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April 2003


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"Roberta L. Millstein" <[log in to unmask]>
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Intl Soc for the Hist Phil and Soc St of Biol <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 9 Apr 2003 16:36:06 -0700
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Listserv for the International Society
for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology

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ISHPSSB Pre-Conference Workshop
'Biology and Society' Programs: Preparing Students for
Biology in Social Context

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
University of Vienna
(room location to be announced)

In a variety of critical, global issues, including environmental
quality, agriculture, health care, biotechnology, and international
relations, the biological sciences are interwoven with social,
economic, and political concerns.  Traditional undergraduate biology
programs fail to critically address the social contexts of science,
and degree programs in the history, philosophy, or social studies of
biology may not foster adequate understandings of biology subject
matter. Are 'biology and society' programs a promising way to prepare
further policy-makers, educators, biologists, and citizens to
understand and constructively influence the complex issues of biology
in social context? To explore this question, the ISHPSSB Education
Committee will sponsor a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, July
16, 2003 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, at the University of Vienna.  (A
general reception opens the conference later that evening, and paper
sessions begin the next day. )

In this interactive workshop, participants will consider possible
goals, topics, and instructional approaches for biology and society
programs.  We will begin with an instructional perspective: What
kinds of learning activities help students develop the skills and
understandings they need to investigate the intersections of biology
and society?  Workshop participants, in the role of students, will
work together on activities that lead students to analyze biology in
social context.  A discussion that includes sharing of teaching
experiences and approaches will complement these activities.  In the
afternoon, we will turn to the broader issues of program goals and
design. What can biology and society programs accomplish that
existing approaches in biology, history, philosophy, and social
studies of science fail to do? How can biology and society programs
engage traditional disciplines, while also exceeding them? What
should a biology and society curriculum look like?  What does it take
to start a program?

To guide and enrich our discussions, representatives from biology and
society programs will describe their approaches, not as models to be
duplicated, but as inspirations for further creative thinking.
Workshop presenters will include Jane Maienschein, Jim Collins, and
Manfred Laubichler, from the Biology and Society Program in the
Biology Department at Arizona State University (see:

The workshop is free, but space is limited. Please contact Steve
Fifield (<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask], 302-831-1469),
Chair of the ISHPSSB Education Committee, if you plan to attend. The
location of the workshop on the University of Vienna campus will be
announced soon.

*** End of announcement

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Professor Roberta L. Millstein
Listserv Moderator, International Society for
History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology

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