Richard Burian, Society President
Marjorie Grene Prize Winner
The Marjorie Grene prize committee (Ronald Amundson, Philip Pauly, and David Rudge) recommend that the award be given in 2001 to Rasmus Winther, Indiana University, for his essay, "August Weismann on Germ-Plasm Variation." The paper makes the surprising argument that "Weismann was not a Weismannist" - that throughout his career he believed that external influences caused heritable variations. Winther demonstrates this claim through careful analysis of Weismann's publications stretching from the 1870s to the 1900s, showing that while his views on the causes of variation changed quite significantly over time, he continually held to the position that environment was the source of changes in the germ plasm. The paper combines historical and philosophical sophistication, and should change historians' views regarding the meanings of "acquired characters" in the late nineteenth century.
From the Program Chair
Dick Burian has already introduced you to the program in his comments. Well, I have had the additional privilege of getting to read every abstract - and I am really excited about the contributions and the session ensembles. After perusing the program, I trust you will share my enthusiasm. Dick noted the "new" revived format of prepared discussion sessions. This is one way we are trying to foster discussion. I want to also note the roundtable discussions we have planned for Sunday morning. Many themes carry across several sessions and the informal sessions on the final morning will offer a further occasion for integrating thoughts. The spirit of the sessions will also be to sketch "Problems and Prospects" that might lead to further reflection or study - and perhaps collaboration among members present. While everyone looks forward to the presentations at any conference, much of the real "work" happens in the discussions that follow. We have done everything possible this year to enhance this dimension of our gathering. And the pleasant arboreal setting of the Quinnipiac campus is ideal, as well. The sessions and session abstracts (and list of participants) are now posted on the web. http://www.phil.vt.edu/ishpssb/2001/program.htm Please browse. Here is a rough schedule of what's to follow: ó ~April 16 - individual paper titles and abstracts to be posted on the website ó ~May 1 - our target for posting the preliminary session schedule ó June 1 - deadline for submitting papers to be posted on the web for prepared discussion ó June 15 - pre-registration deadline ó July 1 - final program schedule ó July 18 - opening evening reception... Looking forward to a convivial meeting, Douglas Allchin
ISHPSSB 2001 Local Arrangements Details
For those who arrive early, we have a special excursion planned . . . a 90-minute hike in nearby Sleeping Giant State Park -- to help introduce you to our lovely surroundings. Shuttle Information For shuttle service to Quinnipiac University, we suggest you use take Connecticut Limo Service, which runs hourly from local airports, to its regularly scheduled stop in North Haven, Connecticut. The limo will take you to the Holiday Inn, and we will run a shuttle from the Holiday Inn to Quinnipiac University. The trip from the Holiday Inn to Quinnipiac is about a ten minute drive. Hartford/Springfield's Bradley International Airport ($25 one way or $46 round trip)-1 and 1/2 hour one way (driving a rental car would take approximately 50 minutes). New York JFK ($43 one way or $82 round trip)-2 and 3/4 hour one way. New York La Guardia ($43 one way or $82 round trip)-3 hours one way. Take the shuttle to North Haven Holiday Inn (201 Washington Avenue) where another shuttle will be available to take you to Quinnipiac University. While Hartford/Springfield is the most convenient, flying there may add a leg to your journey. If that is the case, one might prefer to take the shuttle from a New York airport. We suggest that you make reservations with CT Limo at 1-800-472-5466. We also suggest that you visit the website and print and carry with you the suggestions available on line for meeting the shuttle and North Haven. Hotel Information Holiday Inn I-91, Exit 12 (Rte. 5) 201 Washington Avenue North Haven, CT 06473 (203) 239-4225 1-800-HOLIDAY. (This is a standard shuttle stop from the airports. ~15 minutes from campus). Howard Johnson Motor Lodge. Rte. 15 (Wilbur Cross Parkway), Exit 60S/61N 2260 Whitney Avenue (Rte. 10) Hamden, CT 06518 (203) 288-3831 (~10 minutes from campus, on the bus route). Four Points (Sheraton). I-84, Exit 25A East (Austin Road) I-84, Exit 26 West (Cheshire) 3580 East Main Street Waterbury, CT 06705 (203) 573-1001 (~20 minutes >from campus). Courtyard (Marriott). I-91, Exit 15, Rte. 68 Wallingford, CT 06492 (203) 284-9400 1-800-321-2211 (~20 minutes from campus). Days Inn of Hamden. 3400 Whitney Avenue Hamden, CT 06518 (203) 288-2505; 1-800-325-2525 (5 minutes from campus, or a 10-minute walk, but part of the walk is along a rather busy and unattractive road with no sidewalk.). Omni New Haven Hotel. I-91, Exit 1 I-95, Exit 47 155 Temple Street New Haven, CT 06510 (203) 772-6664 (in New Haven, about 20 minutes from campus, along bus route). Motel 6. I-91 N, Exit 7 270 Foxon Blvd. New Haven, CT 06512 (203) 469-0343 (probably the cheapest option, ~20 minutes from campus).
