Society President Tackles Task of Committee Assignments
by Lindley Darden
ISHPSSB activities for the last several months have consisted of finalizing committee assignments, setting up new committees, various committee activities, and preliminary planning for the next ISHPSSB meeting in Vienna, Austria, July 16-20, 2003.
I am pleased to announce that the Grene Prize Committee consists of Kelly Smith, Chair, with Pamela Henson, and Edna Suarez. In the light of helpful recommendations of the previous Grene Prize Committee and further discussions, they have finalized guidelines for submissions. An important change is that the paper should be written in a form for submission to a journal. So, if you were a graduate student presenter at Oaxaca or Quinnipiac, now is the time to prepare your paper to send any time before the February 1, 2003, deadline to Kelly Smith. See Kelly's announcement in this Newsletter.
Mike Dietrich, the President-Elect, is chairing the Operations Committee. They plan to update a time-line for the four-year cycle of ISHPSSB activities, revising a very helpful earlier draft completed by Peter Taylor and updated recently by Chris Young.
The Program Committee, chaired by Rob Skipper, has been discussing the types of sessions they wish to see. The deadline for submissions for ISHPSB 2003 is February 1, 2003, but it's not too early to begin planning your submission. See Rob's note in this Newsletter.
Several ISHPSSB members and I have been discussing items that we might like to see in the Newsletter. Please let me know if you have ideas about items you would like to see.
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions for improving the Society's activities and meetings. Please contact me using the information on the back page of this Newsletter.
Visit to Vienna Verifies Virtues
by Keith Benson
I visited Vienna in January and am happy to report that the early planning for our meeting there in 2003 is in good shape. I spent most of one day with Werner Callebuat's co-workers, two of whom will be in place during the meeting. In addition, I received assurance from Werner and from the director of KLI that many functions will be paid for by KLI or outside sources. Thus, the expense of meeting in Vienna may be cushioned by having many of our normal expenses minimized.
The details of housing space are still being worked out. We will probably go through the Vienna Visitors bureau, since it has computer facilities and will track reservations from start to finish. Guests will have their choice of accommodations (from simple to luxurious). Thus, it should be something like Oaxaca.
Finally, the meeting will be held at the new University of Vienna campus, located in the former hospital and medical school. The setting is charming and collegial in atmosphere.
Graduate Students Organize for Greater Involvement
by Terry Sullivan
Apparently there is a new sensation sweeping around the globe (well, ISHPSSB student members anyway), providing a place for folks to meet (virtually, that is). And it is the ISHPSSB Student Bulletin Board. Officially it's "a forum for students affiliated with the ISHPSSB to post announcements and have discussions." In fact, unofficially that's what it is as well.
It's a fairly straightforward concept. If you have something that you think students in ISHPSSB should know about, say, conferences, funding, or perhaps even the possibility of a job, then post it on the Bulletin Board <http://athena.english.vt.edu/cgi-bin/netforum/ish/a/1> or you can get to it via the ISHPSSB homepage.
Alternatively, if there's something you want to find out about, then ask away.
Marjorie Grene Prize Announced
by Kelly Smith
ISHPSSB seeks submissions for the 2003 Marjorie Grene Prize. This prize is intended to advance the careers of younger scholars, and will be awarded to the best manuscript based on a presentation at one of the two previous ISHPSSB meetings (Oaxaca or Quinnipiac) by someone who was, at the time of presentation, a graduate student.
It is very appropriate for ISHPSSB to name this prize in Marjorie Grene's honor. Not only does her work in the history and philosophy of biology exemplify the strong spirit of interdisciplinary work fundamental to ISHPSSB, but she played a central role in bringing together diverse scholars of biology even before the formation of the Society. She has been a valued mentor to many members of the Society and a long-standing inspiration to all.
The award will consist of a certificate and up to $200 toward expenses incurred in attending the 2003 meeting of the Society. The winner's name will be engraved on a plaque that travels to her or his home institutions for the biennium. If the manuscript is not already under review by a journal, the prize committee will promote the winning entry to one of the leading journals.
Submissions should be in the form of a paper prepared for submission to a professional journal, with an indication of the journal in question. Hardcopy submissions must include three complete copies of the paper and be mailed no later than February 1, 2003. Electronic copies, in Microsoft Word or text only format, must be emailed no later than February 8, 2003. The winning entry will be announced by April 15, 2003.
