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April 1999


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Chris Young <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 22 Apr 1999 14:20:20 -0700
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International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of

Editorial Office:  Chris Young; History, Science, & Culture; Mount Angel
Seminary, St. Benedict, OR   97373; e-mail:  [log in to unmask]

Spring 1999; Nineteenth Issue; (Volume 11, No. 1)

President's Corner                              1
Oaxaca 1999:  Meeting Information               1
Oaxaca 1999:  Travel and Accomodations  1-2
Committee on Education Report                   3
ISHPSSB 1999 Elections:  Information            3-6
Special Offers for Members                      6
Special Announcements                           6-7
Positions Available                             7
Conferences                                     7-9
Publications of Interest                                10
Internet:  Lists and Sites                              10
Internet:  ISHPSSB List and Site                        10-11
Oaxaca 1999:  Preliminary Program               11-19
Oaxaca 1999:  Pre-Meeting Workshop              19
Membership and Renewal Information              20
Fall 1999 Newsletter                            20
Society Addresses                               20
Enclosures:  Meeting Registration Form
        Local Accomodations Request Form
        ISHPSSB Ballot

Lisa Lloyd

As our provisional program shows, our upcoming Society meeting in
Oaxaca, Mexico (July 7-11) will have our widest international
participation ever. In addition, there is a wide variety of new topics
and projects being presented, demonstrating the vitality and excitement
of our fields of studies of Biology.

Some members have expressed concerns about safety issues in Oaxaca.
Nearly 16 million US citizens visit Mexico each year; the publicity
surrounding dangers of tourist travel in Mexico involved four incidents,
none of them near Oaxaca.  The best place to get updates is from the US
Consular Affairs travel information, which is at  This site also links to an extremely useful
page of tips for travel to Mexico from the Dept of State.

You'll need to shop around for your best air ticket plans.  From my
research, it seems that the plan must be to fly to Mexico City from your
own country, then catch a flight to Oaxaca from the Mexico City airport,
using either the Mexicana de Aviacion or Aeromexico airline companies.
In the range of flights I examined from various airlines, the layover
time is consistently around one hour.  (Prices from US cities were all
around $600.)  Those wishing to avoid the Mexico City area altogether
can arrange flights directly from Los Angeles to Oaxaca.

Information for a range of hotels and the arrangements for package
accomodations in Oaxaca are posted on the website, at  These are also included
in this Newsletter.  I tested out the method by calling the Oaxaca
travel agency.  It sounds complicated, but really it's just that you
need to call one place to tell them what you want, and send the money to
another place.

Meanwhile, we continue our process of collecting proposals for meeting
sites for the 2001 meetings.  This is the last call: if you think your
institution might serve as a possible host, please contact me
immediately at [log in to unmask]  Since we already have a couple of
European possilibities, and no well-developed U.S. ones, it's very
important to propose a U.S. site if the meetings are to be held, as
tentatively thought, in the U.S.

Finally, I encourage all members and their colleagues to come to the
beautiful city of Oaxaca, enjoy the mountain air, experience the ancient
ruins, and join us in exploring the latest and best work in studies of
Biology, at our friendly meetings in the historic mission of Santo
Domingo.  •

A registration form should be enclosed with this Newsletter.  If you did
not receive one, contact David Magnus.  You may also register on the
ISHPSSB web site.

Registration in Oaxaca will begin Tuesday, July 6, from 4 p.m. until 8
p.m., and will continue on subsequent days.  You will find the
registration desk at Santo Domingo, the main site of the conference and
not far from all the downtown hotels.  •


ISHPSSB members interested in doing a little research ahead of time will
find that the Oaxaca area is a region rich in history and culture.  Two
recent articles in Natural History magazine describe the ongoing
archaeological research being done in three separate sites ("Palatial
Digs," March '99), and the unique cuisine of the area ("The
Unconquerable Tostada," April '99).

The following hotel and accomodations information is now available at
the Turismo Convento Travel Agency web site where more information
about hotels and amenities in the city will be available.  For the same
information in Spanish, go to

You can contact the travel agency directly, register on the web site, or
send the enclosed form to the agency.  Using either method, you will
need to make your payment separately to one of the banks listed below.
Payment must be received in advance.

