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for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology

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To the Society Membership:

Shortly before the Guelph meeting in July, the 
Council was presented with the opportunity for 
ISHPSSB to assume the editorship and joint 
sponsorship of the journal History and Philosophy 
of Life Science, published by the Stazione 
Zoologica in Naples and printed by Taylor and 
Francis. This venerable journal of the Stazione 
will cease publication at the end of 2005 unless 
additional funding and personnel support is found.

The opportunity for affiliation arose from 
discussions between the Stazione and the 
leadership of ISHPSSB in the spring of 2005.  As 
a result of the open discussion of this 
opportunity at the general business meeting at 
Guelph, an ad hoc committee of Council and non 
-Council members has been appointed to survey the 
Society for its opinion on this matter.  Due to 
the need for a rapid decision on this matter if 
the journal is to maintain publication continuity 
beyond December 2005, we have been asked to have 
a report based upon membership opinions ready for 
the Council by mid -September when major 
decisions will be made on the future of the 
journal by the Stazione Zoologica.  Please return 
your questionnaire promptly so that your opinion 
can be taken into consideration.

Discussion of the financial obligations implied 
by this arrangement have been conducted within 
the Council.  If ISHPSSB assumes this 
responsibility, it will entail a contribution 
from the Society of approximately $12,500/year. 
The Treasurer of the Society has assured the 
Council that these funds are available.  With our 
support, the Naples Laboratory will continue to 
support the journal at a rate of 20,000 Euros for 
at least two years and it will supply staff 
assistance. The Society and the Stazione will 
make joint appointment of the Advisory and 
Editorial Boards. It is also understood that with 
ISHPSSB commitment, the Stazione would likely 
continue its support indefinitely.

If approved, the Society will commit itself to a 
two-year joint leadership of the journal. 
However, it should be assumed that this will 
likely entail a longer-term commitment with the 
assumption that HPLS will serve as the journal 
officially sponsored by the Society, similar to 
the relationship that Isis has to the History of 
Science Society.  It will be made part of the 
membership packet of the Society, with an 
increase in annual dues after 06-07 of $20 for 
the first two year cycle, increasing after this 
to a final projected cost of $90 per two year 
cycle (i.e. $45/year).  HPLS is considered to be 
a fully international journal and it currently 
has a substantial subscription base.  It also has 
published in languages other than English.  If 
the society does assume leadership of HPLS, its 
venue and title would also be expanded to include 
the social studies of biology.

  Some of the pros and cons of this arrangement 
discussed within Council or at the Society 
Business Meeting are summarized:

Advantages of Affiliation with HPLS:
* It provides additional visibility for the 
Society within an international scientific and 
scholarly community with a regular publication. 
In addition, it creates an additional outlet for 
papers presented at ISHPSSB meetings beyond those 
now provided by the Journal of the History of 
Biology, Biology & Philosophy, and Studies in 
History and Philosophy of the Biological and the 
Biomedical Sciences, especially collections from 
a session that fit particularly well together. 

* HPLS is a recognized journal with a long 
history and a substantial subscriber list. 
Affiliation with HPLS would preserve and 
revitalize a significant international journal, 
one that many members of ISHPSSB consider to be 
the main outlet for their work, and it would 
emphasize the international dimension to ISHPSSB.

  * HPLS can develop an editorial policy that 
clearly differentiates it from existing journals 
with which it might be seen as a direct 
competitor. It will also incorporate the "social 
studies of science" somehow into its title ( e.g. 
History, Philosophy and Social Studies of the 
Life Sciences). To demarcate it from B&P, JHB, 
and Studies, preference will be given to 
interdisciplinary work- for example, by 
emphasizing collaborative papers by authors from 
different disciplines, something no other journal 
in the field explicitly promotes.

  * It is much easier and less expensive in 
today's difficult publishing environment for the 
Society to assume an existing journal rather than 
to establish a new one. The journal could also 
incorporate the semi-annual Newsletter, hence 
saving those publication costs as a separate item 
(ca. $ 4,000 annually)

Disadvantages of Society Responsibility for HPLS:

  * A sponsored journal will be a standing expense 
to the Society, and it will require a membership 
fee increase (above).

  * Once leadership is assumed, the Society will 
assume major responsibility for this journal, 
although the present proposal would provide a 
disassociation clause in two years. This will 
mean additional work for the Council in directing 
the journal.

  * HPLS has declined in subscriptions and 
reputation in recent years. It will take 
sustained effort to reverse this trend and 
restore it to its former position in the ranks of 
top-line publications. 

* Although it is desirable to have a 
multi-language journal reflecting our 
international membership, the publishers under 
discussion are strongly against multi-language 
publication. The impact of moving to an 
English-only format on its subscription base is 

You are asked to review these pros and cons and 
respond to the following questionnaire.
Thank you

Ad Hoc Committee on Publication:
Phil Sloan (Notre Dame), Chair [log in to unmask]
Jason Baker (Indiana University, Grad Student 
Representative. [log in to unmask]
Kathy Cooke (Quinnipiac University) [log in to unmask]
Soraya de Chadarevian (Cambridge Univ & MPI) [log in to unmask]
Astrid Juette (Konrad Lorenz Institute for 
Evolution and Cognition Research) 
[log in to unmask]
Staffan Müller-Wille (Exeter) [log in to unmask]
Lynn Nyhart (Wisconsin) [log in to unmask]
Edna Suarez (UNAM, Mexico) [log in to unmask]


[log in to unmask] If you wish to preserve anonymity 
in your response, you may detach and mail the 
Questionnaire to Phil Sloan, Program of Liberal 
Studies, 215 O'Shaughnessy Hall, University of 
Notre Dame 46556. The mail Questionnaire must be 
postmarked by August 20. You may also send your 
response as an attached document without your 
name indicated. Please send these in MS Word 
format or in Rich Text Format if using other word 

1. Should the Society sponsor a journal? (This need not be HPLS.)

____ Approve


If (1) is affirmative: 

2. Should the official journal of the Society be HPLS?



If (2) is affirmative:

3. Do you agree to an English-only publication policy?



Other Comments (Brief)

Please return by the end of the day PDT, August 20

*** End of announcement

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