Teaching History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology Quinnipaic College, Wednesday July 18, 2001
Nominees for ISHPSSB Council
President Elect (vote for one): Angela Creager is associate professor in the Department of History and Program in History of Science at Princeton University. She works on the development of biomedical research in the twentieth century, and is also interested in interactions between the physical and life sciences and in gender and science. She has previously served as co-chair of the Women's Caucus of the History of Science Society, and recently served on that society's Committee on Meetings and Programs. She has always enjoyed the interdisciplinary, informal nature of the ISHPSSB meetings.
Michael Dietrich: I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College. Although trained as a philosopher, my research is primarily concerned with the history of modern biology. I am currently completing a biography of Richard Goldschmidt and continuing my research on the history of molecular evolution. I was a founding member of the Executive Committee for ISHPSSB and was the Program Chair for the ISHPSSB meeting on Oaxaca. As President I would like to continue the ISHPSSB tradition of providing an open and welcoming environment for interdisciplinary discussion.
Paul Lawrence Farber is Oregon State University Distinguished Professor of the History of Science. He received his graduate education in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University. Currently, he is chair of the Department of History at OSU and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Zoology. Professor Farber's books and articles have focused primarily on the history of natural history and on evolution. He is also a co-author of a general biology textbook. He has served twice on the Council of the History of Science Society, was Executive Councillor of the West Coast history of Science Society, President of the Columbia History of Science Group, Co-Program Chairman for the 1993 annual meeting of the History of Science Society, and currently serves as Secretary of Section "L" (History and Philosophy of Science) of the AAAS. He is an associate editor of School Science and Mathematics, and Journal of the History of Biology.
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Directors (vote for three):
Rachel A. Ankeny is currently Director and Lecturer in the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney, where she oversees all departmental administration and the undergraduate/honors programs. Her research interests include history of 20th century genetics and neurobiology; philosophy of biomedical sciences; and bioethics. She was elected as Secretary of the Australasian Association for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (AAHPSSS) in 2000, and also serves as Regional Treasurer for the Network for Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (FAB). She was chair of the Student Interest Group of the Society for Health and Human Values (SHHV) from 1993-95, and was the graduate advisor for the medical ethics program in HPS at the University of Pittsburgh in 1997-98.
Ana Barahona is a professor of history and philosophy of science at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), where she teaches history of biology and evolution for undergraduate students, history of genetics, and history of science in Mexico in the Graduate Program of Biological Sciences. Her main concern is on the problem of historiography and explanation in science, particularly biology. She is the author of the national textbooks on natural sciences for primary education. She has been head of the Graduate Program of Biological Studies (98-2000), and head of the Biology Department at the School of Sciences, UNAM (96-98).
Nathaniel Comfort: I began my serious intellectual life as a biologist. In 1991, I left neurobiology and animal behavior research to become the science writer at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1994 I returned to graduate school, taking my Ph.D. in history from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Since the fall of 1997 I have been an assistant professor in the history department and the deputy director of the Center for History of Recent Science, both at The George Washington University, in Washington, DC. I am also the editor of Recent Science Newsletter, which I began two years ago as an organ of the Center. I am on the Operations Committee for ISHPSSB. I am on the editorial board of History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences and am the organizer of the 2001 Joint Atlantic Seminar on the History of Biology. I am the author of The Tangled Field: Barbara McClintock's Search for the Patterns of Genetic Control, forthcoming in June from Harvard University Press. I have written articles for the Journal of the History of Biology, Natural History, Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Genetics, Helix, and other magazines, as well as the usual barrage of encyclopedia entries and so forth. I have about 20 published book reviews.
Jean Gayon is Professor of Philosophy and History of Science at the University Paris 7-Denis Diderot (France). His areas of interest include history of biology, 19th-20th century (biometry, evolutionary biology, genetics), and philosophy of biology. His principal publication in English is Darwinism's Struggle for Survival (Cambridge UP, 1998). Administrative posts include: director of the "Doctoral School" of "Epistemology, History of Science and Didactics of Scientific disciplines;" member of the French National Committee of History and Philosophy of Science (Paris Academy of Sciences); member of the Evaluating Committee of CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); member of the "philosophy" section of the National Committee of Universities (France) Foreign and International Committees; member of the joint Committee of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (nominated by the International Division of History of Science); member of the Scientific Committee of the Max Planck Institut of History of Science (Berlin); member of the Evaluating committee of the Program of Research Chairs (Canada); adjunct editor of Revue d'histoire des sciences; member of the scientific board of various journals (Biology and Philosophy, Ludus Vitalis [Mexico], and Philosophia Scientiae, Bulletin d'histoire et épistémologie des sciences de la vie).
