Successful Meeting in USA Offers Promise of ISHPSSB
President's SemiAnnual Report November 2001
The ISHPSSB 2001 meeting at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, continued the tradition of successful summer meetings in delightful settings. There were 221 registrants from 23 countries. It was a pleasure to see old friends and meet new ones from around the world, as we gathered in the evening twilight for the reception in the quad surrounded by modern brick buildings, with the sleeping giant on the horizon.
First, thanks goes to all the organizers of sessions and the speakers for the intellectually exciting, diverse, interdisciplinary program. Thanks to Douglas Allchin, who chaired the Program Committee, along with its members, Jay Aronson, Michael Dietrich, Elihu Gerson, Christiane Groeben, Pam Henson, Jane Maienschein, and Sergio Martinez, for all that they did to make the program such a success. I always want to go to all the sessions, something that never happens at any other society's meeting. I enjoyed the innovation of round-table discussions on Sunday; we had a lively group discussing mechanisms (one of my favorite topics these days).
The attractive, quiet Quinnipiac campus was an ideal setting; we owe many thanks to Kathy Cooke and David Valone, our hosts, for the myriad tasks they completed with efficiency and good humor to arrange all the details. Lobsters at the banquet! A first in my memory!
Memories also include standing under a dinosaur head at the Peabody Museum, munching on shrimp. Thanks to Bill Summers and others at Yale for the visual and gustatory pleasures of that evening reception
Registration went well, in the capable hands of Keith Benson, our Treasurer and Chris Young, our Secretary, aided by Vivette Garcia Deister. Keith and Chris are extremely helpful as I learn about the workings of the Society. In no small part, their long hours and hard work keep this Society functioning.
Congratulations to Rasmus Winther, Indiana University, for his paper "August Weismann on Germ-Plasm Variation," which won the Marjorie Grene Prize. Thanks to Ron Amundson and Dave Rudge, who served on the committee, and to Phil Pauly, who chaired and made an eloquent presentation of the award.
Finally, thanks to those retiring from the jobs they've held: we appreciate all the work of Lisa Lloyd, as Past-President, on the elections, Dick Burian, who so ably guided the business of the Society as President, 1999-2001, and retiring Council members, Walter Bock, Marilia Coutinho, Cor van der Weele, and student representative, Leon Martinez.
We welcome newly elected Council Members Ana Barahona, Christiane Groeben, Hans-Joerg Rheinberger, and Graduate Student Representative, Terry Sullivan. They join continuing members, Jane Maienschein, Gregg Mitman, and Lenny Moss. Pamela Henson, as the Society's archivist, serves as an ex officio member of the Council. One of the roles of the President-Elect is to have "reality checks" with the President. Dick Burian and I met in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown, before the meetings of the area philosophy of biology discussion group. Michael Dietrich, the new President-Elect, suggested that we have our reality checks in Paris. As time and money haven't yet allowed that, we're making do for the present with email chats. Wherever we meet, I look forward to working with all the many volunteers that contribute to this Society's activities. Many thanks for all that they do, and will do, to continue the successful operations of the Society.
ISHPSSB 2003 WILL BE IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA, JULY 16-20. Our hosts will be Werner Callebaut and Gerd Mueller of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI). The meetings will take place at the Vienna University campus. See the Society's web page for pictures and preliminary information. MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW. Rob Skipper, Program Chair, and the Program Committee have already started discussing preliminary plans.
ISHPSSB 2005 will be at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. David Castle will be our host. The dates have not yet been set. If any members know of conflicts in July of 2005, please let me know.
Now let me say a bit about what the Society has been doing since Quinnipiac.
The Council debated a proposal to sponsor workshops in the off-years, when the regular biennial meetings do not occur. We had open and frank discussions (diplomats use that language when there is lots of disagreement). Some of the reasons in favor of the proposal: to encourage more activities by Society's members, in smaller groups, focused on a theme, in a regional location more accessible to graduate students and local scholars; some of the arguments against it: the Society should direct its efforts to support of the biennial meetings and not stretch its resources too thinly or risk decreasing attendance at those meetings. After a full airing of opinions, a majority of the Council voted to approve an experiment of sponsoring workshops in even-numbered years on an ad hoc basis. We agreed that these workshops must be thematic in nature, which will distinguish them from the regular ISHPSSB meetings. Chris Young chaired the Off-Year Workshop Committee. They developed guidelines for applications and an approval process. The Society does not provide funding, but it will provide the Society's mailing list of members and publicity about the workshop through the Society's email list and web page. Details are on the Society's web page. The email list announced the deadline of October 10, 2001, for applications for 2002. No applications were received. Members are encouraged to consider submitting proposals for 2004.
