Table of Contents

President’s Corner

Ankeny presidents cornerIt is my very great pleasure to be assuming the presidency of ISHPSSB for the next two years, particularly as I think of ISH as the most collegial and productive professional organisation with which I have been associated since I was a graduate student, similarly to many of us. I dare to say that without it, I would not likely have had the bravery to pursue the highly interdisciplinary work that I do now. One of my key goals for my term is to continue to build on our unique history, with particular attention to inclusion, diversity, and multidisciplinarity in approaches to exploring the life sciences. We have an exciting working group of Council and committee members who have many new plans to take ISH in important directions particularly with regard to diversity and inclusion, and to continue the activities that have characterized our organisation’s unique form of scholarly community. We also look forward to continuing to operationalize our Respectful Behavior policy and consider ways in which we can make our activities more environmentally friendly.

Our first virtual meeting (hosted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, for which we are very grateful) was a huge success, and a welcome productive time in what for most of us has been a difficult period. Once again, we thank Luis Campos and Roberta Millstein, our Program Co-Chairs, and Matt Haber, the virtual Local Arrangements Committee Chair, together with the rest of their dedicated committees, for producing an outstanding event under much less than ideal circumstances. We are so grateful for all of the volunteers who collaborated to bring us together. We also thank our volunteer officers who are rotating off, particularly Laura Perini who has been our long-standing Treasurer; Trevor Pearce, our listserv editor; and Marsha Richmond, who completes the six-year term associated with presidential duties. We do not yet wish to recognise our now past president Greg Radick, as we will still be working closely with him as this role involves ‘responsibilities galore’, as he himself once put it.

Our virtual meeting also included a meeting of a group to start exploring how to create a slightly more formal space within ISH for all minority academics. It was decided that the group would continue to discuss and form organically, and would have a meeting in 2023 at our next conference. For now, the group is called “ISH Included: a working group on inclusiveness”. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

In another first, we held a virtual General Members Assembly, and in the vote that followed, we approved the proposal to hold the next ISH meeting in London, Canada, on the campus of The University of Western Ontario. Please see the details below and save the dates! We will remain flexible and intend to have a hybrid meeting, with details to be determined. Staying hybrid allows us to be responsive to community needs, including that hybridity is more accommodating for many with familial or other conflicting responsibilities, and is attractive for those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and similar. We are very excited about this meeting and seeing each other again in person if at all possible: networking and socializing is one of the most important parts of our ISH’s activities, for many of us.

Below you will find reports from the 2019–21 Committees, including the citations for the 2021 prize awards. In additional news, again out of recognition of the pragmatics of being a global society, we are pleased to announce that we have negotiated permanent homes for the perpetual plaques associated with these paper prizes, as moving them around the world has become clearly unwieldly. We are very grateful to the Department of Philosophy at the University of California at Davis for agreeing to house the Grene Prize plaque, and the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI) for agreeing to house the Callebaut Prize plaque. Future prize winners will receive the usual certificate and monetary recognition, and perhaps can visit their plaques (a plaque webcam was suggested but is likely to be costly if not a boring feed!).

Our new Officers, Council members, and Committee Chairs are already hard at work, and we look forward to engaging with you as we plan. As usual, if you have any thoughts or concerns about ISH and its future, we would be delighted to hear from you. Just drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rachel A. Ankeny, President

ISHPSSB Meeting 2023

In 1989, ISH was making its debut at The University of Western Ontario. 34 years later, it will revisit the place where it all first began. Our Society has changed and grew a lot since then, but the main goal of the biennial meetings remains the same: bringing together scholars and researchers who share a passion for the historical, philosophical, and social dimensions of biology. We are very grateful for the vote of confidence and we are excited to get started on the organization of the next Biennial meeting, which will be held from July 10–15, 2023. Interesting note, Western University seems to be a place for premiers, as it will be ISH’s first hybrid meeting.

Eric Desjardins
on behalf of the Local Organizing Committee

2021 David L. Hull Prize

The International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology awards the David L. Hull Prize biennially to honor the life and legacy of David L. Hull (1935–2010). The Hull Prize is awarded to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to scholarship and service in ways that promote interdisciplinary connections between history, philosophy, social studies, and biology and who has fostered the careers of younger scholars. These strengths reflect the contributions of David Hull to our professions and to our Society. Nominees can be at any stage in their career, and nominations are considered by the David L. Hull Prize Committee.

