Oaxaca 1999: Meeting Information
Oaxaca 1999: Travel and Accomodations
Committee on Education Report
ISHPSSB 1999 Elections: Information
Special Offers for Members
Publications of Interest
Internet: Lists and Sites
Internet: ISHPSSB List and Site
Oaxaca 1999: Preliminary Program
Oaxaca 1999: Pre-Meeting Workshop
Membership and Renewal Information
Fall 1999 Newsletter
Enclosures: Meeting Registration Form
Local Accomodations Request Form
As our provisional program shows, our upcoming Society meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico (July 7-11) will have our widest international participation ever. In addition, there is a wide variety of new topics and projects being presented, demonstrating the vitality and excitement of our fields of studies of Biology.
Some members have expressed concerns about safety issues in Oaxaca. Nearly 16 million US citizens visit Mexico each year; the publicity surrounding dangers of tourist travel in Mexico involved four incidents, none of them near Oaxaca. The best place to get updates is from the US Consular Affairs travel information, which is at http://travel.state.gov/ This site also links to an extremely useful page of tips for travel to Mexico from the Dept of State.
You’ll need to shop around for your best air ticket plans. From my research, it seems that the plan must be to fly to Mexico City from your own country, then catch a flight to Oaxaca from the Mexico City airport, using either the Mexicana de Aviacion or Aeromexico airline companies. In the range of flights I examined from various airlines, the layover time is consistently around one hour. (Prices from US cities were all around $600.) Those wishing to avoid the Mexico City area altogether can arrange flights directly from Los Angeles to Oaxaca.
Information for a range of hotels and the arrangements for package accomodations in Oaxaca are posted on the website, at http://antequera.com/TurismoConvento/eng.html These are also included in this Newsletter. I tested out the method by calling the Oaxaca travel agency. It sounds complicated, but really it’s just that you need to call one place to tell them what you want, and send the money to another place.
Finally, I encourage all members and their colleagues to come to the beautiful city of Oaxaca, enjoy the mountain air, experience the ancient ruins, and join us in exploring the latest and best work in studies of Biology, at our friendly meetings in the historic mission of Santo Domingo. •
OAXACA 1999: MEETING INFORMATION
A registration form should be enclosed with this Newsletter. If you did not receive one, contact David Magnus. You may also register on the ISHPSSB web site.
Registration in Oaxaca will begin Tuesday, July 6, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., and will continue on subsequent days. You will find the registration desk at Santo Domingo, the main site of the conference and not far from all the downtown hotels. •
OAXACA 1999: TRAVEL AND ACCOMODATIONS
ISHPSSB members interested in doing a little research ahead of time will find that the Oaxaca area is a region rich in history and culture. Two recent articles in Natural History magazine describe the ongoing archaeological research being done in three separate sites ("Palatial Digs," March ‘99), and the unique cuisine of the area ("The Unconquerable Tostada," April ‘99).
The following hotel and accomodations information is now available at the Turismo Convento Travel Agency web site http://antequera.com/TurismoConvento/eng.html where more information about hotels and amenities in the city will be available. For the same information in Spanish, go to http://antequera.com/TurismoConvento/esp.html
You can contact the travel agency directly, register on the web site, or send the enclosed form to the agency. Using either method, you will need to make your payment separately to one of the banks listed below. Payment must be received in advance.
The people in charge are Apolo and Ulises Bonilla, the owners of Turismo El Convento de Oaxaca. This travel agency has offices at some of the hotels included in our program, and in particular at the Camino Real. We have designed two different packages, either with 5 or 3 nights at Oaxaca. Extra nights can be added. Each package includes 4 lunches, a Guelaguetza dinner (a Mexican banquet with typical dancers), and a 3-hour trip to the archaelogical site of Monte Alban (scheduled for Sunday, 11 a.m.). A typical menu for lunch would consist on natural fruit juices, salads, two main dishes (pasta or meat), coffee and tea (vegetarian food included).
Special Packages (Prices in U. S. dollars):
The relative quality of hotels is designated by the number of asterisks (*) and the price. The travel agency will reserve a room for you where one is available at the rate you request. All hotels are located dowtown near Santo Domingo, except Victoria and Mision de los Angeles, which are a very nice 12-minute walk from Santo Domingo. Prices for double occuancy are per person. Additional charge for extra nights and children are listed. These prices include 4 lunches at the Camino Real Hotel and taxes, the Guelaguetza dinner (Friday night), and the field trip to Monte Alban.