Email List and Web Page
Roberta Millstein has ably taken over as moderator of the Society's email list from Chris Young, who managed it well for several years. See a report from Roberta on a recent survey of the list users. If you aren't subscribed, you should do so to get the latest messages about Society activities and general information on topics related to the Society. Mike Dietrich is coordinating the requests for changes to the web site, which he consolidates and sends to Valerie Hardcastle, who has, happily, agreed to continue as the web master. Students should check out the new student bulletin board. Various new features for the web site are in the works, so visit often to see what is available: http://www.phil.vt.edu/ISHPSSB/
Keith Benson, Treasurer, has prepared actual and projected budgets for the Society. The good news is that the Society has funds and is on a sound financial basis at this time. However, travel to Vienna will be expensive for some graduate students, so please contribute to the graduate student travel fund, either from the web page or directly to Keith Benson.
Membership Renewal Letter
Chris Young organized an effort to encourage renewals of memberships from 380 delinquent members. I signed a reminder letter and Chris organized graduate students for the tasks of folding, stamping and mailing. Thanks to Terry Sullivan, the Graduate Representative on the Council, for rallying the troops for this task. If your dues aren't up to date, please send them along promptly. Your dues are paid through the date appearing on the mailing label of this Newsletter.
A task that has taken about two months to complete is the appointment of members to the ISHPSSB standing committees. The chairs and members are listed on page 10 of this Newsletter. You can expect to hear more from them as they began their work. Thanks so much to all who have agreed to serve. Feel free to contact me or the chair of a committee if you wish to discuss matters related to a committee's activities.
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
ISHPSSB Prepares for 2003 Meeting
Vienna, Austria, July 16-20, 2003
As was officially announced at Quinnipiac, the next meeting of our Society will be held in Vienna, Austria, in mid-July 2003, at the invitation of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI) and the University of Vienna. Our local hosts are Werner Callebaut, who is the scientific manager of the KLI, and Gerd Mueller, who chairs the KLI Board and is a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Vienna. The KLI welcomes you to visit its homepage.
Vienna, the city of classical music and many important modern intellectual and cultural developments, needs little recommendation. Being clean, green, and safe, and ranking very high in most other dimensions of quality of life as well, it is a preferred location for conference venues. Located in the very heart of Europe, Vienna can be reached easily by aircraft, train, or car. The Viennese public transport network ranks among the best in the world. In addition to enjoying the city's own cultural riches, conference participants may want to visit other historical cities such as Prague (Czech Republic), Budapest (Hungary), or Cracow (Poland), which can all be reached from Vienna within a few hours; or they may prefer a hiking tour in the nearby Alps.
The meetings will take place at the Vienna University Campus. The campus is located centrally, in the recently renovated historic city hospital complex. The campus is within walking distance from many hotels and "Studentenheime" (dorms) and offers a nice array of restaurants and pubs.
Additional information about venue, accommodation, etc. will be provided in due course.
Thank You to Graduate Student Volunteers
The following graduate students, under the coordination of Terry Sullivan, performed the invaluable task of folding Lindley's membership renewal request letter, sealing the envelopes (with the icky-tasting glue), and affixing address labels and postage. Letters were sent to 380 members who have not renewed their membership in recent years. So far, numerous members have renewed. Others will be dropped to reduce our mailing costs. Graduate students benefit from this effort, because a portion of our membership dues goes toward funding their travel to meetings. So again, thank you to Mark Russell (Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Tech); John S. Emrich (Center for History of Recent Science, George Washington University); Scott Thomson (Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Tech); Jason Zinser (Department of Philosophy, Florida State University); Ken Reisman (Department of Philosophy, Stanford University); and Terry Sullivan (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
Membership Renewal Information
If the date on your mailing label on this Newsletter does not read 2002 or later, you need to renew your membership!
If you would like to remain on our list, please take one of the following two steps:
2) Return the form found on page 14 of this Newsletter to Keith Benson (address on the form).
