President's Corner

Peter Taylor

The main job of an ISHPSSB President is to help others do the important work of the Society, that is, preparing another conference full of innovative sessions, stimulating discussions, and openings for new participants. The spirit of "ISHkaBibl" is that this should happen without contributing to an expanding infrastructure. I do not intend to abandon that minimalist ethic, yet we shouldn't forget that the smooth running of the Society (and its informal forerunner) has always depended on some members having a not so minimalist sense of work and of initiative-taking. For the Leuven meetings, for example, Chip Burkhardt secured NSF funding that facilitated travel by US graduate students and independent scholars to Belgium, and Ron Rainger, Joe Cain and Keith Benson helped him administer these funds. Local arrangements organizer Guido van Steendam, with his ever-present cellular phone, kept everything running smoothly enough that the rest of us could forget our jet-setting ways and appreciate the setting and the pace of the old city of Leuven. And, of course, the Program organizers Elihu Gerson and Linnda Caporael spent zillions of hours pulling the Program together. Maybe they don't illustrate my point about "above and beyond the call of duty, " because they were only doing the job for which they accepted nomination. (Just joking.) While I am mentioning work that people have been elected to do, I want to add my appreciation of the efforts of the retiring secretary, Peggy Stewart, who during the crucial formative years of the Society (and before) ran the secretariat with good humour and great efficiency. In the words of the new secretary, Barbara Horan, "Peggy was VERY well organized, and so it is not a great burden to take over this task from her."

In the notes that follow, I describe some of the people who will be making the scene that they can then be "the people behind." I also introduce some initiatives, most of which are still tentative. Criticisms, suggestions, and, in some cases, volunteers are welcome.

1997 Seattle meetings Other items
1997 Seattle Meetings

Local arrangements
Keith Benson is already committed to ensuring that every meeting room has disabled access, a requirement Ron Amundsen led us to recognize in Leuven. The provisional dates are Wednesday through Sunday, July 16-20, 1997.

Openings for new participants
A perennial (biennial?) charge to the program committee is to attract more biologists. The University of Washington fortunately has a great group of biologists -- if we can bring them in from their tide pools and other summer research sites. Facilitating graduate student participation is another priority. I urge members with permanent jobs to contribute to the travel fund. I have also floated the idea of a two-tier registration fee for the meeting, with the low scale for graduate students and the difference between the tiers being used to supplement the travel fund. The council are still chewing over this and other ideas.

Program organizing
Bob Richardson (University of Cincinnati) is chair of the Program Committee. The members listed below have agreed to work with him on the Program Committee. There is room for historians to volunteer to be added to the committee.

The committee's job is to maintain the special quality of ISHPSSB meetings by:
i) priming people to take the initiative to organize sessions on emergent topics;
ii) helping Bob identify sessions and session organizers emerging out of tentative paper & session proposals;
iii) taking additional effort to bring graduate students and non-USA-ers into the program; and
iv) perhaps organizing a session themselves. Of course, ISHSSPB members must supply most of the material for the committee to work on. Preference will again be given to papers joined together into session proposals over individually submitted papers having to be packaged into sessions by the program committee. To facilitate people joining together into sessions we encourage members to send "calls for papers" for inclusion in the spring 1996 newsletter. The secretary, Barbara Horan (, plans to establish an email list for the Society, which could be used to gain more immediate responses.

In the interests of a more manageable and digestible program, the proposal is being floated that no one should give more than one paper and one commentary at a meeting. Please convey objections to this proposal or endorsements to the Program chair.

Possible plenary
I would like to re-introduce a plenary in the '97 meetings. (This would be held before the Society's general meeting or before an evening reception so as not to cut into time available for concurrent sessions.) The theme I am proposing is stimulated by the formation of the "Core-periphery relation in knowledge production" interest group. "Biology and Agents without History" (the name derives from Eric Wolf's 1982 book, Europe and the People Without History) would address the people and things tending to be written out of biology and of our studies of biology, but implicated materially, discursively, economically or psychologically as the Others. This topic might include speakers on core/periphery, Man vs. gendered agents, basic vs. applied science (e.g., basic ecology vs. environmental science for regulatory purposes), formal vs. folk science. I would like speakers to highlight the dimensions they have been exploring and the methods they have come to use that other ISHkaBiblers could learn from. This proposal needs to be developed, but before I take it much further I would like to hear people's responses to the general idea of a plenary and to this specific theme. Suggestions or volunteers for speakers would also be welcome (

Other Items
Site selection for 1999 and into the new millenium
With the goal of meeting outside the USA at least every third time, the site selection committee is exploring the pros and cons of a tentative offer from Ana Barahona at U.N.A.M. in Mexico to host the '99 meetings, probably in Michoacan, a few hours west of Mexico City. This offer should not preclude others from offering their locality to the committee, which consists of myself (, Bob Richardson (, Joan Fujimura (, and Ron Rainger ( But speak up soon.