A) 4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS
SINGLE DOUBLE ‘Xtra Nite Child
*** HOTEL $ 235 $ 176 $ 42 $ 50
**** HOTEL $ 310 $ 216 $ 65 $ 50
***** HOTEL $ 455 $ 291 $ 112 $ 50
Gran Turismo/Camino Real $ 610 $ 366 $ 160 $ 50
B) 6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS
SINGLE DOUBLE ‘Xtra Nite Child
*** HOTEL $ 305 $ 216 $ 42 $ 50
**** HOTEL $ 420 $ 261 $ 65 $ 50
***** HOTEL $ 660 $ 386 $112 $ 50
Gran Turismo/Camino Real $ 900 $ 496 $160 $ 50
Prices do not include: Transportation between Airport and Hotel (Edna and Ana took a taxi that cost $15 Mexican pesos ($1.5 USD) and it takes 15-20 minutes from airport to downtown.); Drinks at the banquet dinner, "La Guelaguetza"; Tips to Spanish-English tourist guides (optional); Breakfast or dinners other than the 4 lunches at Camino Real; or any other non-specified service.
Follow the payment instructions below:
1) Prices are per person, in U. S. dollars or Mexican pesos at the current exchange price.
2) Payments have to be done by check deposit or wire transfer to either of the accounts below. (Due to Mexican legislation it is not possible to make credit card payments for these packages.)
3) 100% prepayment is required
4) A fax with the deposit slip form must be sent after payment has been done at the following fax number: (951) 4-03-72. This is very important to acknowledge individual payments.
Payment can be made to either of the following accounts:
Name: Turismo El Convento de Oaxaca, S.A. de C.V.
Bank: Santander Mexicano
Account number: 5150054420-7
SUCURSAL: 455 San Felipe
City: Oaxaca; Country: Mexico
Name: Ulises Bonilla MartÌnez
Bank: California Commerce Bank
Number account: 5905121010
Phone number from E.E.U.U. 1-800-222-1234
Address in the USA:
P.O. Box 30886
Los Angeles CA 90030-088
For additional information, contact:
Turismo El Convento de Oaxaca S.A. de C.V.
Apolo J. Bonilla MartÌnez , Sales Manager
Calle 5 de Mayo # 300 Int. Hotel Camino Real Oaxaca, Oax
TEL (951) 6-18-06; FAX (951) 4-03-72
[Note: Phone numbers listed above are for calls within Mexico. The country code for Mexico is 52.]
OAXACA: Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Hotels are nearby Santo Domingo, except Victoria and Mision de los Angeles, which are within a 12 minute walking distance.
2. Lunch will be regular or vegetarian.
4. We strongly recommend that handicapped people stay at the Camino Real Hotel
5. Maps will be handed out with registration materials when you arrive.
6. From the airport one can take a taxi cab that costs 15 Mexican pesos and takes 18 minutes to the dowtown area.
7. From the airport people may go directly to the hotel and then to the registration desk at Santo Domingo.
8. In July we can have showers, but the weather is very nice.
9. Don´t panic, Oaxaca is a very safe city.
SEE YOU ALL, Ana •
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION REPORT
The committee has established a website linking to resources for teaching HPSSB. The site can be reached through the ISHPSSB home page. We invite suggestions for additional links, including links to your own syllabi and other work. Files sent by e-mail attachment can also be included on the site. Please also send bibliographic references and feedback on links we have included.
Do you have a syllabus on-line for any of the following: History of Biology; Philosophy of Biology; Biology & Society; Bioethics; Biology, enriched by HPSS; Darwin, The Genetics Revolution, 20th-Century Agriculture, Race, Gender & Science, or other special topics? Please send us your URL. Or take a moment to forward the latest electronic copy of your syllabus? We are also asking for a short informal paragraph discussing the design of your course, any underlying themes, effective teaching startegies relevant to the material, etc.
ISHPSSB 1999 ELECTIONS: INFORMATION
As usual in the spring before the biennial meetings, ISHPSSB is having elections for its future president, positions in the executive, and half the members of the council. This year’s ballot includes some innovations (all within the Society’s by-laws) that should be explained.
Since these approaches to nominations as well as the voting and ballot counting systems have been adopted only for this election, the procedures will be reviewed at the Oaxaca meeting.
A persistent problem for academic societies is that candidates for president who do not win rarely run again, either for president or any office. The Society loses their experience and energy in running its affairs. ISHPSSB tried once to address this problem by having only one candidate for president, but some members felt this approach was not democratic and the council decided not to continue it. In these elections two other approaches are being tried:
1) There are three candidates for president. Although this doubles the number of losing candidates, the idea is to lessen the blow for them and increase the chance that they will run again.
2) Some of the presidential candidates are also council candidates, which makes it possible for losing presidential candidates to be elected to council.
These approaches to the nominations meant some choices concerning voting and ballot counting systems had to be made:
a) For a three-candidate presidential election the preferential voting system was chosen so that the winning candidate has the majority support. In this system, the first preferences are tallied and, if no candidate has 50% or more of the votes, the ballots of the candidate with the lowest total are reallocated to the second preference person on each.
b) The ballots for president ’01-’03 will be tallied first. If the winning presidential candidate is also a council candidate, he will withdraw from the council ballot count.
c) If any of your three council votes is for a person also running for president, you have the option of designating a substitute vote for council. The substitute vote will be tallied only if one of your council votes is for the person elected president. With this system, no one will lose a vote in the council election; everyone will have three votes that count. This removes any reason to adjust your presidential or council preferences according to whether a candidate is or is not running for both positions.
