatory Science II: GMOs, Uncertainty & Law
    This session will explore policy issues concerning biological research. Examples of such issues are the precautionary principle, bioprospecting and biodiversity resource exploration, macro-agro-ecological zoning and development, and transgenic product regulation. Most themes reveal aspects of risk assessment negotiation, regulation debate, political debate on development, international trade, international relations and globalization issues. || Jack Wilson, [Marilia Coutinho], Warren Neill, Lino Paula, Les Levidow, Keith Culver -- see Paper Abstracts


    Research Groups Revisited: Looking Beyond the Research School
    Geison's concept of the research school has proved a valuable tool for integrating institutional, human, and intellectual analyses of research groups. However, there are many research groups that do not fit the criteria for a "research school" as defined by Geison. These working groups are also more cohesive than a "network." These groups are often highly productive and are built on close relationships between researchers. They often transcend not only institutional but national boundaries. What are the characteristics of these "research groups" and what generalizations can we make about their roles in science? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do they foster or hamper the work of group members? What is the role of gender in research groups? What are the relative roles of institutional structure, personal goals, and intellectual commitments in research groups? The presenters will look at three very different fields and provide preliminary analyses of these groups and how they function. || Pam Henson, Ron Rainger, Nancy Slack -- see Paper Abstracts


    Rhetoric and Biology: the Strategy of Communication in Modern Biological Thought I & II
    Rhetoric as the art of persuading has been contrasted with argument and logic since the time of the Greek philosophers. Rhetorical skill consists in getting others to embrace certain beliefs, opinions or judgements which the speaker or writer wishes them to adopt. Both sound argument and rhetorical techniques have usually been used in scientific discourse, and different trends in historiographical analysis tend to emphasise either one or the other aspect of scientific writing. Rhetorical analysis of any type of discourse (including scientific works) may disclose several relevant features that contribute to effective communication of beliefs, such as:
    • Attempts (by the author) to convey the impression that he/she is a credible person (good character, honest intentions, competence, devoted to the truth, ...) and that his/her opponent are the converse.
    • Attempts to influence the readers by appealing to their emotions (admiration, disdain, hatred, fear, ...), interests, imagination, prejudices (including naive beliefs), etc.
    • Persuasive but false or incomplete arguments (use of peculiar examples, analogy, metaphors, authority, etc.).
    • A convincing structure of the discourse accompanied by an adequate style, designed to suppress critical thought and leading the readers to the intended beliefs.
    This session will be devoted to the debate of specific instances of rhetoric in modern biological thought, dealing with questions such as:
    1. Which kinds of rhetorical devices were used by the main biologists in their writings, in defending their own views or criticising opposite opinions?
    2. Does the very presentation of biological data (the result of observation and experiment) make use of rhetorical devices?
    3. To what extent did prominent scientists of the past use rhetoric as an essential part of their scientific works?
    4. Was the use of rhetoric a strategy for convincing readers when sound arguments were scarce?
    5. If one attempts to "clean" biological works of rhetorical devices, will they loose their cogency?
    6. Was rhetoric replaced by cold arguments as biological theories got stronger arguments and a better empirical foundation?
    7. Is rhetoric an essential part of the current controversies in biology?
    8. Do present textbooks use rhetoric in presenting accepted theories?
    Anna Carolina, Palmira Fontes da Costa, [Lilian Al-Chueyr Pereira Martins, Roberto de Andrade Martins,] Joan Steigerwald -- see Paper Abstracts


    The "species problem" has haunted biologists and philosophers at least since Darwin. One might well imagine that there was nothing original to say. Not so. John Wilkins attacks the popular biospecies concept, noting the problems it poses for non-sexual species and posing an alternative based on "the intrinsic mechanisms that keep taxa distinct in their clades." Thomas Reydon applies principles of self-organization, already articulated at the level of organisms, to the species level. [ Finally, Charisma Varma offers a new framework based on traditional mererological arguments (about ships, notepads, etc.) for the persistence of identity over time, but applied to biological species.] -- see Paper Abstracts


    Unifying Concepts in Ecology
    Ecology is a broadly heterogenous discipline, with many theories and methods, encompassing a wide spectrum of fields, from population biology and community ecology, to ethology, biogeography and evolution. What, if anything, brings these diverse practices and ideas together? Odenbaugh examines the historical efforts of several population biologists -- Richard Levins, Richard Lewontin, Robert MacArthur, and E. O. Wilson, otherwise known as the "Marboro Circle" -- to craft a synthesis between "evolutionary play" and the "ecological theater" based on mathematical models and certain metaphysical commitments. Mittwollen offers a contemporary perspective, suggesting that evolutionary perspectives can help resolve the traditional dichotomy between reductionistic population ecology and the more holistic systems ecology. || Greg Cooper, Jay Odenbaugh, Arend Mittwollen -- see Paper Abstracts


    New Frameworks for Unification
    Is unification truly dead? For many, explanatory division of labor in the special sciences has triumphed, and pluralist perspectives have eclipsed efforts to understand the unity of science. Historians and philosphers of biology seem to agree that evolutionary biology, in particular, is not a unified science, and that the evolutionary synthesis was not a conceptual synthesis, so much as an institutional synthesis. Reduction of genes to molecular properties likewise remains controversial. However, it is not clear that there is consensus about what it means for a theory to be unified. M. Morrison's (2000) recent work on unification and explanation serves as a starting point for discussion. This then opens to wider reinterpretation of interfield relationships and non-reductionist approaches to unification. || Daniel Sirtes, Todd Grantham, Anya Plutynski -- see Paper Abstracts


    Visual Images in Biology I & II
    This pair of sessions will present papers on the use of visual images in biological inquiry and in representing attitudes toward the living world. A range of approaches are used from an analysis of the interplay of image and experimental data to the relationship between the empirical and the aesthetic in representing the natural world. The rhetorical and explanatory uses of images are also explored as is the ability of images to create awe and wonder. The session provides a broad range of investigations into the use of images in areas of biological inquiry from the molecular to the physiological, from zoology to evolutionary biology.
    • Images of the Cerebral Cortex, C.U.M. Smith
    • Explanation in Two Dimensions: Diagrams and Functional Analysis, Laura Perini
    • A Brief History of Imaging Proteins, Maura C. Flannery
    • The role of Photographs and Film in Kettlewell's Popularizations of the Phenomenon of Industrial Melanism, David W. Rudge
    • Poetry, Learning and Skill; biological illustration from 18th and 18th C New Zealand, John R.H. Andrews
    • From Theology to Ecology: The Use of the Grotesque in Biological Imagery, 1450-2000, Robert Hendrick

    -- see Paper Abstracts


    General Membership Meeting
    This is the Society's regular business meeting. Agenda items include: future meeting sites (2003, 2005), off-year meetings, committee reports. To place other items on the agenda, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., President.

    [ Bracketed names ] remain uncertain.

    Sessions added June 20, 2001:

    • 19th-Century Themes: Species, Identity and Type
    • Experiment II: Evolution of Experimental Techniques
    • Species

    Changes July 10, 2001:

    • ADDED: Evolution and Ethics, 2nd session [Saturday afternoon]
    • CANCELLED: Experiment I: Between Nature and Science [C. Logan moved to 19th-c Themes]
    • TIME CHANGED: Chance, now early Friday afternoon
    • Presenters withdrawn: Bellon, Cheung, Cittadino, Coutinho, Crozier, Dror, Feil, Griesemer, Huss, Regner, Zajicek

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