Nominating Committee
As past-President Chip Burkhardt ( is chair of this committee. The other members are Helen Longino, Jim Griesemer, Christiane Groeben and John Jungck (John as an unofficial advisor, given that the by-laws at present say that the committee comes from council members). When the council met in Leuven, some discomfort with uncontested elections was expressed and we decided to return to multi-candidate slates. Members should be aware that they have the right to make nominations., and the nominating committee has no power to reject these, except to insist on a seconder. Consultation in advance with the chair of the nominating committee would, however, be appreciated.

Internetting ISHPSSB
We have established a moderated e-mail list for the Society. The address for the list is pending. If you would like to know the address as soon as it becomes available, please send e-mail to the list moderator, Chris Young, at

When the address is finalized, your name and e-mail address will be added to the list and you will receive a verification. At that point, you can participate as much or as little as you like in various conversations on the e-mail list.

Mailings will be assembled about once a month by a moderator, a real live person who will read through the messages and sort them by topic. The moderator will help to reduce the amount of mail that ends up coming to your inboxes by combining related messages, eliminating duplication, and making sure only messages intended for the entire list end up being e-mailed to everyone.

If the number of messages coming in to the moderator is large, or if messages have timely information (e.g. meeting or seminar announcements), the moderator may forward mailings to the e-mail list more frequently.

To facilitate organizing sessions for the 1997 meetings, we encourage members to send out "calls for papers" to the e-mail list. This will allow more rapid turnaround for session development.

The newsletter will also go out to the e-mail list. Once the list is up and running, if you prefer not to receive a printed version of the newsletter in the mail (snail mail), your name could be dropped from that mailing list (thus reducing printing and mailing costs for the Society).

Every ISHPSSB member is encouraged to subscribe to the e-mail list to enjoy more frequent and rapid correspondence with other members. Of course, an e-mail list should not marginalize members whose internet access is limited by location or by choice. The Society will continue its regular mailings.

Of course, even with an email list and a web site, the Society would need to continue its mailings, so as to ensure we do not marginalize members whose internet access is limited, by location or by choice.

The idea of Society prizes was raised at the council meeting in Leuven. The sentiment was this should be a non-monied prize, because Society funds would be better spent on supporting travel to the meetings by graduate students and independent scholars. I would like to hear reactions from members about instituting a prize for the best paper given by a graduate student at one of the previous two ISHPSSB meetings and then submitted for publication. The idea is to give a boost to the careers of younger scholars, not to celebrate the already established. Suggestions of names for such a prize are also welcome (

I have received some wonderful responses from participants in the Leuven meetings to the survey of inter- or trans-disciplinarity. I intend the survey to provide the material for an article on the significance of transdisciplinary studies of science. Among other goals, I hope this article will help in resisting the anti-science studies movement. In the interests of expanding the pool of quotable views,please take the time to respond .

One of the major task that warrants a formal organization to any Society is convene a sub-committee to review and revise the by-laws that govern that formal organization. ISHPSSB's bylaws were developed prior to its legal incorporation of the Society within the commonwealth of Virginia. The articles of incorporation were drawn from the statutes and revised only as required by state regulations for incorporation. A committee consisting of myself, Chip Burkhardt and Elihu Gerson was convened in 1993 to deal with certain problems, e.g., the potential incestuousness of the nominating committee. The wheels of reform turn slowly; we are still open to suggestions about changes.

That's all for now from my corner.

Peter Taylor
Department of Science & Technology Studies, 632 Clark Hall
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Created October 24, 1995; Revised May 1996. Notes from the President's Corner

Notes on the 1997 Meetings

The 1997 ISHPSSB Meetings will be held in Seattle, Washington. The proposed dates for the meetings are July 16th-July 20th. Deadline for detailed submissions for the 1997 meetings is January 31, 1997. The program committee would like to have symposium topics by November 1, 1996 in order to facilitate coordination. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (U. Cincinnati) is chair of the Program Committee. The committee's charge is to maintain the special quality of ISHPSSB meetings, continuing the inclusive character of the Society.