Statement: David Magnus is currently the Graduate Studies Director at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. His activities for ISHPSSB have included the organization of many sessions, and giving papers at each meeting for the past decade. For the past two years he has served as Treasurer and CFO for the Society which mostly has meant staying out of the way of Joe Savage, his administrative assistant. The Center for Bioethics has supplied administrative support and will continue to do so. Chief activities have been maintaining and updating membership records; arranging for the payment of all dues; distribution of funds for graduate students and unaffiliated scholars; providing membership labels upon request; assisting with the production of the society newsletter; assisting with the procurement of grants and/or donations for the society, and attempting to find ways to increase the membership of the society. We will soon be taking orders for a greatly reduced subscription rate to Biology and Philosophy and the Journal of the History of Biology. During his two years as Treasurer, paid membership has more than doubled.
New executive members
Statement: I am a charter member of ISHPSSB (1989). My research, presented at various meetings, centers on disagreement and error in science and how they are resolved. I am also involved in biology education — for example, serving as a member of ISHPSSB’s Education Committee and leading the SHiPS Science Teachers Network (since 1989). I have valuable previous experience as Program Co-Chair of the 3rd International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Conference (1995). In organizing the 2001 program, I would like to balance the formal institutional need for presenting papers (to secure travel funds) with the Ishkabibble tradition of fostering dialogue. I anticipate that this will involve (at least) an optional framework for making papers available on-line prior to the meeting, to allow more opportunity for discussion at the meeting sessions themselves.
President-elect—to be chosen from these three candidates:
Statement: Most of my research and teaching concerns the interrelations between biology and cognition. More specifically, I try to contribute to a rapprochement of an extended evolutionary synthesis, epigenetic perspectives on biological and cognitive development, and naturalistic accounts of society and culture. With Karola Stotz (University of Sidney), I am currently working on a volume, "Cognitive Biology and the Challenge of Development and Sociality." On leave from Maastricht, I am developing a Cognitive and Theoretical Biology Work Space at the KLI, which will be made accessible on the internet for interactive use. Other lines of work concern the complementarity of the Anglo-American and German-Austrian branches of evolutionary epistemology, and the reappraisal of the philosophy of science of the Vienna Circle from a broad biological perspective that includes views and approaches that were excluded from the Modern Synthesis. Finally, I am preparing a large scale case study in biological/cultural coevolution that can function both as an empirical test of evolutionary epistemology and as an instrument to critically assess memetics.
As ISHPSSB president or council member I would want to concentrate on furthering the international nature of the society by devoting special interest to academics and work (both historical and contemporary) emanating from countries in Central Europe, Latin-America, etc. we have not reached well, if at all, until now. Another concern of mine would be quality control regarding both the scientific content of the meetings and the administrative functioning of the society. Both aims might imply securing a more solid financial basis for our functioning without giving up our cherished autonomy. I would also like us to think about ways to profitably use our collective and institutional expertise to strengthen the ties between workers in the history, philosophy, and social studies of biology worldwide.
Statement: The International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology fulfills the important mission of fostering interfield interactions among philosophers, historians, sociologists, and biologists. The society should strive to continue its openness to students, to new formats, to informal exchanges in its summer meetings and to international interactions. I would also like to see plenary sessions that cut across the disciplines as a regular feature of the summer meetings. Perhaps regional gatherings of members can be encouraged in the off-years between the regular meetings, if there are members who would like to organize them. They would foster additional opportunities for graduate students and for those who cannot easily travel to distant meetings.
Biographical information: Lindley Darden is Professor of Philosophy, a member of the Committee on the History and Philosophy of Science, and of the Committee on Cognitive Studies, at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a philosopher of science and historian of biology interested in discovery and conceptual change in biology. She received her Ph.D. in Conceptual Foundations of Science from the University of Chicago in 1974. Her book, Theory Change in Science: Strategies from Mendelian Genetics, was published by Oxford University Press in 1991. Her current research is on discovering mechanisms in molecular biology. She served on the ISHPSSB 1991 program committee, 1993-95 nominating committee, as the 1993 cochair of the poster session, and organized sessions and/or presented papers or posters in 1997, 1993, 1991, and 1989.
Statement: The meetings of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology have always been those I most look forward to. For younger scholars, they offer a warm and supportive environment. For all, ISHPSSB serves as an intellectual commons where the integrity of disciplinary perspectives is respected and the vitality of interdisciplinary exchange is valued. The intellectual companionship fostered by these meetings provided an important forum in the development of my own scholarship, which centered first on the history of biology and political life in American culture (The State of Nature: Ecology, Community, and American Social Thought, 1900-1950, University of Chicago Press, 1992) and over the last ten years has focused increasingly on the interactions between science and popular culture, culminating in a historical exploration of nature film as a technology at the intersections of art, science, and entertainment (Reel Nature: America’s Romance with Wildlife on Film, Harvard University Press, 1999).