The people in charge are Apolo and Ulises Bonilla, the owners of Turismo
El Convento de Oaxaca.  This travel agency has offices at some of the
hotels included in our program, and in particular at the Camino Real.
We have designed two different packages, either with 5 or 3 nights at
Oaxaca.  Extra nights can be added.  Each package includes 4 lunches, a
Guelaguetza dinner (a Mexican banquet with typical dancers), and a
3-hour trip to the archaelogical site of Monte Alban (scheduled for
Sunday, 11 a.m.).  A typical menu for lunch would consist on natural
fruit juices, salads, two main dishes (pasta or meat), coffee and tea
(vegetarian food included).

Special Packages (Prices in U. S. dollars):

The relative quality of hotels is designated by the number of asterisks
(*) and the price.  The travel agency will reserve a room for you where
one is available at the rate you request.  All hotels are located
dowtown near Santo Domingo, except Victoria and Mision de los Angeles,
which are a very nice 12-minute walk from Santo Domingo.  Prices for
double occuancy are per person.  Additional charge for extra nights and
children are listed.  These prices include 4 lunches at the Camino Real
Hotel and taxes, the Guelaguetza dinner (Friday night), and the field
trip to Monte Alban.

                                       SINGLE   DOUBLE  'Xtra Nite      Child
*** HOTEL                       $ 235   $ 176   $ 42    $ 50
**** HOTEL                      $ 310   $ 216   $ 65    $ 50
***** HOTEL                     $ 455   $ 291   $ 112   $ 50
Gran Turismo/Camino Real        $ 610   $ 366   $ 160   $ 50

                                       SINGLE   DOUBLE  'Xtra Nite      Child
*** HOTEL                       $ 305   $ 216   $ 42    $ 50
**** HOTEL                      $ 420   $ 261   $ 65    $ 50
***** HOTEL                     $ 660   $ 386   $112    $ 50
Gran Turismo/Camino Real        $ 900   $ 496   $160    $ 50

Prices do not include:  Transportation between Airport and Hotel (Edna
and Ana took a taxi that cost $15 Mexican pesos ($1.5 USD) and it takes
15-20 minutes from airport to downtown.); Drinks at the banquet dinner,
"La Guelaguetza"; Tips to Spanish-English tourist guides (optional);
Breakfast or dinners other than the 4 lunches at Camino Real; or any
other non-specified service.

Follow the payment instructions below:
1)  Prices are per person, in U. S. dollars or Mexican pesos at the
current exchange price.
2)  Payments have to be done by check deposit or wire transfer to either
of the accounts below.  (Due to Mexican legislation it is not possible
to make credit card payments for these packages.)
3)  100% prepayment is required
4)  A fax with the deposit slip form must be sent after payment has been
done at the following fax number:  (951) 4-03-72.  This is very
important to acknowledge individual payments.
Payment can be made to either of the following accounts:
        Name:  Turismo El Convento de Oaxaca, S.A. de C.V.
        Bank:  Santander Mexicano
        Account number:  5150054420-7
        SUCURSAL:  455 San Felipe
        City:  Oaxaca; Country: Mexico

        Name:  Ulises Bonilla MartĚnez
        Bank:  California Commerce Bank
        Number account:  5905121010
        Phone number from E.E.U.U. 1-800-222-1234
        Address in the USA:
                P.O. Box 30886
                Los Angeles CA 90030-088

For additional information, contact:
Turismo El Convento de Oaxaca S.A. de C.V.
Apolo J. Bonilla MartĚnez , Sales Manager
Calle 5 de Mayo # 300 Int. Hotel Camino Real Oaxaca, Oax
TEL (951) 6-18-06; FAX (951) 4-03-72

[Note:  If the Travel Agency can not answer all of your questions, Edna
Suarez is in charge of hotel logistics for the Society:
[log in to unmask]]

[Note:  Phone numbers listed above are for calls within Mexico.  The
country code for Mexico is 52.]

