ISHPSB-L Archives

April 2022


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Lloyd Ackert <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Lloyd Ackert <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 7 Apr 2022 18:37:45 +0000
text/plain (25 kB) , text/html (47 kB)
Dear Colleagues,
   Here are the March 2022 announcements. Please let me know if you have any news that you would like to share.
Best, Lloyd

Lloyd Ackert, Ph.D.
Department of History
Drexel University

ISH Listserve Moderator

Table of Contents

1) ISHPSSB “Expressions of Interest for Hosting ISH 2025”
2) “In Memoriam: Nancy L. S. Hall”
3) “Cambridge University Libraries - Darwin notebooks”
4) “AAAS Board of Directors Election”
5) KLI “KLIfe Newsletter“
6) “HSS/NASA Fellowship Application”

7) LEFHBio “History, Philosophy and Biology Teaching Lab (LEFHBio)”
8) University of Kent, “New Perspectives on Causation in the Life Sciences Conference”
9) “CFA Workshop on Diagrams of Life & Evolution @ Diagrams2022”

10) Book Announcements



1) “Expressions of Interest for Hosting ISH 2025”
Members are invited to propose potential sites for the 2025 conference. Our tradition of alternating sites suggests that the 2025 meeting should be held in Europe, Asia, or Africa. A location that can be easily accessed by rail or car for many members is especially desirable to minimize our carbon footprint.
Initial expressions of interest for hosting the 2025 conference should be sent to the Site Selection Committee Chair, Betty Smocovitis: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>, who is happy to answer questions. More details will follow in the Spring Newsletter and subsequent mailings.

Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis
Professor, History of Science
Departments of Biology and History
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611

Direct Line to Office: 352-392-9647
Biology Main Office: 352-392-1175
History Main Office: 352-392-0271

2) “In Memoriam: Nancy L. S. Hall”

ISHPSSB member Nancy L. S. Hall passed away on 2/6/2022.  A historian of mathematics, she received the Ph.D. from University of Maryland and taught mathematics at the University of Delaware.  She was known for her research on R. A. Fisher and his work in statistics in biology and for the history of women in mathematics. Her most recent research had been on Gertrude M. Cox who collaborated with Fisher.

Pamela M. Henson
Historian, Institutional History Division
Capital Gallery, Suite 3000
PO Box 37012
Smithsonian Libraries & Archives
Washington DC  20013-7012
FAX 202-633-5928
Email  [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

3) “Cambridge University Libraries - Darwin notebooks”

                In November 2020, we were in touch to let you know we were announcing a worldwide appeal for two missing Darwin notebooks, one containing the iconic Tree of Life sketch. It is my very great pleasure to be in touch now, on behalf of Dr Jessica Gardner and Cambridge University Libraries, to inform you that the notebooks have been safely returned.
                They were anonymously returned on 9 March 2022 in a bright pink gift bag containing the notebooks’ archive box and inside a plain brown envelope addressed to the University Librarian with the message:
The notebooks, which were wrapped together in clingfilm, were left on the floor in a public area of the library outside the Librarian’s office. The police investigation around the notebooks’ disappearance and subsequent return is ongoing.
                We are so grateful for the response to our original appeal, and to the global community who helped us spread the word. It was deeply moving to know how many others shared our deep sense of loss, and we believe the public appeal has had a direct bearing on the notebooks being returned.
                We are expecting extensive coverage, and you can find out more here:<>. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me on [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> or 07593 139316, and should you happen to receive any enquiries from the media, do please forward them onto us via [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> or 01223 764982.
                We were already scheduled to open a major exhibition on Charles Darwin this summer, Darwin in Conversation, to celebrate the close of the forty-year Darwin Correspondence Project (<>). We are astonished and delighted that these notebooks will now be able to form part of the exhibition, particularly in view of the immense public interest: the original public appeal was shared around the world, generating thousands of news articles and reaching hundreds of thousands through social media. May I take this opportunity to invite you to save the date for the launch of the exhibition? It will take place on 7th July at 6pm.

With our warmest wishes and thanks,

Laura Greenfield
Director of External Engagement
Cambridge University Libraries
West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DR
Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Telephone: Direct dial +44(0)1223 760498, mobile +44(0)7593 139316<>


4) “AAAS Board of Directors Election”

The election for the AAAS Board of Directors opens April 7 and runs through April 21. We encourage ISH members in AAAS to vote! To learn about candidates visit And, we encourage membership in AAAS sections: L, X, and others!


5) KLIfe Newsletter

The KLI would like to share several things that will also be featured in our next KLIfe Newsletter:

(1) The 2022 Spring-Summer KLI Colloquium is back and will continue to be available as a hybrid meeting via zoom:<>
(2) New thematic issue on "Conceptualizing the Environment in Natural Sciences" is now out at Biological Theory:<>
(3) Interview with Isabella Sarto-Jackson on her new book "The Making and Breaking of Minds":<>
(4) Fellowship opportunities at the KLI are available for those impacted by the war in Ukraine:<>
(5) Subscribe to the KLIfe Newsletter to receive updates about our online talks and also our seasonal newsletter, which contains interviews, essays, and behind-the-scenes reports on the interdisciplinary activities at the KLI, an independent center of advanced studies in the life and sustainability sciences and a Home to Theory that Matters:<>. Next newsletter goes out this week, so subscribe soon!