The main task of an ISHPSSB president continues to center on the biennial meeting. If elected president, I would continue in the tradition of past presidents in working to ensure a conference full of innovative sessions and one that is open to new participants and ideas. To this end, travel funds for graduate students and independent scholars have been important and I would pursue opportunities that might increase available funds for travel support. In addition, issues like child-care facilities and handicap accessibility are important if we are to continue to make meetings open to as many participants as possible. As either president or a council member, I would also hope to expand new initiatives to help members remain in active contact between meetings and extend the reach of the society. Certainly, the listserv is a valuable addition. As a council member of the History of Science Society, and as a former program committee member of the American Society of Environmental History, I also believe that joint sessions co-sponsored by ISHPSSB at meetings of affiliated professional organizations would be important for forging new relations and increasing the visibility of our society and its members. I believe these initiatives could be accomplished while maintaining the society’s informal infrastructure that many members find refreshing. At a time when relations between the science and science studies communities are strained, ISHPSSB stands out as a professional society that demonstrates the productive collaborations taking place between life scientists, social scientists, and historians and philosophers of science.
New members, ‘99-’03—three to be chosen from the following:
Statement: From the beginning, ISHPSSB (immediately dubbed "Ishkabibble") has been informal with maximal intellectual value per dollar and with an emphasis on building a community of interdisciplinary explorers of biological issues. Its greatest strengths are its interdisciplinarity, internationality, and the central role that graduate students and younger scholars have always played, and the organization must preserve these strengths in order to remain rich and vital. Yet there are challenges to each, and the Council must work to overcome them. First, interdisciplinary thinking is hard, and the individual disciplines tend to fly apart. For our meetings, we must work harder not to allow the program to ghettoize into separate sessions on history, philosophy, sociology, biology, and such — attended respectively by historians, philosophers, sociologists, biologists, and such. Program committees need support in their determination to promote the sort of creative exchange of ideas that is so difficult elsewhere.
Second, our international membership is advantageous to all, yet travel is more expensive the farther we go and it is more and more difficult for younger scholars to obtain funds for foreign travel. The officers must continue to seek grants and other support as well as to explore ways to benefit from this cross-cultural and multi-national exchange of ideas. Third, we must make sure that graduate students and independent scholars of all levels feel comfortable and welcome. The Council has always had a student member, not because that person has lesser status but because we wanted to be sure that there was representation from students. We need to listen to concerns about the profession, recognize that there are many ways for Ph.D.s to contribute to society (some much better paid and at least as rewarding as academic jobs) and to help provide "networking" opportunities for other than traditional career paths. What does an "Ishkabibbler" offer that is more exciting, dynamic, important, and intellectually valuable than anybody else: that’s the question we should try to answer in order to continue to build a community that is more fun and more lively than existed before the society came along. As first president of the society, I would be happy to help continue this building through membership on the Council.
Statement: I attended my first ISHPSSB meeting at the University of Western Ontario in 1989. Still working as a cell biologist and accustomed to the character of large scientific meetings, I found myself delighted with the ease of meeting people, and their openness, energy and enthusiasm for talking about ideas well into the night. This vision, however embellished by time it may have become, does provide for me a regulative ideal for thinking about the future of the Society. Much of my own efforts over these years have been oriented toward expanding our philosophical focus beyond the confines of the Modern Synthesis and especially in the direction of developmental perspectives and critical approaches to understanding the limits of the gene concept. I am interested in the social, ethical, and cultural, as well as epistemological, significance of how we understand, and come to understand, what it means to be human. My desires for the Society are to help sustain the richness that it has achieved and to help further promote multi-disciplinary and multi-national communication through meeting arrangements which are conducive to informal interactions (see above), processes of program development which maximize the possibilities for heterogeneity at the individual session level, current on-line availability of member’s e-mail addresses, and a continued commitment to internationalism in the choice of meeting locations.
Statement: My research interests are directed toward philosophy of biology, and particularly toward different conceptualizations of developmental biology and its connection to evolutionary theorizing. I am also interested in the social and ethical context and consequences of these different approaches.
These research interests essentially require an interdisciplinary exchanges of the kind I have found in the ISHPSSB, particularly the biennial conferences.
As a member of the council of ISHPSSB, I would certainly support the organizational structures that so far have allowed for such interdisciplinary discussions. But in addition, I would try to encourage "intradisciplinary" exchanges. I would like to support more exchanges between different "schools of thought" and "schools of research interests". The purpose here is to clarify the issues that are thought to distinguish those schools, and to allow for an investigation whether and where such distinctions are really based on different concepts, or whether they are due to different methodical approaches.
Furthermore, I believe that sessions and discussions in the platforms provided by ISHPSSB sometimes lack an integration of methodological reasoning, for example on the foundation of science. I would support to encourage researchers interested in this topic to join ISHPSSB and to bring in their standpoints.