Volunteers willing to serve on the program committee are encouraged to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We would especially like to have interested historians or biologists included. To facilitate the formation of symposium sessions we encourage members to send "calls for papers" for symposium topics for inclusion in the spring 1996 newsletter. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will forward them to Barbara Horan. Please send these by May 15, 1996.

Reports of the Society

Business Meeting Report July 21 1995 Leuven, Belgium

Membership at the time of the 1995 meeting stood at 604, a 27% increase over two years previously. 476 were regular members; 128 students members.

Forty-four students and independent scholars applied to the Society for travel support to attend the 1995 meeting. Forty awards were made; 28 of these were funded from $15000 awarded to the Society by the NSF and 12 from
the ISHPSSB travel fund.

On behalf of the whole Society, the President extended thanks to Linnda Caporael and Elihu Gerson for their work as Program chairs for the 1995 meetings and to Guido van Steendam, Local Arrangements Chair, and his committee for their work.

A formal vote of thanks was made to Peggy Stewart, the Society's secretary from 1989-1995.

Ronald Admundsen raised the issue of access to the Society meetings for people with mobility impairments. Al Leuven some rooms were impossible to gain access to and others difficult. After discussion, his motion that the Society's board of directors write a policy addressing this issue for future meetings sites was passed unanimously.

Board of Directors Report July 21 1995 Leuven, Belgium

Since the Society is in good financial shape, use of its funds was discussed. It was suggested that money could go toward a prize or more money could be allocated to student travel. It was pointed out, however, that the new Secretary may not have cost-free assistance as in the past and
funds should be kept available for this.

When the meeting adjourned, the directors found themselves locked inside Pope's college. Only through the ingenious efforts of Griesemer and Taylor were the lives of the directors -- and no doubt the future of the Society -- saved.

Treasurer's Report 1993-1995

The Society's funds increased by over $4000 during the period 5/12/93-5/31/95 to a figure of $21,500. The organization is in a sound financial condition. As in the past the largest portion of the income came from dues ($10,300). A refund from the Brandeis meetings added $3700 and contributions to the travel fund were $1800. Disbursements totalling $12,300 during this period included $3,400 for newsletter mailing, $2,400 for printing the newsletter, and $3,300 for student travel to the 1993 meetings.

An Account of Leuven
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Student Representative to ISHPSSB

The International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology met in Leuven, Belgium, July 19-23, 1995. The five-day event included a welcome reception, a walking tour of Leuven, a grand picnic, and nearly 100 sessions of papers and formal discussions. Over 250 historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science participated. Topics ranged from Goethe to biology education in Russia; from the nature of explanation to the politics of conservation; and from European Zoos to risk-assessment in biotechnology. In addition, countless conversations took place in the courtyard of Pope's College, on the Old Market of Leuven (Oude Markt) and on the streets and sidewalks throughout the town.

The next meeting of the Society will be in Seattle in 1997.

Anyone interested in joining ISHPSSB (inexplicably pronounced "IshKabibble") can contact society secretary This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Department of English and Philosophy, Landrum Box 8023, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460-8023; phone (912) 681-5874; fax (912) 681-0653.

Graduate students qualify for a reduced membership fee (only $5). They can also contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ISHPSSB student representative This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., University of Minnesota, 435 Walter Library, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

"That's 'IshKabibble' to you...."

Because the Society's acronym, 'ISHPSSB,' is utterly unpronounceable as written, it seems a welcome suggestion to substitute the vocable 'IshKabibble.' We are happy to reprint an entry from the ISHPSSB Fall 1994 newsletter submitted by David Hull that reveals the ancestry of this name:

The following AP release was printed as an obituary in a local paper in Joshua Tree, California:

Cornetist famed as Ish Kabibble. Merwyn Bogue, the cutup cornet player who was famous with the Kay Kyser Band as "Ish Kabibble" in the 1930s and '40s, died of respiratory failure. He was 86....He worked with the Kyser band from 1931 to 1951 and took the name "Ish Kabibble" from a nonsense song. He mixed slapstick humor with top-flight musicianship. Mr. Bogue combed his hair forward in short, funny bangs and was known as 'the guy with the low-cut bangs and the highkicking cornet...."