When you renew, you will continue to receive the ISHPSSB Newsletter. You will be eligible for substantial discounts from leading journals in history, philosophy, and social studies of biology (see details on the Society website or contact Keith Benson), including:
Journal of the History of Biology ($52/year)
Biology and Philosophy ($58/year)
Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences ($33/yr)
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences ($121 or £73/yr)
Members will also be able to register for our biennial meetings without additional charge. You will not be asked for renewal for two full years.
Please do not pass up the opportunity to be part of the most vibrant interdisciplinary community of science studies scholars in the world. Thank you.
Attention Graduate Students
My name is Terry Sullivan and until 2003 I will be the ISHPSSB student representative. I entered graduate school at the University of Utah but have recently moved to the University of Wisconsin - Madison to finish my Ph.D. in philosophy. I am particularly interested in what biology can and cannot tell us about the human mind.
I would like to take this opportunity to make graduate students aware of a number of things that make being an active student member of ISHPSSB a unique experience. First, society members have been very generous in the past in contributing towards a travel fund for students. This generosity saw significant assistance being given to all those students who presented papers at the Society's meeting in Quinnipiac earlier this year. This is a fairly unique level of assistance, and I encourage students to take up the opportunities it provides.
Second, graduate students should also be aware of ISHPSSB's Marjorie Grene Prize. The prize is intended to advance the careers of younger scholars and is 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. Previously the award has consisted of a certificate and substantial financial help in attending the meeting of the Society.
Finally, there are currently a growing number of graduate students involved in playing a key role in ISHPSSB and if you would like to join them please contact me
Also, check out the new Student Bulletin site at the ISHPSSB homepage for information and announcements particularly relevant to student members of the society.
ISHPSSB Listserv (ISHPSB-L) Finds New Moderator
Those of you who are already on the ISHPSSB email list already know me (or my email address anyway) as your new list moderator. For those of you who are not on the list, I encourage you to join. You will receive timely information about upcoming ISHPSSB events and other relevant materials (more on this below).
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:
Members Gather to Remember, Plan, and Show Appreciation
Minutes: ISHPSSB 2001 General Meeting
Dick Burian, presiding
61 members in attendance
Agenda item: Motion to suspend the rules
A motion to suspend the rules was passed.
Agenda item: Announcements and introductions
A public thanks was made to Kathy Cooke and Dave Valone (local arrangements co-chairs), for their work at Quinnipiac University. A public thanks was made to Bill Summers for the upcoming reception at the Peabody Museum at Yale University, and details for transportation were explained. Graduate students were asked to meet to elect a student representative to the council. A moment of silence was observed for our deceased colleagues including Gerald Geison.
Agenda item: Reading of the minutes of the 1999 meeting in Oaxaca
A motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes was passed. A request for pre-circulation of minutes before a meeting was made and it was agreed that this is a desirable practice.
Agenda item: Reports from committees and officers
Lindley Darden (president-elect and chair of the site selection committee) presented the report of the Site Selection Committee and thanked its members: Jane Maienschein and Walter Bock, with help from Dick Burian, Keith Benson, Ron Amundson, Rachel Ankeny, and Manfred Laubichler (report attached). ISHPSSB will meet in Vienna in 2003 (July 16-20) and in Guelph in 2005 (dates to be arranged). Details of the process were outlined, including the presence of guidelines on the society website.
Proposals for future meetings are welcome. The society is moving to a four-year cycle, where sites for the next two meetings will be decided, and each subsequent site chosen four years in advance. It is anticipated that within the next decade we may receive bids from some or all of the following countries: Italy; Germany; Sweden; Australia; Canada (Dalhousie); and Japan; as well as the following US cities: Notre Dame, Indiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Werner Callebaut (local arrangements 2003) expressed pleasure at the prospect of welcoming ISHPSSB members to Vienna and spoke briefly about the political conditions in Austria. The host institute will be the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research and the site will be the Vienna University campus.
David Castle (local arrangements 2005) welcomed the opportunity to host ISHPSSB at Guelph. Details of plans will be forthcoming when the time gets a little closer.
Lindley reported that the society is operating rather smoothly and thanked the committee for their input: Ana Barahona, Keith Benson, Nathaniel Comfort, Michael Dietrich, Jane Maienschein, Phil Sloan. An offer from a press to publish the proceedings of the meetings was declined due to cost and the difficulty coordinating the program with sufficient lead time. No revisions to the by laws are currently being considered since there is nothing egregious enough to require revision at present. Regional or off-year meetings will be discussed by a subcommittee of the council. The operations committee is soliciting volunteers to serve in various capacities.