OAXACA:  Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Hotels are nearby Santo Domingo, except Victoria and Mision de los
Angeles, which are within a 12 minute walking distance.
2. Lunch will be regular or vegetarian.
3. Hotel arrangements will be with the travel agency, UNLESS anybody
wants to contact Edna Suarez ([log in to unmask]) for specific
4. We strongly recommend that handicapped people stay at the Camino Real
5. Maps will be handed out with registration materials when you arrive.
6. From the airport one can take a taxi cab that costs 15 Mexican pesos
and takes 18 minutes to the dowtown area.
7. From the airport people may go directly to the hotel and then to the
registration desk at Santo Domingo.
8. In July we can have showers, but the weather is very nice.
9. Don´t panic, Oaxaca is a very safe city.

The committee has established a website linking to resources for
teaching HPSSB.  The site can be reached through the ISHPSSB home page.
We invite suggestions for additional links, including links to your own
syllabi and other work.  Files sent by e-mail attachment can also be
included on the site.  Please also send bibliographic references and
feedback on links we have included.

Do you have a syllabus on-line for any of the following:  History of
Biology; Philosophy of Biology; Biology & Society; Bioethics; Biology,
enriched by HPSS; Darwin, The Genetics Revolution, 20th-Century
Agriculture, Race, Gender & Science, or other special topics?  Please
send us your URL.  Or take a moment to forward the latest electronic
copy of your syllabus?  We are also asking for a short informal
paragraph discussing the design of your course, any underlying themes,
effective teaching startegies relevant to the material, etc.

We are also building a resource center for non-ISHPSSB members,
especially K-12 teachers and non-majors biology teachers.  If you have
material relevant to this audience, let us know!  Contact Peter Taylor
or Douglas Allchin:  [log in to unmask] or [log in to unmask]•

As usual in the spring before the biennial meetings, ISHPSSB is having
elections for its future president, positions in the executive, and half
the members of the council.  This year's ballot includes some
innovations (all within the Society's by-laws) that should be explained.

Since these approaches to nominations as well as the voting and ballot
counting systems have been adopted only for this election, the
procedures will be reviewed at the Oaxaca meeting.

A persistent problem for academic societies is that candidates for
president who do not win rarely run again, either for president or any
office.  The Society loses their experience and energy in running its
affairs.  ISHPSSB tried once to address this problem by having only one
candidate for president, but some members felt this approach was not
democratic and the council decided not to continue it.  In these
elections two other approaches are being tried:

1) There are three candidates for president.  Although this doubles the
number of losing candidates, the idea is to lessen the blow for them and
increase the chance that they will run again.
2) Some of the presidential candidates are also council candidates,
which makes it possible for losing presidential candidates to be elected
to council.

These approaches to the nominations meant some choices concerning voting
and ballot counting systems had to be made:
a) For a three-candidate presidential election the preferential voting
system was chosen so that the winning candidate has the majority
support.  In this system, the first preferences are tallied and, if no
candidate has 50% or more of the votes, the ballots of the candidate
with the lowest total are reallocated to the second preference person on
b) The ballots for president '01-'03 will be tallied first.  If the
winning presidential candidate is also a council candidate, he will
withdraw from the council ballot count.
c) If any of your three council votes is for a person also running for
president, you have the option of designating a substitute vote for
council.  The substitute vote will be tallied only if one of your
council votes is for the person elected president.  With this system, no
one will lose a vote in the council election; everyone will have three
votes that count.  This removes any reason to adjust your presidential
or council preferences according to whether a candidate is or is not
running for both positions.

Note:  If you have paid your dues, but no ballot has been included with
this newsletter, please contact David Magnus
([log in to unmask]).


Continuing executive members are:  President '99-'01:  Dick Burian
(Virginia Tech; [log in to unmask]); Past-president:  Lisa Lloyd (Indiana
U.; [log in to unmask]); Secretary:  Peggy Stewart
([log in to unmask]); and Treasurer (& Membership services):  David Magnus
(U. Pennsylvania; [log in to unmask]).

