This committee is chaired by the elected Student Representative. It is charged with advising the Council on all matters related to student participation in the Society. Of special relevance are the promotion of student travel funding, encouraging submissions for the Grene Prize, and increasing student membership and involvement.


2015 Committee Report

Members: Lynn Chiu (Chair), Nina Atanasova, Ann-Sophie Barwich, Emily Parke

Main goals:

(1) increase networking/mentoring opportunities (especially for those new to the organization or do not have a group) during ISHPSSB

(2) collect useful feedback for the Council and for student event organization

(3) promote student travel funding & advocate for better funding procedures

(4) encourage submissions to the Grene Prize


Planned Events:

(1) Early Career Mentoring Lunch

(2) General Meeting

(3) Publication Workshop (cancelled due to time constraints and loss of faculty support)


Post-ISHPSSB2013, Montpellier:

Grene Prize: email ISHPSSB listsrv to encourage students to submit their work

Pre-ISHPSSB2015, Montreal:

Grene Prize: Email reminders to the listsrv

Travel Funds: After receiving some feedback from students about the deadline, Lynn requested the travel fund committee to extend the deadline.

Room Share: Email reminders about the room-share forum (

ISHPSSB Spring Newsletter: Submit conference events to the spring newsletter

ISHPSSB2015 website: Submit event information and roomshare reminders to the ISHPSSB local committee for their website and registration email

New student committee chair recruitment: Lynn asked for private nominations and posted on the ISHPSSB general listsrv and in the Spring Newsletter of ISHPSSB recruitment ads. After receiving responses from three candidates, Lynn explained the duties of the ISHPSSB student chair/committee, and what it is like to work for ISHPSSB.

ISHPSSB 2015 Events: All members exchanged multiple emails throughout the two years to plan for the event. We held ~2 Skype meetings as well.


During ISHPSSB 2015, Montreal Events:


Attendees: Roughly 90 (140, based on brown-bag counts)

Mentor Recruitment Process: We put together the list based on the people we know and the people they know. The mentors were contacted by email around February. Based on our understanding of the mentors, we suggested the following themes.

Themes & mentors:

• Theme: Publishing in HPSS of Bio

Stuart Newman (New York Medical College)

Linnda R. Caporael (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

• Theme: Interdisciplinary Training and Alternative Careers

Scott Gilbert (Swarthmore College)

Sandra Mitchell (University of Pittsburg)

• Theme: Interdisciplinary Careers in HPS of Biology

Staffan Müller-Wille (University of Exeter)

• Theme: Balancing Family Life With Academia

Sabina Leonelli (University of Exeter)

Rachel Ankeny (University of Adelaide)

• Theme: Careers in Phil of Biology /Interdisciplinary Careers

Denis Walsh (University of Toronto)

Jessica Bolker (University of New Hampshire)

• Theme: Job Search and Tenure

Andre Ariew (University of Missouri)

Angela Potochnik (University of Cincinnati)

• Theme: Women and Minorities in Academia

Anya Plutynski (Washington University in St. Louis)

Roberta Millstein (UC Davis)

Robert Skipper (University of Cincinnati)

Format: Each mentor group occupies a single room. The participants first convene at an auditorium before dispersing into each room. The discussion is entirely informal. The mentors may or may not talk about the assigned theme. Students may come and go to visit different rooms.

Lunch arrangements: brown bags for all registered attendees. ~170 in total registered for the event. The lunch was paid for and distributed by the local organizing committee.

Beverage arrangements: We spent roughly 30 Canadian dollars on extra water and coffee (as the coffee tables were already taken away).

Notes: it is important to have more than one mentor. The mentors had a great time bouncing ideas off each other and taking turns answering questions. The mentees got to see the mentors in action.



Attendees: roughly 30


(a) Travel funds discussion with the Treasurer

(b) Discussion Questions:

- What arrangements influence your exposure to relevant researchers and your opportunity to receive good feedback?

- What factors influence your career and research advancements at ISHPSSB?

(c) Election:


- Federica Turriziani Colonna,
History and Philosophy of Science at the Center for Biology and Society, Arizona State University

- Cory Lewis,
Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science, and Technology, University of Toronto

- Kimberly Brumble,
Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Indiana University

Election Results: Federica (2), Cory (8), Kimberly (20)

Lunch arrangements: brown bags paid for and distributed by the local organizing committee.

Notes: We tried our best to get people to come, but the turnout was roughly the same, maybe even less, than two years ago.


Post-ISHPSSB 2015, Montreal:

Assist the next committee chair to conduct a general survey.


From the General Meeting:

Written Survey (the survey results are with Kimberly):

(1) how many people attended your session?

(2) did you have a good experience?

(3) what could be done to improve the experience?

Discussion Results:

- Should ISHPSSB be more selective?

o Yes, spreading out the attendees does hurt grad student exposure

o No, grad-heavy sessions are actually supported by caring faculty. The feedback received in sections was warm and supportive.

o Yes, talks should be selective while posters are open to all

o No, do not introduce a two-tiered system

o Regardless, posters should be encouraged. Please strategize how to increase poster participation without degrading them to second-class.

o Posters are not good formats for historical subjects.

- What do you think of the Rule of Two?

o Given that there are already too many sessions, each person should play at most two roles (chair/presenter) but only present once.

- What do you think of this year’s schedule?

o Too many similar sessions at the same time.

o Suggestions: spread the sessions out with a classification system.

- Suggestions for History of Biology Outreach

o History of science/social studies of science departments are not aware of ISH: email them or send them a poster


Thoughts for the Next Committee:

- Publication Workshop: it is worthwhile to discuss appropriate journal articles for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, and how dissertations can be turned into books.

- Mentoring Program:

o consider open recruitment of mentors

o some other themes to consider: US/European markets, grant-writing

o 2013 format, hosted by Emily Parke: panel of 5~6 mentors at different stages of their career in an auditorium

- HPSSB Journal list: there is high request for a list of recommended journals to publish in and why (who the audience is, what their impact factors are, etc)

- Faculty support: our committee did not have a faculty member due to unforeseen circumstances.



This committee benefited from early discussions with Werner Callebaut, received suggestions for the publication mentors from Isabella Sarto-Jackson. Most importantly, we are very luck to have the timely assistance of Mathieu Charbonneau, and the tremendous help and support of Christophe Malaterre.