Douglas Allchin (program chair 2001) thanked members of the committee: Jay Aronson, Michael Dietrich, Elihu Gerson, Christiane Groeben, Pam Henson, Jane Maienschein, and Sergio Martinez. Presenters at this meeting came from 20 different countries and sixty percent also presented at the meeting in Oaxaca.
Introduction of journal editors
Editors representing several journals in the fields of history, philosophy, and social studies of biology were introduced, and details of the session on journal publication, organized by Anne Mylott, were explained.
Grene Prize award committee
Phil Pauly thanked the other members of the committee, Dave Rudge and Ron Amundson, and described the winning paper, written by Rasmus Winther, Indiana University.
Travel award committee
Keith Benson (treasurer) announced that every graduate student requesting travel funds was granted.
Keith emphasized the importance of all members paying regular dues. Kathy Cooke and Dave Valone were thanked for their work on local arrangements. Chris Young was thanked for assistance with the membership list. Colleagues in Oaxaca were thanked for the many ways they contributed to making the meeting there in 1999 a success, including independent fundraising that provided for travel of students from Latin America, audio/visual equipment, accessibility ramps in meeting buildings, and receptions, in excess of $7000. A report showing the current balance of the ISHPSSB accounts was presented (attached). Discussion of ending newsletter printing and mailing included suggestion of going to electronic formats and the need to reach an audience that is not connected to the internet.
Chris Young (secretary) reiterated the need to have members pay dues promptly and noted that the society does not have a staff to regularly remind members. The need to balance between the lower cost of internet communication and the wider accessibility of printed and mailed communications was also restated.
Peter Taylor (education chair) thanked committee members and reported on a successful pre-conference workshop on education, attended by twenty participants. Future workshops are planned and interested organizers should feel welcome to propose topics. A lunch discussion of education was planned. Links to the ISHPSSB website detail additional education initiatives.
Nominations and elections
Lisa Lloyd (past president) expressed appreciation to council members and announced the following election results: President Elect, Michael Dietrich; Treasurer, Keith Benson; Secretary, Chris Young; Program Officer, Rob Skipper; Council (2001-2005), Ana Barahona, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, and the winner of a tie vote taken at this meeting by secret ballot. Christiane Groeben was determined to be the winner of that tie-breaker after the meeting adjourned.
Agenda item: New business
Chris Smith voiced a concern over the alternation of meeting locations. The society's intention to alternate between North America and sites outside North America was reiterated by Dick Burian.
Peter Taylor moved to have the society kept better informed of operations by having the president provide semi-annual reports, published in the Newsletter. The motion was seconded and passed by a show of hands. Motion: "The general membership requests the president to produce semi-annual reports of completed council and executive tasks and plans for tasks ahead. These reports shall be disseminated through the listserv and the newsletters."
Rob Skipper (program chair 2003) welcomed volunteers to serve on the program committee and especially encouraged sociologists to participate.
Thank you to everyone who attended the General Meeting. Your input and participation ensure the successful operation of our Society.
Dibner Invites Scholars to Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Travel Funding Available from Alwyne Wheeler Bursary
Dibner Seminar in History of Biology
The Business of Life: Life Science and Industry in the 20th Century
Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
May 15-22, 2002
The Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology announces its Seminar in the History of Biology, to be held from the evening of May 15 through the morning of May 22, 2002, at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This year's seminar will examine the history of collaborations between academic and industrial life scientists.
Throughout the past century such collaborations have been commonplace, giving rise to many new agricultural and medical products. The technologies that have arisen from these collaborations have transformed society dramatically, as much as any technologies stemming from the physical sciences. Examples include the antisera and antibiotics that helped to put infectious diseases into retreat, and the new breeds of crops and fertilizers that have helped forestall famine in many areas of the world. Yet the nature and significance of technological developments based on the life sciences, and brought to fruition by cooperative work between academic and industrial biologists, have received only piecemeal attention (and relatively little at that). There has been no concerted effort to examine these issues.