Statement: Although science studies tends to be interdisciplinary by their very nature, I believe organizations like ISHPSSB provide an important forum for academic and professional development along explicitly interdisciplinary lines and across disciplinary boundaries. My active participation in ISHPSSB work began in 1996, when the Society listserv (ISHPSB-L) was established at the University of Minnesota. Shortly thereafter, I took over as Newsletter Editor. In the future, I would like to see contributions to both the ISHPSB-L and the Newsletter increase in ways that represent the diverse communities the Society serves. That is, I would like to see ISHPSSB expand activities that invite conversation between and among biologists, science educators, philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science. Recognizing that within each discipline we have communities and societies where our specialized contributions can be appreciated, ISHPSSB should especially strive to provide unique opportunities for showcasing those contributions on a broader scale. •
SPECIAL OFFERS FOR MEMBERS
ISHPSSB Membership Directory
Members are invited to request a copy of the ISHPSSB Directory by sending a request to David Magnus, the Society secretary. The first copy is free. Members who would like a second copy of the directory are asked to forward a check for $3.00 payable to the Society to cover copying and mailing costs. The directory is updated at the beginning of each year; members submitting requests after February 1 will receive a copy of the latest directory. •
Jill E. Cooper
Jill E. Cooper completed her dissertation "Of Microbes and Men: A Scientific Biography of Rene Jules Dubos" at Rutgers University in October 1998. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow in history at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research in New Brunswick. •
Marjorie Grene Prize
The Marjorie Grene Prize is intended to advance the careers of younger scholars, and will be awarded to the best manuscript based on a paper presented at one of the previous two ISHPSSB meetings by someone who was, at the time of presentation, a graduate student.
Graduate students presenting papers at the meeting in Oaxaca should start planning now to submit their work in next year’s competition!
It is very appropriate for ISHPSSB to name this prize in Marjorie Grene’s honor. Her work in history and philosophy of biology has provided models for many ISHPSSB members, and exemplifies the spirit of pursuing interactions among the fields within ISHPSSB; she played a central role in bringing together the scholars in the meetings that became the pre-history of ISHPSSB; and she has been a mentor to many of the leading members of the Society.
The award consists of a certificate and up to $200 towards expenses incurred in attending the following meeting of the Society and not reimbursed from another source. 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. The prize will not be awarded this year, lacking a sufficiently large pool of applicants. •
Visiting Position in Philosophy: Connecticut College
The Philosophy Department invites applications for a one-year replacement position (salary competitive and medical benefits included), beginning August of 1999. Ph.D. preferred; exceptional ABD candidates will be considered. The position involves teaching six (6) courses.
Courses to be taught are two sections of an historically-oriented introduction to philosophy, one intermediate-level course on philosophy and the environment, one intermediate-level course on philosophical approaches to Darwinism and evolutionary theory, one intermediate-level course on a selected topic in the philosophy of science, and one course to be determined. AOS: Philosophy of Science; AOC: Open.
Applicants must have documented excellence in teaching. The dossier should include a letter of interest, current c.v., graduate transcript, syllabi of all courses taught independently, proposed outlines of syllabi for courses to be taught, a writing sample, and two letters of reference. Applicants should submit a complete dossier as soon as possible; review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
Connecticut College is an AA/EO employer actively engaged in increasing faculty diversity. Connecticut College is a private, highly selective college with a strong commitment to the liberal arts tradition and an emphasis on broad interdisciplinary teaching and research.
Apply to: Prof. Lawrence Vogel, Acting Chair, Department of Philosophy, Connecticut College, Campus Box 5628, New London, CT 06320. Contact Prof. Vogel at (860) 439-2184 if further information is required. •
Two Visiting Assistant Professors: Michigan State University
Michigan State University invites applications for two full-time, temporary positions as visiting assistant professors of science and technology studies (STS) in the Lyman Briggs School, an undergraduate, residential, liberal arts science program in the College of Natural Science. Candidates will teach two sections per semester of our first-year writing course, which also serves as an introduction to science and technology studies. (One of the four courses is likely to be replaced by an upper-division STS course.) Candidates should hold a Ph.D. with a specialization in STS, composition, rhetoric, English, history, philosophy, or a related field, and should have experience working with undergraduates in composition courses. ABDs will be considered, particularly those who combine strengths in STS and expository writing instruction. Salary commensurate with experience, but in the mid-$20K range. Positions may be renewed annually, depending on performance and budgetary factors. Underrepresented minorities and women are especially encouraged to apply. Letters of application, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and three letters of recommendation, should be sent by April 5, 1999, to Dr. Robert Shelton, Lyman Briggs School, E-27 Holmes Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48825-1107. •
Philosophical Problems in the Neurosciences
The fifth meeting of the Pittsburgh-Konstanz Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science will take place in Konstanz, Germany during the four day period from Wednesday, May 26, 1999 until Saturday, May 29. The meeting will focus on philosophical problems, specifically methodological and conceptual problems, in the neurosciences. The Pittsburgh-Konstanz Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science is a joint biennial undertaking of the Center for Philosophy of Science of the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and the Zentrum Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie of the University of Konstanz (Germany).