Statement:  David Magnus is currently the Graduate Studies Director at
the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.  His
activities for ISHPSSB have included the organization of many sessions,
and giving papers at each meeting for the past decade.  For the past two
years he has served as Treasurer and CFO for the Society which mostly
has meant staying out of the way of Joe Savage, his administrative
assistant.  The Center for Bioethics has supplied administrative support
and will continue to do so.  Chief activities have been maintaining and
updating membership records; arranging for the payment of all dues;
distribution of funds for graduate students and unaffiliated scholars;
providing membership labels upon request; assisting with the production
of the society newsletter; assisting with the procurement of grants
and/or donations for the society, and attempting to find ways to
increase the membership of the society.  We will soon be taking orders
for a greatly reduced subscription rate to Biology and Philosophy and
the Journal of the History of Biology.  During his two years as
Treasurer, paid membership has more than doubled.

New executive members

Program Organizer (unopposed):  Douglas Allchin (independent scholar,
Minneapolis; [log in to unmask])

Statement:  I am a charter member of ISHPSSB (1989).  My research,
presented at various meetings, centers on disagreement and error in
science and how they are resolved.  I am also involved in biology
education -- for example, serving as a member of ISHPSSB's Education
Committee and leading the SHiPS Science Teachers Network (since 1989).
I have valuable previous experience as Program Co-Chair of the 3rd
International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Conference
(1995).  In organizing the 2001 program, I would like to balance the
formal institutional need for presenting papers (to secure travel funds)
with the Ishkabibble tradition of fostering dialogue.  I anticipate that
this will involve (at least) an optional framework for making papers
available on-line prior to the meeting, to allow more opportunity for
discussion at the meeting sessions themselves.

President-elect--to be chosen from these three candidates:

Werner Callebaut (Faculty of Sciences, Limburgs Universitair Centrum,
Belgium/ Konrad Lorenz Institut fuer Evolutions- und Kognitionsforschung
(KLI), Austria/ Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Universiteit Maastricht,
the Netherlands; [log in to unmask])

Statement:  Most of my research and teaching concerns the interrelations
between biology and cognition.  More specifically, I try to contribute
to a rapprochement of an extended evolutionary synthesis, epigenetic
perspectives on biological and cognitive development, and naturalistic
accounts of society and culture.  With Karola Stotz (University of
Sidney), I am currently working on a volume, "Cognitive Biology and the
Challenge of Development and Sociality."  On leave from Maastricht, I am
developing a Cognitive and Theoretical Biology Work Space at the KLI,
which will be made accessible on the internet for interactive use.
Other lines of work concern the complementarity of the Anglo-American
and German-Austrian branches of evolutionary epistemology, and the
reappraisal of the philosophy of science of the Vienna Circle from a
broad biological perspective that includes views and approaches that
were excluded from the Modern Synthesis. Finally, I am preparing a large
scale case study in biological/cultural coevolution that can function
both as an empirical test of evolutionary epistemology and as an
instrument to critically assess memetics.

As ISHPSSB president or council member I would want to concentrate on
furthering the international nature of the society by devoting special
interest to academics and work (both historical and contemporary)
emanating from countries in Central Europe, Latin-America, etc. we have
not reached well, if at all, until now.  Another concern of mine would
be quality control regarding both the scientific content of the meetings
and the administrative functioning of the society.  Both aims might
imply securing a more solid financial basis for our functioning without
giving up our cherished autonomy.  I would also like us to think about
ways to profitably use our collective and institutional expertise to
strengthen the ties between workers in the history, philosophy, and
social studies of biology worldwide.

Lindley Darden (U. Maryland; [log in to unmask])

Statement:  The International Society for History, Philosophy,  and
Social Studies of Biology fulfills the important mission of fostering
interfield interactions  among philosophers, historians, sociologists,
and biologists.  The society should strive to  continue its openness to
students, to new formats, to informal exchanges in its summer meetings
and to international interactions.  I would also like to see plenary
sessions that cut across the disciplines as a regular feature of the
summer meetings.  Perhaps regional gatherings of members can be
encouraged in the off-years between the regular meetings, if there are
members who would like to organize them.  They would foster additional
opportunities for graduate students and for  those who cannot easily
travel to distant meetings.