We will explore a range of collaborations across various life sciences and industries throughout the 20th century. The goals of the seminar include stimulating new research on the history of industrial life science, and gaining historical perspective on the recent controversies surrounding the intimate relations between biologists and industrialists that have developed in relation to genetic engineering. Among the questions to be addressed are the following. In the past, what types of benefits have businesses offered in return for the technical advice and intellectual property of the biologists with whom they collaborated, and what restrictions on academic freedom have they imposed? In what ways have biologists transformed the businesses in which or with which they worked? In what ways (beyond merely providing technical advice) have life scientists contributed to transforming their ideas into products and making them successful in the wider social context? How have the interactions between basic life scientists and industry differed in agricultural versus medical arenas? What (if any) distinctive changes in biologist-industrialist relations have occurred recently in the commercial applications of molecular genetics? By bringing together historians, sociologists, and life scientists, we will be able to explore such questions in provocative and multidisciplinary ways. Participation by leading biologists who have had practical experience in biotechnology will provide important perspectives on the sorts of issues that arise from these types of collaborations.
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.
Colloquium on New Approaches to Ancient Science Planned
A Three-Year Colloquium of the American Philological Association
Organized by Philip Thibodeau, University of Georgia and Tiberiu Popa, University of Pittsburgh
First Year: Life Sciences
134th Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association
New Orleans, Louisiana, January 2003
Call for Papers: This three-year colloquium has been designed with the aims of shedding new light on ancient science, enabling established and emerging scholars to share their views with one another, and giving this exciting branch of classics more prominence at the APA meetings. We hope to spur a large audience to a renewed appreciation of the power and sophistication, as well as the often telling limitations, of ancient scientific theories. The organizers invite researchers from a wide range of disciplines - classics, history, and philosophy of science, but also political and economic history, archaeology, psychology - to examine ancient science from their own varied perspectives.
In its first year the focus of the colloquium will be on the life sciences in antiquity, a domain that has long commanded the attention of leading scholars and has recently been the scene of intense and fascinating debates. Among the issues open for discussion are: methods of investigation within ancient zoology, botany, anatomy, physiology, and `bio-chemistry'; polemical discourse within these fields; biology as it was theorized vs. biology as it was practiced; social factors that caused the life sciences to change over time; reception in Islamic and Christian cultures; connections between human medicine and biology; connections between biology and fields such as physics and mechanics; the relationship between the inner structures of scientific explanation and the `rhetoric' of scientific discourse.
Chemical Heritage Foundation Fellowships Invites Applications for 2002-2003 Fellowships
Fellowship opportunities are available at the Chemical Heritage Foundation's Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry. The Beckman Center hosts scholars from all parts of the world through its fellowship and scholarship programs. It administers several different fellowships for both the academic year and the summer. They include six Academic Year Opportunities as well as two Summer Opportunities. Research Travel Grants are also available.
Details of these fellowships can be found online.
ISHPSSB Committees for 2001-2003 Announced
Program Committee, Vienna 2003
Local Arrangements Committee, Vienna 2003
Off-Year Workshop Committee
Travel Support Committee
Marjorie Grene Prize Committee
(one more person to be added)
Semiotics, Evolution, Energy, Development is now on line
Graves Publishes to Good Reviews
The journal is refereed and has an ISSN number. Instructions for contributors are on the web page. The Journal covers Physic, Energyand Symmetry, Biosemiotics, Cognition, Computers and Robotology, and Economic, Management and Social Development. Articles that emphasize processes that permit the formation of connections through non-linear processes are preferred, but arguments that such processes are not required are also welcome.
The past 50 years have seen the introduction of information as a physical entity with a mathematical theory. In the last ten years, connections have been developed to energy, evolution and development, as well as to signs, representation, interpretation and the mind. Many of these developments are controversial, such as whether information is intrinsically related to meaning, whether there is a general semiotics that extends beyond human signs, and whether, indeed, there is anything well-defined outside of human theories. This journal deals with these and related issues.
John Collier, Editor in Chief
The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, Joseph L. Graves, Jr.
Joseph Graves traces the development of thought about human genetic diversity. He argues that racism has persisted in our society because adequate scientific reasoning has not entered into the equation. Graves champions the scientific method, and explains how we may properly ask questions about the nature of population differentiation and how (if at all) we may correlate that diversity to differences in human capacity and behavior. He also cautions us to think critically about scientific findings that have historically been misused in controversies over racial differences in intelligence heritability, criminal behavior, disease predisposition, and other traits. Greek philosophy, social Darwinism, New World colonialism, the eugenics movement, intelligence testing biases, and racial health fallacies are just a few of the topics he addresses.