The conference will take place at Hotel "Waldhaus Jakob" (Konstanz). The conference fee is DM 130 and DM 80 for students respectively (4 lunches and refreshments are included). There will be an excursion followed by a dinner which are not included in the conference fee. The price is DM 80 and DM 55 for students respectively. Those planning to attend are requested to register in advance.
Further information: Prof. Gereon Wolters, University of Konstanz, FG Philosophie, Fach D15, D-78457 Konstanz, Germany, Tel. +49-7531-882745 (office); Fax 882502 •
Nature and Belief in American Communal Societies: Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment
When: June 2-5, 1998
Where: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
In The Death of Nature, Carolyn Merchant points to seventeenth-century English sects such as the Diggers and the Ranters that sought to establish "egalitarian communal societies like those attempted by the medieval millenarian utopists." They challenged not only the socio-economic hierarchy of their time, but the emerging mechanistic world-view on which it was based, according to Merchant. While the lessons of science taught the general populace that the material world could be subjected to human control, these sects drew from the thought of Paracelcus to envision a nature filled with God, of which they were a part.
Communal societies guided by religious precepts, such as those mentioned by Merchant, have sprouted across the American landscape throughout its history. Few studies of such communities have taken any sustained look at questions concerning the relationship between man and nature raised by current environmentalist thought. This panel will examine the philosophies that underlie the practices of various American communal societies, from their earliest appearances to the present day. Pertinent issues to address include: How do religious precepts of the group define nature and the relation between man and nature? Is the religious philosophy of the group based on an interpretation of some biblical text, or any other text? Has the community generated its own written texts articulating the beliefs of the group? To what extent is the place of nature within the practical structure of the community mediated by written texts? Is there any relationship between the place of women in the community, and the philosophy of nature implied or directly stated within the belief system of the community? Historically, certain communities have experienced a weakening in their spiritual practices and convictions as their material fortunes improved. Does the community’s attitude toward nature play any role in the changes in its fortunes? What is the connection between the group’s millenialist philosophy (presuming it has one) and its relation to nature? What implications does this have for us, as we simultaneously confront the exhaustion of natural resources, possibilities of economic collapse, and a rash of apocalyptic visions occasioned by the coming millenial year?
What to Make of a Diminished Thing: The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)
When: June 2-5, 1999
Where: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Featured speakers include: John Elder, Stephanie Mills, and Scott Russell Sanders. Program to include: topics related to literature and environment, such as: environmental restoration, urban nature, environment and community, ruined landscapes, environmental justice, stewardship, ecology and religion.
Web site: http://www.people.virginia.edu/~djp2n/asle.html •
Science-in-Society, Society-in-Science: A Workshop Fostering Critical Thinking about Science & Technology in their Social Context
Monday July 26, 1999, 9:00am-5:00pm
(Please bring to the attention of teachers in the New England area)
This summer the Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston is bringing together teachers, students, and other concerned citizens to participate in a day of workshops and presentations given by innovative and inspiring teachers. These teachers will engage you through case studies ranging from genetic testing to population growth and environment, computers and gender equity to disputes over scientific integrity.
You will learn how placing developments in science and technology in their social context can enliven and enrich science education, science popularization, and citizen activism. The sessions are designed to stimulate a range of participants: K-12 teachers wanting make the science, technology and human affairs an integral part of their science or social studies classes; high school and college students wanting to keep sight of the social implications of their studies in science; and citizens wanting to promote active social debate about the directions taken in science and technology.
You will experience model class activities, be informed of resources, receive a directory of participants and other printed materials, and become linked to networks for support and inspiration for your subsequent efforts.
The Recent History of Botanical Science: A General Symposium for the 16th International Botanical Congress
When: August 1-7, 1999
Where: St. Louis, Missouri,USA
This symposium is designed to examine the recent history of botany from a number of different directions in order to gain an appreciation of general trends in twentieth century botanical research. It will include contributions from botanists and historians who will examine the role of individuals, institutions, organisms, and choice of research problems in various subdisciplines and fields of the botanical sciences.
Contact: Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis, Dept. History, 4131 Turlington Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA; or Josef Daniel Ackerman, Environmental Studies Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, V2N 4Z9 Canada; Phone: (352) 392-0271; Fax: (352) 392-6927
Speakers: Ronald Stuckey, "Botanical History of North America: Important Contributions Chronicled for the Twentieth Century;" Nancy Slack, "Life After Clements: Do Plant Communities Still Exist?" Kim Kleinman, "Edgar Anderson, Introgressive Hybridization, and Evolutionary Theory in the 1940s;" Mark Lesney, "Plants in Peril: Plant Protection and the Rise of Biotechnology;" Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis, "Botany at Harvard, 1918-1950;" James Pringle, "Milestones in the History of North American Botany;" Doug Holland, "A Short History of Botany in the United States — Thirty Years Longer." •
Nature, Society, and History: Long Term Dynamics of Social Metabolism
September, 30th, - October, 2nd, 1999
Scientific Committee: Marina Fischer-Kowalski, IFF Vienna, Austria; Rolf-Peter Sieferle, Mannheim University, Germany; Eugene Rosa, Washington State University, USA.