1995-97 Officers and Directors


Member Subscription Rates

Biology and Philosophy and Journal of the History of Biology available to Members at Reduced Rates

Subscriptions to these two journals published by Kluwer Academic Publishers are available to members of our society at a reduced rate. The reduced rates for 1996 are:

  • Biology and Philosophy: US$ 68.00
  • J. History of Biology: US$ 68.00

Society members interested in these special rates should send their subscription orders and payments to: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Distribution Centre, PO Box 322, 3300 AH Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Members should include with their subscription requests a statement that they are members of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology and are requesting the member rate. The contact person in case of problems is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Acquisition Editor, Humanities & Social Sciences Division; Tel (central): +31(0)78-6392392; Fax: +31(0)78-6392254.
Member Directories

Members are invited to request a copy of the 1995-96 ISHPSSB Directory by sending a request to Barbara Horan, the Society secretary. The first copy is free. Members who would like a second copy of the directory are asked to forward a check for $3.00 payable to the Society to cover copying and mailing costs. The directory is updated at the beginning of each year; members submitting requests after February 1 will receive a copy of the latest directory.


Tenth International Conference of the Society for the History of Natural History

Conference Dates: April 11-12, 1996. Location: Wadham College, Oxford. Conference theme: "Empires of Nature." Visits to the Bodleian Library, the University Botanic Garden and Herbaria, the Museum of History of Science and the University Museum are also planned. For further information contact Ms. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Oxford University Museum, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PW, UK. Tel: (01865) 272950; Fax: (01865) 272970.

The First International Congress in Philosophy, Phenomenology and the Sciences of Life

Conference Dates: April 18-20, 1996. Location: University of Macerata, Italy. Conference topic: Philosophy, Phenomenology, in the Ontopoiesis of Life and Human Creative Condition. This conference is organized by the World Institute for Advanced Phenomenological Research and Learning in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy and Human Sciences, University of Macerata, Italy. For information contact Prof. A-T. Tymieniecka, Program Director, W.P.I., 348 Payson Road, Belmont, MA 02178 USA.

Fifth Annual Meeting of the German Society for the History and Philosophy of Biology

Conference Dates: June 27-30, 1996. Location: Natural History Museum, Vienna. Conference theme: "The Order of Knowing: Representation in the Life Sciences." The following are examples of topics to be treated within a historical framework:

  • Are there any specific types of presentations in biology for particular epochs (e.g., Renaissance, early modern, modern, present)? What is the relationship between favoured objects and knowledge concerning them, specific symbols of particular cultures and epochs, and instruments and media of representation?
  • What are the conditions of origin and consequences of technologies such as self-printings of plants, herbaria, wood cuttings, microscopy, photography, statistical, mathematical and symbolic presentation of data?
  • What special types of representation have been employed in particular disciplines such as evolutionary theory, phylogeny, morphology, physiology, genetics and neural physiology?
  • How are the theory of biological codings and symbols and the epistemology of representation to be understood?
  • What part does aesthetics play in biological representations?
  • Does the nature of representation vary with analytical level, e.g., the level of molecules, cells, organs, organisms, populations, species, ecosystems?
  • What is the history and theory of didactic types of representation in biology and of objects representing biological facts (e.g., natural history museums)?

For further information, contact Dr. Michael Weingarten, Mainzerstr. 19, D-55294 Bodenheim, Germany Tel. 0049-6135-2131, or Mag. Christa Riedl-Dorn, Archiv Naturhistorisches Museum, Burgring 7 A-1014 Wein, Austria.

Tenth David Nichol Smith Memorial Seminar

Conference Dates: July 2-5, 1996. Location: the Australian National University, Canberra. Conference theme: "Margins and Metropolis: Literature, Culture and Science, 1660-1830." This seminar is hosted by the Australasian and Pacific Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. For information contact Dr. Ian Higgins or Dr. Gillian Russell, Department of English Faculties, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. Tel (Higgins): +61 6 249 2708; Tel (Russell): +61 6 249 0489; Fax: +61 6 249 3244.