This year’s Committee included Michel Morange, Joeri Witteveen, Jenny Bangham, and Marsha Richmond (Chair).

On behalf of the Society, the 2021 David L. Hull Prize Committee awards this year’s prize to Dr. Michael Ruse, Emeritus Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University. The Committee was impressed by Michael’s immense scholarship and his many professional activities involving ISH. In addition, the Committee took note of the close friendship between Michael and David Hull, which makes his receipt of the Hull Prize medal particularly fitting. We draw on his nomination packet in composing this citation.

Michael Ruse received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Bristol in 1970. He taught for 35 years at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada before transferring to Florida State University in the United States in 2000, where he taught until his retirement in 2021.

Michael has been a fundamental force in shaping the disciplines of the history and philosophy of biology. The author or editor of over 30 monographs and important volumes, he has contributed to both the history and the philosophy of biology. He is among the founders of the Darwin industry, heralded in part by the publication of The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw (1979, 1999). This work was particularly important for a rising generation of historians and philosophers of biology; indeed, many of his books have been mainstays in graduate as well as undergraduate education. Michael was among the first to recognize new departures in history and philosophy of science, represented by Sociobiology: Sense or Nonsense (1979, 1989) and Homosexuality: A Philosophical Inquiry (1988). Several landmark works have oriented decades of continuing debates in HPS, including the historical contributions of Darwinism and evolutionary biology, treated, for example, in Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology (1996); the relationship between science and religion (particularly debates regarding creationism), reflected in The Evolution-Creation Struggle (2009).

Michael expanded the reach of history and philosophy of science to more general audiences, with such titles as A Philosopher Looks at Human Beings (2021), Social Darwinism (2021); A Meaning to Life (2019); The Problem of War: Darwinism and Christianity (2018); On Purpose (2017); Darwinism as Religion: What Literature Tells Us about Evolution (2016); Atheism: What Everyone Needs to Know (2014); and The Gaia Hypothesis: Science on a Pagan Planet (2013). Moreover, his expert testimony in the high-profile trial, McLean v. Arkansas (1981), which successfully challenged the legitimacy of teaching “creation science” in US public schools, is a model for the kind of social commitment and activism that our profession can provide to promote the integrity of science.

Throughout his career, Michael has been dedicated to fostering interdisciplinarity, a cornerstone of ISH. After a long career at Guelph, he was called to Florida State University to create and direct the History and Philosophy of Science program. Using his own research money, he hosted a number of Werkmeister conferences that brought graduate students and assistant professors to campus to participate in workshops with distinguished faculty. Michael emphasized building connections between the HPS and Ecology and Evolution programs, which resulted in graduates having a solid background in a wide range of humanities and science fields. In short, Michael has been instrumental in promoting the history and philosophy of biology as an attractive field of study for the past fifty-five years.

Michael has been a regular fixture at ISH meetings since the early years of the Society. Many have vivid images of him participating on high-profile panels, such as one with Steve Gould and Ernst Mayr at the 1993 Brandeis meeting. Characteristically, Michael attracts attention. A prospective graduate student attending ISH for the first time in 1993 recalled wondering who “the bearded, t-shirt and shorts wearing rather impudent character” was—he “seemed flip, unserious” and found that he “didn’t like him much.” Certainly, he’s not the only one struck by Michael’s public persona. Yet years later, he, like so many other junior scholars in the history and philosophy of biology, benefitted from the kind of career advancement opportunities that Michael provided, including invitations to attend conferences or to publish in one of his many edited volumes. For instance, among the contributors to Evolution, the First Four Billion Years (2009), in addition to E. O. Wilson and Daniel Dennett, Michael included the work of twelve graduate students and assistant professors. Many may not realize that their tenure or promotion cases were supported by a letter of recommendation penned by Michael. The lineage of scholars who have benefitted from Michael’s writings, mentorship, and guidance is indeed broad and deep, and he does this for no other reason than for personal satisfaction.

While Michael has received substantial recognition over the years for his contributions as a scholar and a teacher, no doubt his receipt of the David L. Hull Prize from the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology will be among his most cherished. We congratulate him.

Marsha Richmond
Chair of the David L. Hull Prize Committee

Marjorie Grene Prize

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.