Keynote Speakers: Stephen Boyden, Nature and Society Forum, Canberra, Australia; Mark Hambley, Ambassador to the U.N., Washington, D.C., USA; Ilona Kickbusch, Yale University, USA.
International Council of Associations for Science Education: Third Latin American and Caribbean Symposium of ICASE
Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
October 4th to 8th 1999, (Opening ceremonies: October 3rd 1999 evening)
Theme: Promoting Scientific and Technological Culture for All in the 21st Century, Project 2000+
‘Nature’s Nation’ Reconsidered: American Concepts of Nature from Wonder to Ecological Crisis: European Association for American Studies Conference 2000
When: April 14-17, 2000
Where: Graz, Austria
Today’s advanced understanding of nature calls for a drastic re-conceptualization of traditional ideas about our relation to the natural environment. At the beginning of a new millennium an adequate understanding of ‘nature’ will be of utmost importance, and an investigation into the dominant ideas and attitudes of a nation and culture powerful enough to change that environment on a global scale would seem highly appropriate. A host of historical, socio-political and economical as well as cultural, literary, and psychological approaches can be applied to the theme in an attempt to understand the place and function of nature in American history (and the history of American self-definition) as well as the current manifestations of a new interest in nature in various areas of American culture and society. Lectures and workshops could thus inquire into the powerful impact the idea of nature had on American society and culture in the past, but also into the creative ("utopian") potential it still has in contemporary conceptualizations of alternative or different lives (and life styles). They could explore the multitude of myths and concepts relating to ‘nature’ and ‘America’ (European and American projections, Jeffersonian ideals and agrarian myths from the early republic to the New Deal, from pastoral self-confinement to the dynamics of westward expansion), conservation movements (the establishment of national parks and natural museums), nature writing, the representation of nature in literature, the arts, photography and film. They could also deal with Native American natural religion and its echoes in contemporary mainstream and (ethnic) counter-culture(s), with ecological movements in politics and the arts, with eco-feminism; or with the various manifestations of ‘artificial’ nature in plastic or in cyberspace.
Recent information on the conference will be available on the web site of the EAAS at: http://www.let.uu.nl/eaas/eaas2000.htm
International Interdisciplinary Conference
The Society for Indian Philosophy & Religion will hold an International Interdisciplinary Conference in Calcutta 1-4 August, 2000. The Conference theme is Language, Thought and Reality: Science, Religion and Philosophy.
The Advisory Board comprises: Kisor K. Chakrabarti (USA), Willem Derde (Belgium), Owen Flanagan (USA), Michael Ferejhon (USA), Jonardon Ganeri (UK), Robert Goldman (USA), Michael Howard (USA), Gerald Larson (USA), Chris Ross (Canada), Isaac Nevo (Israel), Leon Schlam (UK), Sukharanjan Saha (India), Braj Sinha (Canada).
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST
Agner Fog, Cultural Selection, (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1999).
Interdisciplinary treatise giving a comprehensive overview of cultural selection theory - a theory of social change based in part on evolutionary thinking. Challenges traditional sociology by its superior ability to explain the irrational, unplanned, or unwanted aspects of a culture.
Cultural selection theory is broader than memetics, because it includes selection processes that can not be expressed in terms of information units. Demonstrates a causal connection between the peacefulness or bellicosity of a society and its cultural expressions: political ideals, discipline, philosophy, morals, art, and music.
Natural Contradictions: Links Between Ecological Science and Environmental Politics
Special issue of Science as Culture 7(4). Guest Editors: Yrjo Haila and Peter Taylor
"How does the commons become tragic? Simple models as complex socio-political constructions," Peter Taylor; "Political undercurrents of modern ecology," Yrjo Haila; "Newtonian ecology and beyond," Douglas H. Boucher; "Political ecology of deforestation in Central America," John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto; "The internal and external in explanatory theories," Richard Levins.
INTERNET: LISTS AND SITES
New WWW archive established for Darwin and Darwinism
Point your browser to: http://www.human-nature.com/darwin/index.html The resource currently contains books, debates on evolutionary theory, evolution on the www, and creationism and evolution. Also included are the following complete works: Charles R. Darwin — On the Origin of Species, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, The Voyage of the Beagle, The Descent of Man; Alfred Russel Wallace — On the Law that has Regulated the Introduction of New Species (1855), On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type (1858); Thomas Henry Huxley — Autobiography and Selected Essays; Andrew Dickson White — History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom; and William James — The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature.