Eighth International Conference on the History of Science in East Asia

Conference Dates: August 26-31, 1996. Location: Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. This is the official triennial meeting of the International Society for the History of East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine. Contributed papers are solicited in all areas of history of science, technology and medicine in East Asia. Title and one-page abstract of the paper should reach the conference office by March 29 1996. For copy of the first circular and pre-registration form contact Professor Yung-Sik Kim, Conference Office, Program in History and Philosophy of Science, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea. Tel: 02-880-6637; Fax: 02-873-0418.

Conference on The Natural Sciences and the Social Sciences

Conference Dates: September 6-9, 1996. Location: Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra. This conference will explore 'the relationship, conflicts and connections between natural and social knowledges as they have developed historically from the eighteenth to the twentieth century....Particular emphasis will be given to the relations between enlightenment derived theories of natural science, including medicine, and the social knowledges of religion, politics, history and anthropology.' For information contact Dr. Dorothy Parker, Birbeck College, University of London.

Conference: Contours of Ecology: Religious Faith and Issues in Ecology Today

Conference Dates: September 9-11, 1996. Location: High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts. This conference is sponsored by the Science and Religion Forum (Rev'd Canon Derek Stanesby, Ph.D.) and the British Ecological Society (Prof. Sam Berry, DSc FRSE). For information contact Rev'd Nigel Cooper, The Rectory, 40 Church Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex CM8 3PQ. For bookings send [[sterling]]25 non-returnable deposit to Rev'd Ursula Shone, Diocesan Science Advisor, 25 Pinfold Lane, Ainsdale, Soputhport, PR8 3QH, Tel: 01704 576098.

German Historians of Science (Deutsche Wissenschaftshistorikertag)

Conference Dates: September 27-29, 1996. Location: Berlin. Topics include: sciences around 1600 and sciences around 1900 (fin de si_cle). Special symposia will treat biology, geology, history of universities and scientific societies, medicine, social sciences, maritime research, earth sciences, pharmacy. A workshop on "The History of Natural History Museums between Science, Education and Attractions for the Public from 1600 to 1900" has been proposed by the Archivists of the Natural History Museum of Vienna. Those wishing in taking part in the workshop should send a short statement of interest to Mag. Christa Riedl-Dorn, Archiv Naturhistorisches Museum, Burgring 7 A-1014 Wein, Austria.

American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) Biennial Meeting

Conference Dates: March 5-9, 1997. Location: Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore MD. Theme: "Government, Science, and the Environment." The ASEH invites paper and session proposals that address the role of government and/or science in environmental affairs and on all aspects of human interaction with the physical environment over time. Scholars whose work is interdisciplinary, comparative and international in scope are urged to apply. Preference will be given to proposals for complete panels, although individual paper proposals will also be accepted. Proposals should be postmarked no later than August 1, 1996. For details contact Jeffrey Stine, Program Chair, National Museum of American History, MRC 629, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 20560; Fax: 202-357-4256.

Danish Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology

Individuals interested in the Danish Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology and its programs are asked to contact Dr. Thomas S_derqvist at: Unit of History of Science, Department of Life Sciences, Roskilde University, P.O. Box 260, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark.


Between Seasons and Science by Patricia Faasse (1995, SPB Academic Publishing, Amsterdam and New York, 125 pages; Paperback only, US$ 31.00; Dfl. 50,00). Commissioned by the Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands to commemorate the 150-year jubilee of the Society, this book clearly reveals how the Society seeks interaction between botanists. Dr. Faasse guides the reader through the history of the Society. She begins with floralists and proceeds to plant sociology, plant systematics and taxonomy and then to experiments in plant physiology and genetics. Recognizing that holism and reductionism are interests of the Society, Dr. Faasse documents the increased communication between approaches that has resulted in a better mutual understanding and integration between the various subdisciplines of botany. New challenges raised by the molecular approach are discussed, and advances in biotechnology that open possibilities for studying the mechanisms of plant life and use and the position of plants in the natural world are discussed.