Program Planning Underway for Vienna 2003
by Rob Skipper
Believe it: the time for thinking about ISHPSSB 2003 sessions is ripe! The deadline for session proposals for the summer meeting in Vienna, Austria, is February 1, 2003. Stay tuned for an "official" call for proposals. The program committee (listed below) and I have already begun exchanging email about the sorts of things we look forward to seeing. We're emphasizing interdisciplinarity and special sessions this time around, and program committee members are being very creative. Suggestions include sessions on Lorenz (of course!), continental morphology, the European roots of evolutionary psychology, a general session on Mendel complete with a field trip to Brno, and (no more than 3 please) Author Meets Critics sessions on new books in history, philosophy, and social studies of biology. On behalf of the program committee, I encourage all of you to contact us with your suggestions, plans, ideas, etc. (By the way, recent tradition has seen a portion of the ISHPSSB website devoted to providing us all with a bulletin board to propose sessions. I intend to continue that tradition, so you should see a 2003 ISHPSSB bulletin board soon.)
This summer, I plan on traveling to Vienna to see the city first hand and to scout out some excursions for us all. Just trying to be a dutiful program chair, you know. Okay, well, I'm also going to find all the good "watering holes" so that I can direct all of us Ishkabibblers to the best beer and wine at night and the best coffee in the morning! In the fall Newsletter, you'll hear all about my exploits along with a sketch of some suggestions for excursions in Vienna alongside the meeting.
Here's to ISHPSSB 2003!
ISHPSSB 2003 Program Committee:
Subscribing to the ISHPSSB Listserv
by Roberta L. Millstein
If you are a member of ISHPSSB and regularly receive this Newsletter in the mail, you are keeping up with all of the Society's most important news. You may be missing out on another benefit of membership, however, if you are not subscribed to the Society's listserv. This is an electronic update providing brief email announcements. A single message is sent every two to four weeks. Each email message consists simply of links to further details that are archived on a web server, associated with the Society's webpages.
For current subscribers, please let me know if you experience any difficulties with this format.
Also, send items to post to the list that would be of interest to Society members: position announcements, postdoctoral announcements, grant and funding opportunities, conference announcements, calls for papers, and brief queries on research topics.
Directions for Subscribing
with the following in the body of the message:
SUBSCRIBE ISHPSB-L Yourfirstname Yourlastname
For example, if your name were Gregor Mendel:
SUBSCRIBE ISHPSB-L Gregor Mendel
Directions for Unsubscribing
with the following in the body of the message:
Biology Education as a Site for Practice and Research
by Steve Fifield and Chris Young
As members of the Education Committee, we did some brainstorming to consider the possible contributions of the committee to ISHPSSB members, and larger contributions to education by ISHPSSB as an organization. We came up with a list of concerns and questions, which we will distribute to the committee over the next few months. We hope to be able to publish some of their responses in the next Newsletter.
The committee plans to give scholarship on biology education high visibility at the ISHPSSB meetings in Vienna in 2003. We will be organizing a workshop on interdisciplinary approaches to biology teaching and learning, which will precede the regular meeting. In addition, we will solicit papers for the regular conference sessions that explore innovative practices in biology education, as well as critical studies of how biology education shapes understandings of self, science, and society. We welcome input from the membership at large for possible themes, topical issues, and interesting activities.
We also considered the potential for a longer-term project involving education that the Society might support. One idea is to have members contribute a variety of materials, including syllabi, how-to exercises, and articles on interdisciplinary approaches to biology education, which would be of use to science studies folks and/or to biology teachers wanting to include history, philosophy, and sociology in their curricula.
We hope to continue assembling information, including what Peter Taylor has posted on a page linked to the Society's main webpage. To broaden the audience, we might also publish original material in a handbook that could be made available to teachers and scholars.
ISHPSSB Members Called to Participate
Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science Project
The Experimentalization of Life: Configurations between Science, Art, and Technology
"Relations between the Living and the Lifeless"
Berlin, December 5-6, 2002
The experimental life sciences rely on death. In the course of an experiment, a living being is killed so that life may be studied through the effects of its disappearance. Claude Bernard has stated that "in order to understand how men and animals live one has to see a large number of them dying." It is precisely in the nexus between life and death, between the organic and the inorganic, that life comes to the fore. A whole series of physiological experiments were carried out in order to explore those hybrid forms of life: experiments on the persistence of certain organic functions beyond the body's death; on suspended animation in organisms that are "lifeless but not dead" (M. Verworn); or on the death of cells that seem to possess a mortality of their own.
Another crossing of life and the lifeless occurs when organic life meets with objects like the technical devices of experimentation themselves that do not live but nevertheless constitute life. Is an experimental animal alive when it breathes only thanks to artificial respiration and survives only for the course of the experiment?
The workshop will address the realms of the living and the lifeless from the perspective of science and culture. The focus will be on the objects, practices, and techniques that cross life with death and let the one emerge from the other. The transition from the living to the lifeless is not limited to experimentation. E. Jentsch and S. Freud used examples from literature to formulate a "psychology of the uncanny" ("Psychologie des Unheimlichen") that is based on the intellectual uncertainty of whether a given thing is living or dead. A similar structure marks the existence of automata, androids and wax figures or the ambiguous status of the corpse as a "body-thing" (M. Heidegger).