Our host site, Human-Nature.Com, also contains several hundred papers, articles, electronic journals, book reviews, interviews, and more than a dozen other complete books, together with unique search facilities and a collection of over four thousand hyperlinks.
Contributions on any relevant topic are welcome. It is anticipated that the site will have a particular emphasis on evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, evolutionary epistemology, and evolutionary ethics. •
The Huxley File
The Huxley File is addressed to an audience ranging from those who never heard of Thomas Henry Huxley to those who are familiar with him and may even have read some of his work. For specific guidance on the various subjects he wrote about – fields ranging from the design of marine invertebrate structure to the design of a good human society – the cybernaut may refer to any of the 21 guides concluding this preview. Selections in THE HUXLEY FILE that appear only in obscure Victorian magazines or hidden archives will be of interest to those who do know him and may even have studied and published on him. Point your browser to: http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/ •
INTERNET: ISHPSSB LIST AND SITE
The ISHPSSB listserv provides instant information to members around the world. The listserv is moderated by an ISHPSSB member, so no "junk" e-mail gets through — only information of interest to members. This will include updates on the 1999 Meeting in Oaxaca!
As a member of ISHPSSB, you are not automatically subscribed to the society’s listserv. Subscribe today to stay in touch.
The moderated listserv for the society is sponsored in part by the University of Minnesota Program in History of Science and Technology. Any member interested in receiving mailings on this listserv should "subscribe" to the list by sending the following message:
SUBSCRIBE ISHPSB-L yourfirstname yourlastname
To send a message (information of interest or questions related to the history, philosophy, and social studies of biology) to all the people currently subscribed to the list, send to:
Newsletter information goes out regularly on the listserv. Every ISHPSSB member is encouraged to subscribe to the e-mail list to enjoy more frequent and rapid correspondence with other members. If you know members who have not subscribed, please encourage them to do so.
The ISHPSSB Website is the best source for the latest information on the 1999 Meeting in Oaxaca, including travel arrangements and program updates.
OAXACA 1999: PRELIMINARY PROGRAM
Available on-line at
OAXACA 1999: PRE-MEETING WORKSHOP
Teaching HPSSB & Biology: Oaxaca, Wednesday, July 7.
Additional participants are welcome in a pre-conference workshop on teaching HPSSB & Biology being arranged by the ISHPSSB Education Committee. The goal is for participants to learn from each others’ efforts enlivening science education, science popularization, and citizen activism by placing developments in science and technology in their social context. Participants will take turns to lead discussion around a paper, syllabus, or lesson plan and/or to lead the other participants in activities derived from or adaptable to classrooms and other contexts. This latter format comes from the International Society for Exploring Teaching Alternatives (http://www.asu.edu/upfd/www/iseta). One example of an ISETA session proposal can be viewed at http://omega.cc.umb.edu/~ptaylor/iseta98.html, but quite different approaches are expected according to the subject material.
MEMBERSHIP AND RENEWAL INFORMATION
To join ISHPSSB or renew your membership contact Society Treasurer David Magnus or fill out the form on the Society’s Website:
Existing members need to renew if the mailing label on the most recent newsletter has 1997 or earlier on the top line. If you think the information in the membership files is out of date (e-mail addresses seem especially volatile), please provide the new information to the society treasurer/membership secretary.
Graduate students qualify for a reduced membership fee — only US $ 10 for two years. Emeritus members pay no fee. Otherwise a regular membership is US $ 35 for two years.
All checks must be in US $; payment by Visa/Mastercard is welcome. Credit card payments can be sent electronically. (As far as we understand this is relatively safe — as safe as the postal service, maybe safer — since everything is automatically encrypted.) Receipts for payment will be sent out, but to reduce administrative costs, this will be done only if requested. If paying by credit card, your monthly credit card statement should serve as your receipt. •
FALL 1999 NEWSLETTER
ISHPSSB President 1997-99
6350 Arlington Boulevard
Richmond CA 94805 USA
Phone: (510) 642-4597; Fax: (510) 642-4164
Peter Taylor, Chair
Department of Biology
Swarthmore, PA 19081
Department of Philosophy
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0126
Phone: (540) 231-6760; Fax: (540) 231-6367
Program Chair, 1999 Meetings
History and Philosophy of Science Program
University of California at Davis
Davis, CA 95616-8673
Zapate # 6 - 9
Col. Miguel Hidalgo
Treasurer and Membership Secretary
University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics
3401 Market Street, Room 320
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 898-7136
3900 Glengarry Drive
Austin, TX 78731
Student Representative History of Science and Technology
435 Walter Library
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Chris Young, Newsletter Editor
History of Science/Natural Philosophy
Mt. Angel Seminary
St. Benedict, OR 97373
Phone: (503) 845-3557; Fax: (503) 845-3126
ISHPSSB WWW Site
Last updated: 12 May 1999.