Contested Technology: Ethics, Risk and Public Debate, edited by Rene von Schomberg (1995, Tilburg: International Centre for Human and Public Affairs, 263 pages, index $ 29 ( mail included) ISBN 90-802139-2-6). Thirteen distinguished authors cover the following themes: Contested Technology; The Social Philosophical Dimension; Ethics of Risk-Assessment; Technology Policy and Public Participation. New discursive procedures of technology assessment are introduced and reflected within the framework of critical theories such as U. Becks' analysis of the risk society, Habermas's theory of communicative action and Giddens' approach to late-modernity. For information contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tilburg University, P. O Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Controversies in Risk-Assessment: Theory, Practice and Politics of the Deliberate Release of Genetically Modified Organisms Into the Environment, edited by Ad van Dommelen. (1995, Tilburg: International Centre for Human and Public Affairs). The book offers a collection of revised papers from three sessions of the 1995 ISHPSSB conference at Leuven. For information, contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tilburg University, P O Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Facts, Values, and Methodology: A New Approach to Ethics by Wim J. van der Steen (1995, Rodopi, Value Inquiry Book Series, ed. Robert Ginsberg, Amsterdam and Atlanta; Paperback only US$ 37.50; Dfl. 50,00). This book indicates how we should aim to close the gap between science and ethics. Central is the thesis that empirical and methodological aspects of science should be incorporated into ethics. Also defended is the thesis that science cannot do without ethics. Case studies include rationality (unmasked as a useless concept), altruism and egoism in ethics (unmasked as useless concepts), ethics and biological psychiatry (highly concrete), environmental ethics (admittedly more abstract).

Recycle Desk Copies of Textbooks - Send them to China. Once again, Patricia Williams asks that members send copies of books they no longer use to the library of the Institute of Philosophy in Beijing. As noted in prior issues of the newsletter, the Chinese are particularly interested in philosophy of science and contemporary western philosophy after World War II. Mail all books directly to Zhang Dun Min, Secretary on Foreign Affairs, Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100732, China. Surface mail is fine. For further information, contact Prof. Patricia A. Williams, P.O. Box 69, Covesville, VA 22931.

Fellowships Awarded

Dibner Institute Resident Fellows and Graduate Student Fellows

The Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology is pleased to announce the appointments of Dibner Institute Resident Fellows for 1995-1996. The Dibner Fellows come from several nations and pursue many different aspects of the history of science and technology. Their names and scholarly projects are as follows:

Pnina Abir-Am (Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Boston University) "The Multi-Disciplinary History of Truth in early Molecular Biology: How Physicists, Mathematicians, and Chemists Disputed Protein Structure, 1931-1965."
Leo Corry (Cohn Institute, Tel Aviv University) "Hilbert and Relativity."
Robert Friedel (History, University of Maryland) A project that explores the western understanding of the concepts of 'invention' and 'novelty' and their links to technological applications.
Frederick Gregory (History, University of Florida, Gainsville) "Naturphilosophie and Alternative Science."
Ole Knudsen (History of Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark) A study of the interplay of thermodynamics and electromagnetism in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
Trevor Levere (History & Philosophy of Science, University of Toronto) A study of the role of instruments and apparatus in the development of 18th century chemistry.
Michael Mahoney (History, Princeton) "No Royal Road: Programming, Productivity, and the Origins of Software Engineering."
Ulrich Majer (Philosophical Seminar, Technical University, Hannover, Germany) "The Emergence of Structuralism in 19th Century Mathematics and Science."
George Molland (History, University of Aberdeen, Scotland) A new edition of Roger Bacon's Opus Tertium, and an investigation of its relation to Bacon's Opus Minus.
Richard Noll (Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University) An examination of the scientific community involved in the Monistenbund of the German zoologist, Ernst Haeckel, at the turn of the 19th century.
Stuart Peterfreund (English, Northeastern University) Work on a collection of essays on the social thematics of British natural history from John Ray to Charles Darwin.
Antoine Picon (Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chauss_s, Paris) "La Formation des Ing_ieurs: Une Comparaison France/Etats Unis, fin XIX - milieu XX Century."
Robert Post (National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution) "Technical Cultures in Collaboration: Motor Racing, Television and the Tobacco Industry."
Robert Richards (History, Philosophy & Psychology, University of Chicago) "Romantic Biology: From Goethe to the Last Romantic, Ernst Haeckel."
David Rowe (History of Mathematics, Johannes G_tenberg Universit_t, Mainz, Germany. "Noether's Theorem" and a biography of Dirk Jan Struik.
Bruce Seely (Social Sciences, Michigan Technological University) An examination of American transportation policy in the 20th century and the history of engineering education and research.
George Smith (Philosophy, Tufts University) A study of the writings of J.J. Thompson on the composition of cathode rays and a "Companion to Newton's Principia."

