Dear ISH Colleagues,

   Here are the new announcements for early June.



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ISHPSSB 2023 Election Results


We’re delighted to announce the results of the 2023 elections.  We would like to thank all of the candidates for their willingness to stand, and the members of the 2021-23 Nominating Committee — Carlos Andres Barragan, Abigail Nieves Delgado, Greg Radick (chair), Betty Smocovitis, Ulrich Stegmann, and Rob Wilson — for sterling service in assembling such an excellent slate. 


President-Elect: Sabina Leonelli

Council: Ageliki Lefkaditou, Pierre-Olivier Methot, Ana Soto

Program Co-Chairs: Charles Pence and Kate MacCord

Secretary: Lloyd Ackert

Treasurer: Don Opitz


***We will be sending out a request for a new Listserve Moderator soon. It is a great opportunity to do Service for an international community that requires a minimal amount of work.



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1) Fellowships in the History of Modern Biology

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA

From CSHL’s Center for Humanities & History of Modern Biology


Sydney Brenner Research Fellowships: Awards up to $5,000 to support research and publication (or

other exhibition/dissemination) of ambitious, original work in the history of the life sciences. Proposed

research can be at CSHL Archives and elsewhere. Multiple awards are made per year, with funds available for

early-career and senior scholars. Application deadline extended: 31 July 2023


Research Travel Grants: Awards up to $1,000 in travel and lodging expenses for onsite use of the CSHL

Archives. Applications may be submitted at any time, they will be considered on an ongoing basis.

Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellowship: Two fellowships with stipends of up to $2000 (part-time for 8

weeks or full-time for 4 weeks) will be awarded each year. We invite applications from scientists, medical

professionals, library-science college students and graduates, and others—anyone who is exploring a career

path that might encompass work as research librarians, science informationists, and/or archivists.


Sydney Brenner Collection

Francis Crick Collection

Hugo Fricke Collection

Walter Gilbert Collection

Carol Greider Collection

Tom Maniatis Collection

Barbara McClintock Collection

Matthew Meselson Collection

Hermann J. Muller Collection

James D. Watson Collection

Charles Weissmann Collection

Evelyn Witkin Collection and more…


Many collections are digitized and online: visit us at

Contact us: [log in to unmask] @CSHLLibrary @CSHLArchives


CSHL Archives’ strengths include: molecular biology, genetics, genomics, medicine, plant sciences and agriculture,

environmental sciences, human sciences, eugenics, patronage and funding, biotechnology, intellectual property,

higher education, chemical and biological weapons disarmament, and the institutional history of CSHL (1962-

present), the Carnegie Institution departments of experimental evolution and genetics (1904-1962), the Eugenics

Record Office (1910-1939), the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences biological laboratory (1890-1924), and the

Long Island Biological Association biological laboratory (1924-1962).



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1) The PhilInBioMed Award is given annually for an outstanding contribution to the advancement of biology or medicine through the use of philosophical and theoretical tools. 

To complement this recognition, the laureate receives a prize of 5,000 euros, which is awarded by the PhilInBioMed Institute in Bordeaux, France.

The first laureate of the PhilInBioMed Award is Elliott Sober, who is the Hans Reichenbach Professor and William F. Vilas Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. 

The ceremony will be held at the University of Bordeaux, France (Talence Campus, Building C) on June 12th, 2023, at 2pm  (French time, GMT+1). It will also be available via Zoom (see below).

The title of Elliott Sober's Award Lecture is: 

"Darwin on Group Selection and Phylogenetic Inference – Simpson’s Paradox and the Law of Likelihood"

Three leading biologists will comment on Elliott Sober's lecture:  

It is very likely that a Call for Commentaries will be launched soon (please check webpage below) and that the Lecture together with the Commentaries and Replies by Elliott Sober will be published.

Schedule and detailed information:

Attendance is free and open to everyone. Please contact [log in to unmask]">Thomas Pradeu if you’d like to attend.