Biographical information:  Lindley Darden is Professor of Philosophy, a
member of the Committee on the History and Philosophy of Science, and of
the Committee on Cognitive  Studies, at the University of Maryland,
College Park.  She is a philosopher of science and historian of biology
interested in discovery and conceptual change in biology.  She received
her Ph.D. in Conceptual Foundations of  Science from the University of
Chicago in 1974.  Her book, Theory Change in Science: Strategies from
Mendelian Genetics, was published by Oxford  University Press in 1991.
Her current research is  on discovering mechanisms in molecular
biology.  She served on the ISHPSSB 1991 program committee, 1993-95
nominating committee, as the 1993 cochair  of the poster session, and
organized sessions and/or presented papers or posters  in 1997, 1993,
1991, and 1989.

Gregg Mitman (U. Oklahoma; [log in to unmask])

Statement:  The meetings of the International Society for the History,
Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology have always been those I most
look forward to.  For younger scholars, they offer a warm and supportive
environment.  For all, ISHPSSB serves as an intellectual commons where
the integrity of disciplinary perspectives is respected and the vitality
of interdisciplinary exchange is valued.  The intellectual companionship
fostered by these meetings provided an important forum in the
development of my own scholarship, which centered first on the history
of biology and political life in American culture (The State of Nature:
Ecology, Community, and American Social Thought, 1900-1950, University
of Chicago Press, 1992) and over the last ten years has focused
increasingly on the interactions between science and popular culture,
culminating in a historical exploration of nature film as a technology
at the intersections of art, science, and entertainment (Reel Nature:
America's Romance with Wildlife on Film, Harvard University Press,

The main task of an ISHPSSB president continues to center on the
biennial meeting.  If elected president, I would continue in the
tradition of past presidents in working to ensure a conference full of
innovative sessions and one that is open to new participants and ideas.
To this end, travel funds for graduate students and independent scholars
have been important and I would pursue opportunities that might increase
available funds for travel support.  In addition, issues like child-care
facilities and handicap accessibility are important if we are to
continue to make meetings open to as many participants as possible.  As
either president or a council member, I would also hope to expand new
initiatives to help members remain in active contact between meetings
and extend the reach of the society.  Certainly, the listserv is a
valuable addition.  As a council member of the History of Science
Society, and as a former program committee member of the American
Society of Environmental History, I also believe that joint sessions
co-sponsored by ISHPSSB at meetings of affiliated professional
organizations would be important for forging new relations and
increasing the visibility of our society and its members.  I believe
these initiatives could be accomplished while maintaining the society's
informal infrastructure that many members find refreshing.  At a time
when relations between the science and science studies communities are
strained, ISHPSSB stands out as a professional society that demonstrates
the productive collaborations taking place between life scientists,
social scientists, and historians and philosophers of science.


Continuing members, '97-'01:  Marilia Coutinho
([log in to unmask]); Cor van der Weele (U. Utrecht;
[log in to unmask]); Walter Bock (Columbia U.; [log in to unmask])

New members, '99-'03--three to be chosen from the following:

Werner Callebaut (see above)

Jane Maienschein (Arizona State; [log in to unmask])

Statement:  From the beginning, ISHPSSB (immediately dubbed
"Ishkabibble") has been informal with maximal intellectual value per
dollar and with an emphasis on building a community of interdisciplinary
explorers of biological issues. Its greatest strengths are its
interdisciplinarity, internationality, and the central role that
graduate students and younger scholars have always played, and the
organization must preserve these strengths in order to remain rich and
vital.  Yet there are challenges to each, and the Council must work to
overcome them.  First, interdisciplinary thinking is hard, and the
individual disciplines tend to fly apart.  For our meetings, we must
work harder not to allow the program to ghettoize into separate sessions
on history, philosophy, sociology, biology, and such -- attended
respectively by historians, philosophers, sociologists, biologists, and
such.  Program committees need support in their determination to promote
the sort of creative exchange of ideas that is so difficult elsewhere.