Graves's book has received excellent endorsements thus far: "Intellectually delightful, and at times deeply moving, this book's fundamental thesis is of outstanding importance. The biological non-existence of race is one of the most liberating messages that the American public will hear in a long time. It should be read by anybody who is a registered voter in the United States." —Michael R. Rose
"The Emperor's New Clothes provides a lucid and stimulating history of the uses and, mostly, abuses of the cultural and biological constructions of the concept of race. Professor Graves insightfully demonstrates that race classifications cannot be biologically justified. His book is eminently readable and engrossing." —Francisco J. Ayala
Cloth, $28.00, 0-8135-2847-X; 252 pp.
Rutgers University Press
Recent Listserv Survey Indicates Need for Only Minor Changes
1. The amount of traffic on the ISHPSSB listserv is:
6.67% A. too much
48.3% B. too little
36.67% C. just right
5% No response (new to list):
2. I would like to see the ISHPSSB listserv send out (list as many as apply):
96.67% A. ISHPSSB conference information
81.6% B. Brief updates from ISHPSSB committees
78.3% C. Position announcements
78.3% D. Postdoctoral announcements
83.3% E. Grant and funding opportunities
85% F. Other conference announcements and calls for papers
81.67% G. Brief queries from members on research topics
68.3% H. Discussion of topics relating to the themes of the society
I. Other (please specify)
3. The following scheme has been proposed for managing the ISHPSSB listserv: when important Society news arrives (e.g., call for papers for meeting, registration info, Grene Prize info, etc.), it will be posted immediately, with a header indicating it is Society business. When other items of general interest arrive, they will be saved, posted as a group with headings only, pointing to a URL where more info is to be found, if wanted. I would prefer:
31.67% A. The present scheme (all messages sent out in their entirety)
60% B. The new, proposed scheme (only Society news sent in full; other messages sent as headings only with links to a website containing the full text of the messages)
3.3% C. Some other scheme (please specify)
5% No response/no preference
Comments from the Moderator
There were 60 respondents in total. It is clear that the majority of respondents do not see a need to reduce the amount of traffic. More people would prefer to see an increase in traffic vs. keeping it the same (although this is not a large difference).
A-G all received very strong responses, and I would recommend that we include these items on the list. The response to H is still a clear majority, although it is less strong than the other responses. One perhaps surprising note is that 20 of the 22 people who said that the traffic was "just right" included H among the items they would like to see the society send out, yet out of the 29 people who wanted more traffic, only 18 included H. (I would have thought that most who wanted no increase in traffic would also reject discussion, but this was not the case). Given the percentage of people who want discussion, I think we should accommodate this in some form. A few people suggested a separate list or a web site for discussion, and this is a possibility we might want to consider. The advantage of a separate list/website is so that discussion does not overwhelm the significant minority who does not wish to see it. The disadvantage is that a split list/website is more trouble to maintain and might be more confusing to members.
The new scheme is preferred by a majority, although again, there is a significant minority who want the present scheme. I don't see any easy way to accommodate both. I didn't hear any strong objections to the new scheme, although some indicated that the present scheme is simpler. I would recommend switching to the new scheme.
Briefly, here are some of the other suggestions/comments that we received (I've summarized these):
Other items to include: new books and reference sources, web-based resources, course info, book reviews, newsletter as an attachment, reminders to pay dues.
There's too much "can anyone tell me this?" type of questions. Put everything that is not A into a separate listserv.
Compile B into a semi-annual presidential report.
Don't overload us with committee info (B)
Alternative scheme: give a toc, followed by very brief (only a few lines) description of each item.
Postings are so infrequent, I tend to forget about the listserv.
Traffic is so light that I feel disconnected between meetings.
Post brief queries (G) immediately.
Provide an option to have email sent in a digest once a week.
Have a page linked off of our main page that explains what the listserv is, what is acceptable to send, how to subscribe and unsubscribe
Label messages clearly with the category headings above (A-H)
Label society business clearly so that the rest can be easily ignored.
The list is very useful because there is a moderator who is able to keep all the junk mail out.
Finally, if anyone wants to see the emails I received or my spreadsheet summary of them, I am happy to share.
Events Planned at the New England Institute
Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology, Events 2002
1st Annual William D. Hamilton Memorial Lecture
Friday, May 10, 2002, 7:00 PM
"The Evolution and Biology of Self-Deception"
Robert L. Trivers, Ph.D.
