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.

Parke Emily
Emily Parke

For the 2017 Prize, the Committee received a total of 5 submissions. All were of high quality, with many already published or accepted for publication in high quality journals. Despite the relatively low number of submissions, the Committee was pleased by variety of methodological approaches and topics covered, and by the innovative work being done by our graduate student members across the disciplines represented in our Society.

This year’s Marjorie Grene Prize is awarded to Emily C. Parke for her paper “Experiments, Simulations, and Epistemic Privilege” which was presented at the 2013 ISHPSSB meeting in Montpellier. The paper was published in 2014 in Philosophy of Science. Emily is currently a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Auckland. She completed her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015.

As one reviewer noted, this paper was the standout of all of the submissions for the Prize, and also was a pleasure to read, achieving that delicate balance between conceptual rigor and elegant written expression often lacking in philosophical contributions within the analytic tradition. It delivers a clear and convincing message about the absence of any in principle epistemic asymmetry between experiment and simulation through a careful exploration of detailed examples from the biological sciences, particularly experimental evolution. Dr. Parke’s paper provides helpful distinctions about the putative nature of the epistemic asymmetry (unexpected behaviors versus hidden mechanisms) and then applies them concretely to demonstrate that the materiality thesis cannot do the heavy lifting expected of it. The paper is likely to make considerable contributions to ongoing debates about the status of simulations, and has important epistemic and pragmatic consequences not only for the philosophy of biology but for the philosophy of science (and science) more generally.

On behalf of the ISHPSSB, I am pleased to award the 2017 Grene Prize to Emily C. Parke.

Rachel A. Ankeny, on behalf of the Marjorie Grene Prize Committee 2015–2017: Rachel A. Ankeny (chair), Edna Suárez Díaz, Marta Halina, Alan Love, Pierre-Olivier Méthot, and Jutta Schickore.

Jun Otsuka
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.

For the 2015 Prize, the Prize Committee received a total of twenty submissions. All were of superb quality, with more than half already published or accepted for publication generally in very high quality journals. The Committee was struck by the breadth of research interests that help to define our Society, and by the extremely high quality work being done by our graduate student members across all of the disciplines within our Society. Deciding on just one recipient proved to be a very difficult task.

This year’s Marjorie Grene Prize is awarded to Jun Otsuka for his paper “Using Causal Models to Integrate Proximate and Ultimate Causation,” which was presented at the 2013 ISHPSSB meeting in Montpellier. The paper was published this year in Biology and Philosophy 30(1): 19-37, 2014. Jun is currently an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Kobe University, and previously was a postdoctoral fellow in Philosophy at the University of California at Davis. He completed his PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University in 2014.

Although the paper was quite technical, the committee was struck by its clarity and accessibility. As one member noted, this is a wonderful essay, representing a tremendous leap forward. By using structural equation modelling, the paper provides a nuanced account of how Mayr’s proximate and ultimate causation can be integrated, hence providing a deeper understanding of this distinction as well as allowing incorporation of phenomena such as niche construction, maternal effects, and epigenetic inheritance into an extended evolutionary synthesis.

Rachel A. Ankeny, on behalf of the 2013–2015 Werner Callebaut Prize Committee: Rachel A. Ankeny (Chair), Marion Blute, Jay Odenbaugh, and Neeraja Sankaran.

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. For the 2013 Prize, the Prize Committee received a total of fifteen submissions. All were of superb quality, with over half already published or accepted for publication. Once again the Committee was reminded of the creativity and talent of the more junior members of ISHPSSB, as well as the breadth of expertise that defines our Society.

In view of that breadth, and the different kinds of excellence it allows for, it is the more fitting that this year’s Prize will be shared between two recipients: a historian, Lukas Rieppel; and a philosopher, John Matthewson.

Rieppel did his graduate studies at Harvard, and is now an assistant professor at Brown. The Committee found his paper, entitled “Bringing Dinosaurs Back to Life: Exhibiting Prehistory at the American Museum of Natural History”, and since published in Isis, to be an important contribution to our understanding of the complex scientific and public roles of fossil displays in museums. Drawing on a wealth of previously little-explored primary sources from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, his paper offers an analytically lively and richly detailed reconstruction of the range of agendas and people that intersected in the museum rooms where dinosaur fossils were cleaned, assembled and installed. As the paper shows so persuasively and provocatively, the results are best understood as "mixed-media" works of scientific art and artful science.

Matthewson did his graduate studies at ANU, and now has appointments at Massey University, where he is a lecturer, and the University of Sydney, where he is working on a project as a postdoctoral fellow. In the Committee’s judgment, his paper, entitled “Evolving Populations”, offers a stimulating new perspective on the nature of the populations capable of undergoing adaptive evolution. Building on, but going decisively beyond, the existing philosophical literature on populations and natural selection, the paper mounts a compelling case for the indispensability within a population of the sort of causal connectedness captured by Alan Templeton’s term “exchangeability” — a case made with exemplary care, clarity, and consideration for counterarguments and alternative accounts.

Greg Radick, on behalf of the Grene Prize Committee 2011—2013: Tara Abraham, Stuart Glennan, Marta Halina, Michel Morange, and Greg Rackick (chair).