Second, our international membership is advantageous to all, yet travel
is more expensive the farther we go and it is more and more difficult
for younger scholars to obtain funds for foreign travel.  The officers
must continue to seek grants and other support as well as to explore
ways to benefit from this cross-cultural and multi-national exchange of
ideas. Third, we must make sure that graduate students and independent
scholars of all levels feel comfortable and welcome.  The Council has
always had a student member, not because that person has lesser status
but because we wanted to be sure that there was representation from
students.  We need to listen to concerns about the profession, recognize
that there are many ways for Ph.D.s to contribute to society (some much
better paid and at least as rewarding as academic jobs) and to help
provide "networking" opportunities for other than traditional career
paths.  What does an "Ishkabibbler" offer that is more exciting,
dynamic, important, and intellectually valuable than anybody else:
that's the question we should try to answer in order to continue to
build a community that is more fun and more lively than existed before
the society came along.  As first president of the society, I would be
happy to help continue this building through membership on the Council.

Gregg Mitman (see above)

Lenny Moss (U. Notre Dame; [log in to unmask])

Statement:  I attended my first ISHPSSB meeting at the University of
Western Ontario in 1989.  Still working as a cell biologist and
accustomed to the character of large scientific meetings, I found myself
delighted with the ease of meeting people, and their openness, energy
and enthusiasm for talking about ideas well into the night.  This
vision, however embellished by time it may have become, does provide for
me a regulative ideal for thinking about the future of the Society.
Much of my own efforts over these years have been oriented toward
expanding our philosophical focus beyond the confines of the Modern
Synthesis and especially in the direction of developmental perspectives
and critical approaches to understanding the limits of the gene
concept.  I am interested in the social, ethical,  and cultural, as well
as epistemological, significance of how we understand, and come to
understand, what it means to be human.  My desires for the Society are
to help sustain the richness that it has achieved and to help further
promote multi-disciplinary and multi-national communication through
meeting arrangements which are conducive to informal interactions (see
above), processes of program development which maximize the
possibilities for heterogeneity at the individual session level, current
on-line availability of member's e-mail addresses, and a continued
commitment to internationalism in the choice of meeting locations.

Eva Neumann-Held (European Academy for Study of the Consequences of
Scientific and Technological Advances; [log in to unmask])

Statement:  My research interests are directed toward philosophy of
biology, and particularly toward different conceptualizations of
developmental biology and its connection to evolutionary theorizing. I
am also interested in the social and ethical context and consequences of
these different approaches.

These research interests essentially require an interdisciplinary
exchanges of the kind I have found in the ISHPSSB, particularly the
biennial conferences.

As a member of the council of ISHPSSB, I would certainly support the
organizational structures that so far have allowed for such
interdisciplinary discussions. But in addition, I would try to encourage
"intradisciplinary" exchanges. I would like to support more exchanges
between different "schools of thought" and "schools of research
interests". The purpose here is to clarify the issues that are thought
to distinguish those schools, and to allow for an investigation whether
and where such distinctions are really based on different concepts, or
whether they are due to different methodical approaches.

Furthermore, I believe that sessions and discussions in the platforms
provided by ISHPSSB sometimes lack an integration of methodological
reasoning, for example on the foundation of science.  I would support to
encourage researchers interested in this topic to join ISHPSSB and to
bring in their standpoints.

Chris Young (History, Science, and Culture, Mount Angel Seminary,
Oregon; [log in to unmask])

Statement:  Although science studies tends to be interdisciplinary by
their very nature, I believe organizations like ISHPSSB provide an
important forum for academic and professional development along
explicitly interdisciplinary lines and across disciplinary boundaries.
My active participation in ISHPSSB work began in 1996, when the Society
listserv (ISHPSB-L) was established at the University of Minnesota.
Shortly thereafter, I took over as Newsletter Editor.  In the future, I
would like to see contributions to both the ISHPSB-L and the Newsletter
increase in ways that represent the diverse communities the Society
serves.  That is, I would like to see ISHPSSB expand activities that
invite conversation between and among biologists, science educators,
philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science.  Recognizing that
within each discipline we have communities and societies where our
specialized contributions can be appreciated, ISHPSSB should especially
strive to provide unique opportunities for showcasing those
contributions on a broader scale.  •