The Marjorie Grene Prize is awarded every two years for the best manuscript based on a presentation at one of the two previous ISHPSSB meetings by someone who was, at the time of presentation, a graduate student. The prize is named after Marjorie Grene both because her work in the history and philosophy of biology exemplifies the strong spirit of interdisciplinary work fundamental to ISHPSSB, and because she played a central role in bringing together diverse scholars of biology even before the formation of the Society. She was a valued mentor to many members of the Society and a long-standing inspiration to all.

Parke Emily
Emily Parke

For the 2017 Prize, the Committee received a total of 5 submissions. All were of high quality, with many already published or accepted for publication in high quality journals. Despite the relatively low number of submissions, the Committee was pleased by variety of methodological approaches and topics covered, and by the innovative work being done by our graduate student members across the disciplines represented in our Society.

This year’s Marjorie Grene Prize is awarded to Emily C. Parke for her paper “Experiments, Simulations, and Epistemic Privilege” which was presented at the 2013 ISHPSSB meeting in Montpellier. The paper was published in 2014 in Philosophy of Science. Emily is currently a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Auckland. She completed her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015.

As one reviewer noted, this paper was the standout of all of the submissions for the Prize, and also was a pleasure to read, achieving that delicate balance between conceptual rigor and elegant written expression often lacking in philosophical contributions within the analytic tradition. It delivers a clear and convincing message about the absence of any in principle epistemic asymmetry between experiment and simulation through a careful exploration of detailed examples from the biological sciences, particularly experimental evolution. Dr. Parke’s paper provides helpful distinctions about the putative nature of the epistemic asymmetry (unexpected behaviors versus hidden mechanisms) and then applies them concretely to demonstrate that the materiality thesis cannot do the heavy lifting expected of it. The paper is likely to make considerable contributions to ongoing debates about the status of simulations, and has important epistemic and pragmatic consequences not only for the philosophy of biology but for the philosophy of science (and science) more generally.

On behalf of the ISHPSSB, I am pleased to award the 2017 Grene Prize to Emily C. Parke.

Rachel A. Ankeny, on behalf of the Marjorie Grene Prize Committee 2015–2017: Rachel A. Ankeny (chair), Edna Suárez Díaz, Marta Halina, Alan Love, Pierre-Olivier Méthot, and Jutta Schickore.