Instead of depriving a creature from life, one could also suspend it in pictures. Physiologists, like E.J. Marey who refused vivisection since it had to destroy life in order to examine it, found themselves confronted with another form of transferring and stopping phenomena of life: the process of its graphical recording that had to freeze certain functions of life (e.g. movement) in order to visualize and analyze them. Thus, our interest concerns the problem of how research into life depended on the study of lifeless representations.
Since the end of the nineteenth century especially motion pictures have been used to animate the dead. In 1895 film pioneer M. Skladanowsky treated movies as "living photographs" and had patented the corresponding projection device under the name of "bioscope". To what extent was cinematography regarded as a technological (re-)animation of objects?
Finally concepts of life had been applied in surprising ways to inorganic material, to objects and artifacts: big cities are described as living beings, styles in art history are treated as a specific "life of form" (H. Focillon), architecture is considered as expression of "inorganic life" (W. Worringer). These hybrid notions lead us to a deeper understanding of concepts of the living that should not be reduced to the definitions offered by the natural sciences.
Phenomenology Societies Convene in Chicago
SPHS 2002 Annual Conference
The Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences in conjunction with The Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy
Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois
October 10-12, 2002
SPHS encourages the application of phenomenological methodology to specific investigations within the human sciences. You are invited to join SPHS in its efforts to achieve a deeper understanding of, and engagement with, the Life-World.
SPHS examines all topics within the human and social sciences concerned with a reflective appreciation of the nature of experience. Such inquiries include, among others, empirical and theoretical investigations, reflections, and participatory workshops within social phenomenology and human interaction, ethnomethodology and phenomenological sociology, phenomenological psychology, the theory and practice of education, reflective clinical investigations, communication theory, cultural studies, women's studies, race studies, and theoretical and experiential explorations of embodiment.
Additional information about the conference may be found on the website of SPHS: <http://www.towson.edu/sphs>.
Travel Funding Made Available
Alwyne Wheeler Bursary for Travel to Annual Meetings
The Society for the History of Natural History announces the establishment of the annual Alwyne Wheeler Bursary to support travel by scholars under age 30 to annual meetings of the SHNH, normally held in spring. The award will include up to GBP#100 (or equivalent) for travel, plus conference registration. One bursary will be awarded per year. Preference will be for applicants who contribute a paper or other presentation at the meeting. Bursary recipients will be invited to submit a paper to the Society's journal, Archives of natural history. Application deadlines are sixty days prior to the meeting. Applicants need not be members of the society.
The Alwyne Wheeler Bursary draws on a fund established in 1999 on the occasion of his retirement as the Society's Honorary Editor to facilitate original contributions to the study of the history of natural history by a person under the age of 30. The Society for the History of Natural History is the only international society devoted to the history of botany, zoology and geology, in the broadest sense, including natural history collections, exploration, art and bibliography.
ISHPSSB By Any Other Name
by Chris Young
As a professional, scholarly society, the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology is unique in acknowledging that its acronym, ISHPSSB, is particularly unwieldy. We accept this unwieldiness with a certain sense of pride.
Since the earliest meetings of the pioneering historians, philosophers, sociologists, biologists, anthropologists, and educators who adopted the name, they affectionately refigured the unpronounceable ISHPSSB.
The most popular pronunciation I have encountered is "Ishkabibble," with emphasis on the first syllable. Although not entirely true to our acronym (where does the 'k' come from?), this playful rendering rolls easily off the tongue. I admit to the difficulty that sometimes arises when colleagues ask what professional activities I am planning for the summer, and I try with a straight face to tell them I am travelling to Europe for the Ishkabibble meeting. Being taken seriously is sometimes trouble
enough for science studies folks, especially those in science departments, but to claim the seriousness of Ishkabibble seems overwhelming on occasion. We can take little comfort in the ability to refer to one another as "Ishkabibblers."
I suspect those who have adopted a slightly more accurate pronunciation have equal difficulties. The alternative here, as I have heard it, is "Isbibble" or "Ishbibble." Neither of these sound as august as "Triple-ay-es," or even "four-es," "pee-es-ay," or "aych-es-es."
The name Ishkabibble does have the unmistakable advantage of linking our legacy to a California cornet player. Ish Kabibble, whose real name was Merwyn Bogue, became famous playing with the Kay Kyser Band in the 1930s and '40s. The connection originally was made by David Hull in the Fall 1994 ISHPSSB Newsletter. Ish Kabibble -- the cornet player, not the society -- apparently died in that year at the age of 86. He was known as "the guy with the low-cut bangs and the highkicking cornet...."
Deadline for Fall 2002 Newsletter: October 25, 2002 Contact Chris Young