The Prize Committee for this year’s Callebaut and Grene awards was comprised of James Griesemer, Jutta Schickore, Mael Montevil, and Staffan Mueller-Wille, whom I wish to thank for their sterling work in reviewing the many submissions we received.

For the 2021 Prize, the Committee received a total of 24 submissions. The committee was pleased by the variety of methodological approaches and topics covered and the high quality of the submissions. Out of this strong field emerged two submissions that the committee unanimously elected as joint winners.

This year’s Marjorie Grene Prize is awarded jointly to Ariel Jonathan Roffé and Kate Nicole Hoffmann.

Roffé ArielIt is awarded to Ariel Jonathan Roffé for his paper “Dynamic Homology and Circularity in Cladistic Analysis” which was presented at the 2019 ISHPSSB meeting in Oslo. A revised version of the paper, was published online in the journal Biology & Philosophy in 2020. Dr. Roffé has graduated in 2020 from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. His current affiliations are the University of Buenos Aires and the Center of Studies of Philosophy and History of Science of the National University of Quilmes, where he holds a postdoctoral scholarship.

In a very clear and highly effective argument, Ariel Roffé’s paper on dynamic homology exemplifies excellent close philosophical analysis with sensitivity to historical problem context. Roffé analyzes a circularity charge against traditional cladistic analysis and the claim that newer dynamic homology approaches avoid this charge. The paper clearly presents traditional maximum parsimony methods in cladistics with an excellent balance between depth and breadth of illustrations before going on to expertly characterize contemporary and technically sophisticated dynamic homology methods. The circularity charge arises from the idea that phylogenetic analysis takes common ancestry to explain the presence of homologous traits, but also that homologies are defined as those traits derived from a common ancestor. Dynamic homology is taken to depend only on nucleotides as molecular characters, so that only “Owenian,” pre-evolutionary, “primary” homology or functional similarity of nucleotide states are assumed, leaving inference of “Darwinian” evolutionary or “secondary” homology as an outcome of the analysis and thus not circular. The argument turns on the technical point that dynamic homology permits cladistic analysis without pre-alignment of sequences, which are instead aligned dynamically by the analysis. This is what appears to get dynamic homology off the hook from circularity charges. After an admirably clear presentation of dynamic homology, Roffé convincingly argues that cladistic practice within the dynamic framework presupposes a form of prior homology judgment after all, but at the higher level of homology of whole sequences in order to render molecular nucleotide character states comparable in the first place. So, dynamic homology does not escape the circularity charge after all.

Hoffmann KNThe Grene Prize is also awarded to Kate Nicole Hoffman for her paper “Subjective Experience in Explanations of Animal PTSD Behaviour” which was presented at the 2019 ISHPSSB meeting in Oslo. A revised version of the paper, is forthcoming in a special issue of Philosophical Topics on “Understanding Non-Human Consciousness.” Hoffmann is a third-year PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania, currently working on a dissertation about conceptions of nature.

In her beautifully structured paper, Hoffman makes clever and effective appeal to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to argue that criteria used to diagnose humans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are met by animals, including chimpanzees, elephants, and others, who can be diagnosed as suffering from such symptoms. Hoffman draws on the uniqueness of PTSD and its diagnostic criteria in the DSM, in that its functional profile requires a conscious experience in the form of subjective horror or terror, to support her argument. She shows that the animal cases she considers pass a diagnostic threshold more substantially than even in some clear cases of humans who have been convincingly diagnosed with PTSD. She compellingly argues that these convincing cases of attribution of subjective experiences to animals suffering PTSD offer strong grounds for accepting the thesis that animals have conscious minds in virtue of having subjective experience. This engaging paper is a model of the kind of paper that, after reading it, leaves the reader wondering how they could have thought otherwise.

Sabina Leonelli
Chair of theMarjorie Grene and Werner Callebaut Prize Committee

Werner Callebaut Prize

The Callebaut Prize was established in 2015, and is awarded every two years. It is intended to advance the careers of recent graduates working at the intersection of the fields represented by ISHPSSB by recognizing the best manuscript utilizing an interdisciplinary approach based on a presentation at one of the two previous ISH meetings by someone who was, at the time of presentation, a graduate student. The prize is named in honor of Werner Callebaut, whose untimely death in 2014 was mourned by the philosophy of biology community worldwide and particularly ISH members, and who made considerable contributions to the promotion of constructive dialogue and reciprocal respect in philosophical and scientific work, hence making a prize focused on interdisciplinarity most appropriate.