The late William D. Hamilton has been described as "one of the greatest evolutionary theorists since Darwin." Hamilton died in 2000 as a result of complications from malaria, contracted in the Congo, where he was seeking to investigate the population of chimpanzees who donated HIV-1 to human beings, as well as the mode of transmission. A distinguished biologist and sociobiologist, Trivers was a friend of Hamilton, and is an NEI Fellow. Dr. Trivers has authored seminal theoretical papers social evolution, the evolution of deception and self deception, reciprocal altruism and parental investment theory that have had a huge impact on biological thinking, evolutionary psychology, evolutionary anthropology and ethics. He is the author of Social Evolution (Benjamin Cummings) and the forthcoming Genes in Conflict (Harvard University Press) with A. Burt.
Venue: University of New England, 716 Stevens Avenue, Portland, Maine
1st Annual International Conference
August 23-24, 2002
This historic interdisciplinary conference will explore unconscious cognition and related processes, a notion which has been highly contentious for at least the past two hundred years.
Max Planck Institute Calls for Papers
History of Medicine Position Announced
Workshop "Cultural History of Heredity II: Eighteenth to Nineteenth Centuries" at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, January 10-12, 2003
Organizers: Staffan Müller-Wille, Peter Mclaughlin, Wolfgang Lefèvre, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger
Deadline for Paper Proposals: January 31 2002
The Department of Social Studies of Medicine of McGill University seeks an assistant professor in the history of medicine (tenure track) in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Department is an interdisciplinary unit within the Faculty of Medicine and includes historians, anthropologists and sociologists. It places strong emphasis on research and graduate supervision, but is also responsible for considerable teaching in the Faculties of Arts and Medicine. The successful candidate must have a PhD and publications (an MD would be an additional asset) and must be able to function in both the medical milieu and an interdisciplinary social science environment. We will consider all areas of research interest compatible with the core strengths of the Department in comparative medical systems and medical knowledge in the 20th century. Curriculum vitae and three letters of reference should be sent by December 31 2001, to Faculty Search Committee; Department of Social Studies of Medicine; McGill University; 3655 Drummond Street; Montreal, P.Q. H3G 1Y6; Canada. In accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. McGill University is committed to equal opportunity in employment.
KLI Scholarships Available
Journals Offer Special Rates for ISHPSSB
The Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI) in Altenberg/Vienna (Austria) invites applications to two of its scholarship programs: the KLI Postdoctoral Grant program and the KLI Visiting Scholarship program. The KLI is a private, non.profit institution which primarily supports theoretical research in evolutionary developmental biology as well as in evolutionary cognitive science.
The KLI also runs a small animal facility for selected empirical projects in evolution and cognition research. Candidates for Postdoctoral Grants must have received their Ph.D. or equivalent within the previous five years; substantial publications are required at the time of application. Postdoctoral grants run for one year, extendable for a second year pending review. Postdoctoral Grants are to be used for subsistence, travel, and other costs related to conducting research at the KLI.
Candidates for Visiting Scholarships should have advanced degrees in one or more disciplines relevant to their research and show evidence of substantial scholarly accomplishment and/or professional experience in the areas they propose to work in. They may apply for visits whose duration ranges from one week to several months, and which are renewable at the discretion of the KLI Board of Directors. Visiting Scholarships cover travel and nearby accommodation provided by the Institute.
We offer ISHPSSB members a discount on Metascience and have in fact included it on our flyer for the journal and on the journal's website.
The full personal rate is US$54 Americas; £35 Europe and the rest of the world. The ISHPSSB member rate is US$45 Americas; £29 Europe and the rest of the world. The journal's Institutional rate is US$164 Americas; £106 Europe and the rest of the world, except A$138 Australia/NZ.
Journal of the History of Biology
Subscribe to the Journal of the History of Biology by contacting Society Treasurer and membership/subscription guru Keith Benson. Members receive a substantially discounted rate! (US$50, or US$90 for both JHB and B&P, see below.) Check out the journal online.
Biology and Philosophy
Subscribe to Biology and Philosophy by contacting Society Treasurer and membership/subscription guru Keith Benson. Members receive a substantially discounted rate! (US$50, or US$90 for both JHB and B&P, see above.) Check out the journal online.