***Read their latest newsletter!<>


6) “HSS/NASA Fellowship Application”
***Deadline Extended to 18 April
                The Fellowships in Aerospace History, supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), annually fund research projects from six to nine months. Proposals of advanced research in history related to all aspects of aerospace, from the earliest human interest in flight to the present, are eligible, including cultural and intellectual history, economic history, history of law and public policy, and history of science, engineering, and management. The fellowships are open to applicants who hold a doctoral degree in history or a closely related field, or who are enrolled in and have completed all coursework for a doctoral degree-granting program. Preference is given to applicants in early stages of their careers. NASA provides funds to the American Historical Association and to the History of Science Society to allow both associations to award fellowships. The stipend is $21,250 for each fellowship. Three fellowships are offered each academic year; applications will be entered into consideration for all three fellowships. The application deadline is April 18.


7) “History, Philosophy and Biology Teaching Lab (LEFHBio)”

Dear colleagues,
The History, Philosophy and Biology Teaching Lab (LEFHBio), associated with the Institute of Biology/ Federal University of Bahia and the National Institute of Science and Technology in Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies in Ecology and Evolution (INCT IN-TREE), Brazil, would like to publicize its seminar cycle, initiated in this year of 2022, with invited researchers from the fields of Research in Science Education, Philosophy of Biology, Ecology, Evolution and other areas of the Biological Sciences, as well as with social movements and community leaders. The seminars will take place monthly, always on a Tuesday 10:00 AM BRT, using the Zoom platform. Each seminar will have a maximum audience of 100 participants, based on order of access. The first seminar of the cycle will occur in April 12th 2022, 10:00 AM BRT, with Dr. Kostas Kampourakis. The access link is:

WHAT? First seminar of the Seminar Cycle of the History, Philosophy and Biology Teaching Lab (LEFHBio)
TITLE: Students’ “teleological misconceptions” in evolution education: why the underlying design stance, not teleology per se, is the problem
SPEAKER: Kostas Kampourakis (University of Geneva, Section of Biology and University Teacher Training Institute, Switzerland)
WHEN: April 12th 2022, 10:00 AM BRT
WHERE: Remote event, Zoom,

ABSTRACT: Teleology, explaining the existence of a feature on the basis of what it does, is usually considered as an obstacle or misconception in evolution education. Researchers often use the adjective “teleological” to refer to students’ misconceptions about purpose and design in nature. However, this can be misleading. In this essay, I explain that teleology is an inherent feature of explanations based on natural selection and that, therefore, teleological explanations are not inherently wrong. The problem we might rather address in evolution education is not teleology per se but the underlying “design stance”. With this I do not refer to creationism/intelligent design, and to the inference to a creator from the observation of the apparent design in nature (often described as the argument from design). Rather, the design stance refers to the intuitive perception of design in nature in the first place, which seems to be prevalent and independent from religiosity in young ages. What matters in evolution education is not whether an explanation is teleological but rather the underlying consequence etiology: whether a trait whose presence is explained in teleological terms exists because of its selection for its positive consequences for its bearers, or because it was intentionally designed, or simply needed, for this purpose. In the former case, the respective teleological explanation is scientifically legitimate, whereas in the latter case it is not. What then should be investigated in evolution education is not whether students provide teleological explanations, but which consequence etiologies these explanations rely upon. Addressing the design stance underlying students’ teleological explanations could be a main aim of evolution education.


May 24th 2022, 10:00AM BRT
Matriz compreensiva da educação científica com uma abordagem intercultural (A broad matrix of science education with an intercultural approach)
Adela Molina (Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Colombia)
Language: Spanish

June 7th 2022, 10:00AM BRT
How should we think scientifically about biological objects?
Maël Montévil (École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France)
Language: English

8) “New Perspectives on Causation in the Life Sciences Conference”

Dates: 27-28 June 2022
Venue: University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
Keynote Speakers:
John Dupre (University of Exeter)
Samir Okasha (University of Bristol)
Charles Pence (Université catholique de Louvain)
Lauren Ross (University of California, Irvine)
Jutta Schickore (Indiana University, Bloomington)
James Woodward (University of Pittsburgh)

Organiser: Yafeng Shan (University of Kent)

The British Academy
​The Leverhulme Trust

Conference Description: The conference aims to examine the issues relate to causality in the life sciences, including the concept of causality, causal inference, causal explanation, and the proximate-ultimate distinction. Causation is arguably one of the most controversial and persistent topics in the philosophy of the life sciences. Some (e.g. Reutlinger 2013; Anjum and Mumford 2018) have tried to develop monistic theories of causation, while others (e.g. Woodward 2010; Joffe 2013) maintain that causation in the life sciences is pluralist. It has been accepted by many (e.g. Mayr 1961; Dickins and Barton 2013) that there is a clear distinction between proximate causation and ultimate causation in evolutionary biology, whereas recently some (e.g. Francis 1990; Laland et al. 2011; Haig 2013) are highly sceptical. The significance of the notion of causation in biology has also been debated (Darden 2013). The conference aims to examine the issues relate to causation in the life sciences. The questions to be address include but are not limited to:

What is the best approach to causation in the life sciences?
Which better captures the concept of causation in the life sciences: causal pluralism or causal monism?
Is the concept of causation in the life sciences special in any sense?
Is the concept of causation in the life sciences reducible to that in the physical sciences?
Is the concept of causation in the life sciences teleological?
Is the distinction between proximate causation and ultimate causation tenable?