We are grateful to individual donors who have supported this prize, as well as to the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI) for support for the first three prizes.

The Prize Committee for this year’s Callebaut and Grene awards comprised James Griesemer, Jutta Schickore, Mael Montevil, and Staffan Mueller-Wille, whom I wish to thank for their sterling work in reviewing the many submissions we received.

For the 2021 Prize, the Prize Committee received 18 submissions from a variety of disciplinary and methodological backgrounds, which well-represented the diversity and creativity characterising the work of ISH members, as well as the effective integration of detailed understandings of biological research into historical and philosophical research which our society encourages and supports. Despite the strong field and the high number of excellent candidates, a clear and convincing winner emerged.

DiMarco MThis year’s Werner Callebaut Prize is awarded to Marina DiMarco for her paper “(re)Producing mtEve,” which was presented at the 2019 ISHPSSB meeting in Oslo. A revised version of the paper was published in the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences in 2020. Marina is expected to complete her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh in 2022.

The Callebaut Prize honors a paper that stands out for its interdisciplinarity. The committee agreed that DiMarco’s paper does that to a high standard while meeting equally high standards for clarity of argument, fluid and articulate writing style, and ability to tell a good story. Her essay draws substantially on historical archives and brings social studies of science perspectives on the historicity, objectivity, and co-production of knowledge together with philosophically informed analysis, including feminist critique, of the formation of a concept that is both scientific and popular: “mitochondrial Eve.” DiMarco reconstructs the history surrounding a key paper in the history of genomics, by Rebecca Cann, Mark Stoneking, and Allan Wilson in 1987, “Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution.” She shows that the concept of mitochondrial Eve was a co-production of scientists and popular media sources responding to and re-envisioning the work and the findings of the paper, to such an extent that the scientist-authors lost control of the narrative around the concept and even the interpretation of the findings, which then fed back into the further trajectory of the field thereafter. Not only does the paper integrate theoretical and technological developments in molecular biology, but it also considers how available computational methods both enabled and limited the research, as well as how popular assumptions informed the science. Particularly fascinating is DiMarco’s attention to the researchers’ publishing strategies and to how the selection of publication venues shapes and constrains the argument and style of the publication. The resulting account is multifaceted, compelling, and engagingly written. Weaving narratives from several confluent scientific fields and practices, from biochemistry and molecular biology, molecular phylogenetics, and population and evolutionary genetics, together with a characterization of the roles of scientists in collecting blood and placental samples from subject populations, DiMarco uncovers a story of concept construction that turns as much on popular certainty of maternal inheritance and uncertainty of paternity, and narratives of primitiveness of some peoples, as it did on new molecular and computational tools to make this “breakthrough” paper possible.

Sabina Leonelli
Chair of the Marjorie Grene and Werner Callebaut Prize Committee

2021 Interdisciplinary Organized Session Prize

We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2021 Interdisciplinary Organized Session Prize was the session “‘Your genitals don’t lie!’ An escorted encounter with the history and philosophy of phallic and cervical measuring.” The participants of the winning session were Rebecca Jackson, Kärin Nickelsen, Jutta Schickore, Caterina Schürch, and Merlin Wassermann.

Exploring the historical, philosophical, and social dimensions of phallometry and cervimetry, this session embodied the ISHPSSB ideal of integrative, dialogic, critical, cohesive, and convivial interdisciplinarity. Representing innovation in our pandemic moment of remote collaboration and presentation, the session set a new bar in the delivery of scholarly interdisciplinary presentations at ISHPSSB, featuring a pre-recorded presentation of a tightly integrated and highly structured dialogue among disciplinary approaches and historical case studies, centrally featuring the work of two junior researchers, interlaced with commentary by more senior scholars. This structure continued into the open live discussion period, with participants modeling and provoking constructive, lively, and inclusive interdisciplinary discussion. (Citation courtesy of Sarah Richardson)

In light of the many excellent interdisciplinary sessions, this year’s Committee decided to also make an Honorable mention for the session “Wingspread@30: Birth and development of the endocrine hypothesis.” This session’s participants were Mark Barrow, Jean‐Paul Gaudillière, Nathalie Jas, Sheldon Krimsky, Maël Montévil, Marsha Richmond, Carlos Sonnenschein, and Ana Soto.

We thank the Committee, consisting of Yin Chung Au, Ingo Brigandt, Vivette García Deister, Siobhan Guerrero Mc Manus, Alan Love, Staffan Müller-Wille, Sarah Richardson, and Judy Schloegel. We also thank the sponsors of the $500 cash prize for the co-organizers of the winning session, the University of Chicago Press Journals Division, the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Environmental History, Isis: A Journal of the History of Science Society, and Osiris.

Ingo Brigandt
Chair of the Interdisciplinary Session Prize Committee

Off-Year Workshop Committee

The 2021–23 Off-Year Workshop Committee is excited for this cycle of Off-Year Workshops. We will soon be issuing a Call for Proposals and want to encourage ISHPSSB members to think creatively about what sorts of workshops might be included. To help kick things off we are sharing our preliminary committee goals, workshop aims, and some examples of types of proposals we’d love to see. If you have any questions about a potential workshop proposal please contact Matt Haber (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Be creative!

ISHPSSB Off-Year Workshop Committee Goal:

  • Encourage a diverse and creative set of workshop proposals that meet ISHPSSB and committee aims in a variety of ways;

ISHPSSB Off-Year Workshops should aim to:

  • Drive new ISHPSSB membership;
  • Engage and include current ISHPSSB members;
  • Support and expand ISHPSSB diversity and inclusion goals;
  • Promote professional development;
  • Pilot hybrid or other creative formats that might be used at general ISHPSSB Meetings or other future Off-Year Workshops; or
  • Embody and support ISHPSSB’s commitment to interdisciplinary research and community building.

Examples of Off-Year Workshop proposals that we encourage:

  • Continuation of traditional Off-Year Workshops, e.g., focused interdisciplinary ISHPSSB workshops that provide opportunities for members to continue engaging with each other in off-years, or aim to develop new interdisciplinary research communities;

  • Add-on Workshops, i.e., organizing workshops adjacent to or incorporated with other workshops/conferences, especially meetings of cognate professional societies of biologists, historians, or social scientists. For example, if your home institution is hosting a professional biology society meeting, you might propose an off-year workshop that invites biologists and other ISHPSSB scholars attending that meeting to spend an extra day or evening at the meeting to focus on ISHPSSB topics, or work with meeting organizers to include an ISHPSSB session during the meeting. This would be a great way to recruit new members to ISHPSSB!

  • Professional Development Workshops. Examples include: Grant Writing Workshops; Building Interdisciplinary Research Networks; How to Write Op-Eds and Other Effective Public Outreach; Teaching ISHPSSB-Style Courses; etc.

  • Expanding ISHPSSB’s Reach. Workshops of this sort should aim to make ISHPSSB more accessible to a broad range of people. We are especially interested in proposals that focus on expanding (a) regional inclusion or (b) disciplinary participation in ISHPSSB. Workshops of this sort could either be theme-based, or could be geographically focused with the aim of connecting researchers in a particular region. Regardless, one aim of these kinds of workshops should be bringing new members to ISHPSSB. We welcome proposals in a variety of modalities, e.g., in-person, hybrid, or virtual.

  • Experimental Workshops. We want to encourage proposals that aim to utilize technology to re-think what Off-Year Workshops might be or look like. Workshops that aim to pilot or test approaches that might be incorporated in our biennial meeting are of special interest.

In addition, at ISHPSSB 2021 there was a lot of interest in Off-Year Workshop proposals that might be focused on the work of Richard Lewontin. We welcome any proposals that include this as a theme.

Matt Haber,
Chair of the Off-Year Workshop Committee

Travel Support Committee

ISHPSSB’s Travel Support Committee manages the selection, disbursement, and recordkeeping of funds awarded to students, recent postdocs, and independent scholars to assist them in meeting the costs of travel to attend meetings conducted by the Society.

Because of the pandemic, Off-Year Workshops scheduled to occur in the past year were postponed. Therefore, during this period, ISHPSSB did not extend any new Off-Year Workshop travel awards.

For ISHPSSB’s 2021 Biennial Meeting hosted online by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, ISHPSSB disbursed a total of 40 grants (which includes 15 funded by the 8-Societies NSF fund), to eligible participants who had not received funding for registration costs through other sources. All awardees received the same grant amounts.

With the changeover of ISHPSSB Treasurers, a new roster of committee members is now in effect. For her service as former Chair, we thank Laura Perini (Past Treasurer), who remains on the committee as the immediate Past Treasurer. We also thank members’ whose service on the committee is now concluded: Lisa Gannett (Past Treasurer), Greg Radick (Past President), and Lúcia Neco (Student Representative). Newly appointed to the committee, we welcome Rachel Ankeny (President), Drew Inkpen (Member at Large), and Fiorela Alassia (Student Representative). Don Opitz (Treasurer), previously Member at Large, now assumes chairship.

Don Opitz, Treasurer

In Memoriam: Paul Lawrence Farber (1944–2021)

There is nobody kinder, more generous, more gracious, calmer, or more elegant than Paul Farber was. His characteristic bow tie and smile welcomed everyone, while his wit and intelligence engaged us all. He gracefully served as department chair, journal editor, and as vice-president and then president of the History of Science Society in 2008–2010 and 2010–2012. In those roles, he worked closely with the preceding president to solidify HSS operations. Along with Executive Director Jay Malone, Paul updated the budgeting and reporting processes, clarified committees, and oversaw the move of the Society office from Florida to Notre Dame, as well as its change in staffing. In this role as HSS president, Paul also emphasized the importance of education, about which he cared deeply, as recognized by HSS when honoring Paul in 2003 with its Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize.

Farber PaulWith ISHPSSB, Paul played a quieter and less visible role. He understood that quality history and philosophy of science must be grounded in solid understanding of the science. His own HPS degree from Indiana and subsequent work drew on understandings of ornithology, race biology, and other sciences. As Associate Editor and Editor for the Journal of the History of Biology, he encouraged authors and reviewers to embrace the integration of the different fields. And he was delighted with the mission and success of ISHPSSB, with its intentional integration across fields and perspectives. Paul especially supported the hard work of Chris Young as secretary and Keith Benson as treasurer for ISHPSSB, as they put the new organization on solid footing that has carried us forward so far and so beautifully.

Despite his excellent scholarship and exceptional administrative and leadership skills, Paul Farber remained modest and never sought recognition or awards. Whether at Oregon State University where he spent his career, or with HSS or ISHPSSB, Paul implemented improvements and encouraged others in quiet ways that do not bear his name, but from which we all benefit.

Another way in which we benefit is through Paul’s assistance to his dissertation advisor Frederick B. Churchill. Churchill was himself a lovely man, who spent his career at Indiana University. Paul was his first PhD student, and Fred was delighted at the way Paul’s career developed and enjoyed talking about his “grand-students” taught by Paul. Fred worked on his first book for his whole career, and it was almost finished when he became ill and felt overwhelmed by the prospects of finishing the massive volume. Paul stepped in and helped work through editing, clarifications, polishing, and making sure the volume reached completion after all that time. This was a gift of love, and the 700 pages of Churchill’s August Weismann: Development, Heredity, and Evolution from Harvard University Press bear Paul Farber’s generous help in bringing the volume to life. Paul’s own last book in 2011 is also very important, exploring evolving ideas of race in America in Mixing Races: From Scientific Racism to Modern Evolutionary Ideas, from Johns Hopkins University Press.

Many historians of science will have many tributes to offer in other venues. Paul was a regular participant at the annual “Friday Harbor” gathering in the Pacific Northwest, the regional meeting of the Columbia History of Science Group, where his inviting charm conveyed the field’s warmth to generations of graduate students who have carried his welcoming spirit forward. Unfortunately, he was taken too soon from us by terminal pancreatic cancer. For ISHPSSB, we celebrate Paul Farber’s life of service, support of others, caring and sharing, along with his excellent scholarship and exceptional teaching. Paul was a model for us all and an inspiration toward unity and equity at a divided time.

A fund is being organized in Paul Farber’s memory. To express interest in contributing, send a note to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jane Maienschein,
ISHPSSB Founding President


Paul Farber’s picture comes from a blog post titled “BHL Valued by Historians” from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

This newsletter was edited by David Suárez Pascal employing GNU Emacs andScribus (both open source and freely available). I thank Rachel Ankeny for proofreading it and to all the ISH members who kindly contributed to this issue with their texts.

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