Christiane Groeben began, in 1969, to assemble and catalogue source material related to the history of the Stazione Zoologica di Napoli and to shape the Historical Archives into a research facility. Since 1985, she has been responsible for the Book Review section of History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. In 2001, she became head of the newly created "Unit for the History of Biology and Historical Archives" at the Stazione Zoologica. She is a member of several international societies for the history of science holding various offices. Her research focuses on the history of marine stations in general and of the Stazione Zoologica in particular. Through her various publications she has made relevant sources available to an interested readership, e.g. the correspondence between Anton Dohrn and Charles Darwin (Naples, 1982), Dohrn and Emil du Bois-Reymond (Heidelberg, 1985), Dohrn and Carl Ernst von Baer (Philadelphia, 1993). Her own research interests concentrate on the personality of Anton Dohrn, the foundation of the Naples Station and their impact on the development of biology. Recent studies deal with naturalists at the seaside in the early 19th century (1996); Carl Vogt (1998); broadsheets and sea-monsters (1998); "A Bioeconomic Perspective on the Organization of the Naples Marine Station" (2000, together with Michael Ghiselin); the impact of the Stazione Zoologica on Italian biology (2001); and early physiology at the Naples Station.
Roberta L. Millstein is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at California State University, Hayward. Her areas of interest include the history and philosophy of evolutionary theory (with particular interests in issues of chance, causality, indeterminism, and explanation), biomedical ethics, and environmental ethics. She is currently serving on numerous university and departmental committees, as well as Hayward's faculty governing body, the Academic Senate.
Hans-Jörg Rheinberger worked as molecular biologist until 1990 and is now Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. His recent books include Toward a History of Epistemic Things (Stanford, 1997), The Concept of the Gene in Development and Evolution (co-editor with Peter Beurton and Raphael Falk, Cambridge 2000). His areas of research are history and epistemology of experimentation and history of genetics. He served as President of the German Society for History and Philosophy of Biology, 1992-1996.
Denis Thieffry holds degrees in Molecular Biology, Philosophy, and History of Science. He is currently Professor at the Ecole d'Ingénieurs de Luminy, Université de Provence, Marseille France. His main research interests include the development of qualitative tools for the dynamical analysis of biological regulatory networks, in particular gene networks involved in development and cancer, as well as sequence analysis and definition of regulatory patterns in DNA sequences with emphasis on the functional effects of combinations of regulatory patterns. His research work on history and philosophy of molecular biology includes an emphasis on contributions dealing with the notion of gene regulation and its bearing to developmental biology. He is a founding member of the European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology, and has been a member of ISHPSSB since 1994. He organized sessions at the 1995 and 1999 ISSHPB meetings. He has significant teaching experience in Bioinformatics, Theoretical Biology, and History of Biology.
Publications of Interest
Wim J. van der Steen, Evolution as Natural History: A Philosophical Analysis (Praeger, 2000). Evolution has always played an important role in the philosophy of biology, and during the last few decades the theme of evolution has spread over many other disciplines. Considering evolution in biology itself, and in evolutionary biology, I argue that sweeping theoretical claims are out of the question. Analysis of concepts (for example, fitness, selection, and altruism) indicates that evolutionary biology should be content with theorizing at low levels of generality. Evolutionary theorizing in other disciplines (for example, ethics, epistemology, psychology, and medicine) is at times fruitful, but most theoretical efforts of researchers to assimilate evolutionary biology are problematic since they are out of touch with genuine biology.
Wim J. van der Steen and Vincent K. Y. Ho, Methods and Morals in the Life Sciences: A Guide for Analyzing and Writing Texts (Praeger, 2001). We introduce methodological criteria and general guidelines for the analysis of texts, and thereby for good writing. These are followed by case studies from many areas of biology and biomedicine (for example mental illness, egoism and altruism, genetic engineering), in which criteria and guidelines are the analytical tools. A system of cross references enables the teacher or student to select from the book samples of interconnected case studies that fit preferred levels (elementary, advanced) and themes. Hence, the text is books within a book as it were. The set up also aims at the integration of science and ethics, through particular choices of criteria, guidelines and themes. Lastly, the book contains a modest style manual.
Call for Journal Submissions
Special Offers for ISHPSSB Members
Journal of the History of Biology
Subscribe to the Journal of the History of Biology by contacting Society Treasurer and membership/subscription guru Keith Benson. Members receive a substantially discounted rate! (US$50, or US$90 for both JHB and B&P, see below.) Check out the journal online at http://www.wkap.nl/journalho me.htm/0022-5010
Biology and Philosophy
Subscribe to Biology and Philosophy by contacting Society Treasurer and membership/subscription guru Keith Benson. Members receive a substantially discounted rate! (US$50, or US$90 for both JHB and B&P, see above.) Check out the journal online at http://www.wkap.nl/journalhome.htm/0169-3867
ISHPSSB WWW Site
Last updated: 24 April 2001.