The Dibner Institute is also pleased to announce the appointments of three Dibner Institute Visiting Fellows, who will spend two to three months at the Dibner Institute:

Arthur Fine (Philosophy, Northwestern University) Studies on the role of gauge symmetry as a tool for theory construction in modern physics.
Claudio Pogliano (University of Trieste, Italy)
Heinz-Jurgen Schmidt (Physics, Osnabruck University, Germany) "Understanding Hertz's Principles of Mechanics."

In addition, the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology is pleased to announce that awards have been made to five Ph.D. candidates enrolled in programs at Dibner Institute consortium-member institutions: Boston University, Brandeis University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The recipients are:

Karl Hall (History of Science, Harvard University) "Schools for Scandal: Theoretical Physics in Stalin's Russia."
Robert Martello (Science, Technology & Society, MIT) An investigation of the environmental implications of technological change.
David Mindell (Science, Technology & Society, MIT) "From Machinery to Information: A History of Control Systems, 1916-1945."
Babak Razzaghe-Ashrafi (Science, Technology & Society, MIT) A study of the history of 19th & 20th century physics.
Thomas Wilson (Comparative History, Brandeis University) "Early Modern Conceptions of Scientific Fraud: Allegations of Fabrication at the Royal Society and the Acad_mie des Sciences, 1662-1793."

History of Science Society

At its annual meeting in Minneapolis MN, October 26-29, 1995, the History of Science Society presented the following awards:

Charles Rosenberg (University of Pennsylvania), Sarton Medal for lifetime scholarly achievement;
Helen Rozwadowski (University of Pennsylvania), Ida and Henry Schuman Prize for best graduate student essay ("Small World: Forging a Scientific Maritime Culture");
Paula Findlen (University of California, Davis), Derek Price Award for the outstanding article appearing in Isis ("Science as a Career in Enlightenment Italy: The Strategies of Laura Bassi," Isis 84: 441-469);
Elizabeth Lunbeck (Princeton University), History of Women in Science Prize for the outstanding book on the history of women in science (The Psychiatric Persuasion: Knowledge, Gender and Power in Modern America, 1994);
Victor Katz (University of the District of Columbia), Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize for the outstanding book directed to a wide audience (A History of Mathematics: An Introduction, 1993);
Pamela Smith (Pomona College), Pfizer Prize for the outstanding book contributing to the history of science (The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire, 1994).

For additional information concerning these awards contact Keith Benson, Executive Secretary, History of Science Society, Box 351330, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195-1330, Tel: 206) 543-9366.

Discussion Group on Core-Periphery Relations in Knowledge Production in the Life Sciences

At the 1995 ISHPSSB conference in Leuven researchers from different countries whose works focused on issues related to knowledge production in loci considered as "peripheral" to the world scientific production system gathered with the objective of sharing their experience. As our presentations were scattered in many different sessions, we realized it would be productive to provide a specific forum for these issues. Therefore, we have formed a group joining people from Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, Colombia, United States and Brazil whose objectives are:

  1. To share information on the subject, circulate drafts of articles on the subject and discuss case studies;
  2. To discuss interpretative issues and the concepts involved in center-periphery relations theory; to discuss the extent to which these interpretations rely on sociological concepts of marginality and hierarchical organization of knowledge production, its appropriateness and alternative views;
  3. To discuss exclusions and hierarchy in scientific activity inside implicated loci (central or peripheral);
  4. To foster the collaboration of researchers tracking a similar >path;
  5. To construct a bibliographical list of contemporary case studies and interpretative works on core-periphery relations;
  6. To organize sessions on the subject in the next ISHPSSB >conference.

We invite interested researchers to get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!


Your individual member report form will be included in your copy of the Spring/Summer issue of the ISHPSSB newsletter. The report form will have a "Dues Paid Through" entry; we ask that if your dues are in arrears, you return the form and dues payment without delay. You may also use this form to contribute to the Student Travel Fund for the 1997 meeting. Finally, you may use this form to check our records of your address, phone, email, or fax number. If there are errors or omissions in the report, we ask that you correct the appropriate entries and return the form to the secretary so that the Society's records can be updated.


The next issue of the society newsletter will be published in Spring 1996. Please forward contributions prior to May 15, 1996 to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Last updated: 28 May 1996.