**The conference is part of the BA/Leverhulme-funded project "The Metaphysical Foundations of Evidential Pluralism<>" (2020-2022).

For more information, please click here<>.
​Book of Abstracts<>
Registration<> (by 12 June 2022)

9) “CFA Workshop on Diagrams of Life & Evolution @ Diagrams2022”

When: Sept 13th
Where: Rome
Organizers: Nathalie Gontier

The evolution of life today is commonly illustrated by diagrams that include timelines, phylogenetic trees, and networks. Each of these diagrams more or less associate with different evolution schools that aim at depicting different aspects of the evolutionary process. Timelines associate with older natural history research that began to situate the evolution of life in deep time, phylogenetic trees were mostly developed within Neodarwinian schools to illustrate the descent with modification of species, and network models primarily associate with research on interactions that occur during development (e.g. gene regulatory networks) and ecology (e.g. food networks, host-microbiome relationships) or interactions that underlie reticulate evolution (evolution that occurs by means of lateral gene transfer, symbiosis, symbiogenesis, hybridization or infective heredity). These evolutionary diagrams, moreover, find their intellectual precursors in cosmographies that include scales of nature or chains of being, life cycles or wheels of time, genealogies and pedigrees.
This workshop will investigate these major diagrams of evolution, their precursors in intellectual history, and their adequacy in depicting the mechanisms and processes or general aspects of life that they intent to illustrate. Along the way, the workshop furthermore aims to expose curious parallels between diagrammatic research in the life and the natural sciences, reasons for which might be found in the way humans conceptualize diagrams cognitively. This workshop is therefore also relevant for participants in the psychological tract.

KEYWORDS: Cycles of Life – Chains of Being – Scales of Nature – Pedigrees and Genealogies – Trees of life – Evolutionary Timelines – Phylogenetic trees – Networks – Mode and Tempo of Evolution – Hierarchy theory

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: In this workshop, we call for abstracts that provide historical, philosophical, psychological, or educational analyses of diagrams that either depict the evolution of life or that precede these diagrams in intellectual history. Diagrams can include:

- Evolutionary timelines, phylogenetic trees, networks
- Scales of nature, chains of being, religious and mythological trees of life
- Pedigrees and genealogies (including Jesse and Adamic trees)
- Wheels of time, cycles of life and death, coming and becoming, generation and decay

Topics of discussion can include, but are not limited to the following research questions:

- What are the cultural precursors of evolutionary diagrams?
- What, if any, is the historical relation between older cosmographies and evolutionary diagrams?
- How does the intellectual history of diagrams of life and evolution correlate with advances in mathematics?
- What are the historical parallels with diagram formation in the biological and the natural sciences?
- How able are evolutionary diagrams in depicting the theories, mechanisms, processes, phenomena they intent to illustrate?
- How able are evolutionary diagrams in depicting the mode and/or tempo in evolution?
- What are the major differences between timelines, trees, and networks?
- How are evolutionary hierarchies depicted in diagrams?
- How is evolutionary causation depicted in diagrams?
- How do evolutionary diagrams depict time and space?
- How do evolutionary diagrams underlie model-based reasoning?
- How do evolutionary diagrams facilitate scientific or public understanding of evolution?
- Do evolutionary diagrams drive evolutionary thinking?
- Diagrams as educational tools

A selection of submissions will be considered for publication in the Springer Nature book series Interdisciplinary Evolution Research,

INSTRUCTIONS: Interested scholars can send their abstracts (max. 500 words) together with title, author name/s, affiliation/s, and contact details directly to Nathalie Gontier at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>. Be sure to mention Diagrams2022 in the email subject. The deadline for abstract submissions is June 15th, 2022. Notification will follow by June 30th. More info can be found at

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Note that accepted participants will have to register as regular participants of the main conference.

SPONSORS: With cordial thanks to our sponsors, Springer and Springer Nature.


10) Book Announcements

Justin Garson, The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction (second edition).

Justin Garson, Madness: A Philosophical Exploration

Justin Garson
Chair and Professor
Department of Philosophy
Hunter College of the City University of New York<>

Andrew Reynolds, Understanding Metaphors in the Life Sciences

Covering a range of metaphors from a diverse field of sciences, from cell and molecular biology to evolution, ecology, and biomedicine, Understanding Metaphors in the Life Sciences explores the positive and negative implications of the widespread use of metaphors in the biological and life sciences.

Andrew S. Reynolds, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
Department of Humanities
Cape Breton University
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canada B1P 6L2
Cape Breton University is in Unama'ki, part of the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq people.
Reports of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada