Membership to the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB, hereafter indicated as "the Society") is open to all persons interested in the history, philosophy and social studies of biology.

The terms and conditions of membership of the Society should be read in conjunction with its Articles of Incorporation and its Byelaws, in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. These terms and conditions are reviewed and amended on a regular basis, with the latest version is available on this page of the Society website.

Classes of members

There are three classes of Members of The Society, which are designated as follows:

  1. Regular Members. Any individual interested in the purposes of The Society may apply for Membership as a Regular Member upon filing the member application form and payment of dues.
  2. Student Members. Any individual registered in a program of study in any field relevant to the purposes of The Society may become a Student Member upon filing the member application form and payment of dues.
  3. Emeritus Members. Any individual who is fully retired and interested in the purposes of The Society may become an Emeritus Member upon filing the member application form. Emeritus Members shall not be assessed dues.

If the Treasurer is unable to decide if an applicant is eligible for the membership they applied for, the application will be referred to the Secretary who will decide with or without consulting the rest of the Council. Student and Emeritus members are asked to provide evidence of their respective status at the moment of joining or renewing.

Membership may be revoked without refund, for those found not to satisfy the criteria of their class at the moment of subscribing or renewing.

Those younger than 16 can only become a Member if a parent or guardian applies for them. They will be designated Student Members, have no voting rights, and cannot stand for election until they turn 16. But they can get involved (e.g., as Student Committee member) and provide feedback and/or participate in opportunities that can help shape the Society.

Changing membership class

If you wish to change your membership class, you can renew your membership at the new class, which will add a year to your membership and immediately put you in the new class. Class can be changed from Student to Regular, or from Regular to Emeritus.

When a Student Member finishes their postgraduate studies, they must become Regular Member at the next renewal, if they wish to remain member of the Society. When an Emeritus Member comes out of retirement they have to become a Regular Member at the earliest convenient moment.

Membership dues and benefits

The Society is a not-for-profit organisation, and membership subscriptions form a big part of its income. In order to allow the Society to plan its resources and thereby offer a reliable service to members we require that all members maintain their membership for a minimum period of 12 months from joining or renewing.

The Society kindly but firmly requests that you pay via PayPal, using your credit or debit card.

The dues for Regular Members and for Student Members are established by the Board of Directors (referred to elsewhere as the "Council"). Any member in arrears of dues for more than one (1) year may be dropped from the list of Members thirty (30) days after the Secretary mails notice of such one year arrearage to that member.

The main membership benefits at the moment are price reductions for some Springer journal subscriptions, voting rights, and reduced ISHPSSB conference registration fees. These rights may be changed, amended or withdrawn; the choice of journal price reductions lies entirely with Springer Publishing.

Membership renewal and communications

Members are sent a newsletter twice yearly at most (Spring and Fall newsletter), as well as occasional. New members have to explicitly opt in to receive these messages, in line with applicable privacy regulation.

Beyond these general communications, Members are alerted by email that their membership is due for renewal, once around 4 weeks and again around 2 weeks before their renewal date; and they are emailed just after expiry. If they do not renew membership after that, they may be contacted over email by the Treasurer to decide whether they will renew or be removed from membership.

Elections and voting rights

Each Member over 16 has the right to vote in the election of each Officer and Director of the Society, except that only Student Members can vote for that Director designated as the "Student Member of the Board of Directors".

Candidates for election are presented in the Spring newsletter before a General Meeting. Those that are members on the Day of Record are entitled to vote. At most 100 days before the General Meeting, the Day of Record will be fixed in advance in accordance with the Byelaws.

Members details

The personal details we collect — including your full name, email address and affiliation — you can see and edit, by logging in at and editing your profile. You can also see your membership history as far as we have it (after two membership admin migrations).

When you renew, please reuse the existing account and not start a new one!

We will strive to keep your personal data safe and only use them as outlined in our privacy policy. We will never ask you for your password: Whoever asks it has fraud in mind.

Cancellation of membership

You may cancel your membership within 14 days of first paying your membership fee to the Society. You must give us written notice of cancellation (contact details below). In the event of cancellation within this period, we will refund your full membership fee, less a $7.50 administration fee, as long as you have not taken advantage of any membership benefits within the 14 day period. If this is the case, we cannot offer you a refund.

This right to cancel does not apply to you if you have previously held a Society membership. Your membership runs for a 12 month period from the point your application is first accepted or subsequently renewed.

Contact details

The Treasurer of the ISHPSSB can be emailed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. — You can check who the current treasurer is at the current Council listing.