The ceremony will be accessible virtually via Zoom. Again, please contact Thomas Pradeu if you'd like to receive the Zoom link.



Thomas Pradeu, for the PhilInBioMed network.



Thomas Pradeu
CNRS Research Director in Philosophy of Science

Immunology Unit ImmunoConcEpT, UMR5164, CNRS & University of Bordeaux

Team Leader Conceptual Biology and Medicine Team

Coordinator of the Philosophy in Biology and Medicine Network (PhilInBioMed)

146 rue Leo Saignat 33076 Bordeaux, France

Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Pantheon-Sorbonne University 13 rue du Four, 75006 Paris, France





1) The History, Philosophy and Biology Teaching Lab (LEFHBio) will initiate its seminar cycle for 2023 in this month of June!

At June 13th 2023 at 10:00 AM BRT, Ana Teixeira de Melo (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal) & Leo Caves (Independent researcher) will tell us more on how to develop powerful environments for the production of complex knowledge.

LEFHBio is 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. Since 2022, it began organizing its seminar cycle with invited speakers coming both from academic and a diversity of other environments.



Event of the Seminar Cycle of the History, Philosophy and Biology Teaching Lab (LEFHBio)


Environ-ings: Epistemically potent environments for complex knowings


Ana Teixeira de Melo (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal) & Leo Caves (Independent researcher)

Language: English


June 13th 2023, 10:00 AM BRT

(For conversion, use, choosing Salvador, Bahia - Brazil)


Remote event, Zoom

Short URL:

Long URL:

The password for the zoom room is: 634573


2) Environ-ings: Epistemically potent environments for complex knowings.


Ana Teixeira de Melo (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal) & Leo Caves (Independent researcher)


Abstract: We will discuss the notion of epistemically potent environments and their role in generating complex knowings: dynamic and evolving possibilities for action, realising emergence through novelty and surprise, adapting and co-evolving in a wider ecological landscape of potentialities. We will review different ways in which environments can be approached regarding the general organisation of interventions targeting complex knowings, from a 4-E cognitive perspective (Embodied, Enactive, Embedded and Extended, as well as Affective). We view Environments in general as landscapes of potentiality, encompassing natural and social processes. They may be more or less given or constructed, experiential and sensorial, abstracted or concrete. It is through the generation of differences in actions that particular entities and their own (worlds-)environments emerge. Thus, entities and their (worlds-)environments are not statically defined ´bounded things´ but dynamically co-constituted from a meshwork of nested and unfolding processes. Different possibilities for acting (knowing) emerge with the relational organisation of the coupling between a given entity and its (worlds-)environments. Interventions in contexts of knowledge creation are often focused either on the individuals, their environments or even their interaction but less on the generative dynamic coupling process through which both an entity and its environment are trans/formed and where creative and abductive processes take place. From this perspective, interventions in knowledge formation could be considered as practices of gardening: of tending, nurturing and mapping relations, in contexts of significant complexity and relative uncertainty, exploring their transformative potential. We tentatively call this process of gardening ´Environ-ings´, assuming it as an abbreviation of the “Gardening of the complementarity Be-ing~Environ-ing”. We assume that it is possible to assemble environments that are epistemically (more) potent through the Gardening of this Complementarity. In this presentation, we will speculate on the modes of thinking, strategies, tools, contexts, and timings organising these interventions. Finally, we will discuss the implications for designing and managing interventions in science as a context of knowledge production and, in particular, Inter and Transdisciplinarity. We emphasise the role of Environ-ings in targeting abductive processes - the processes of discovery - through action-research practices.


Previous events of the Seminar Cycle of the Teaching, Philosophy and History of Biology Laboratory (LEFHBio) are available in the LEFHBio channel on You Tube:

Kostas Kampourakis, Students’ “teleological misconceptions” in evolution education: why the underlying design stance, not teleology per se, is the problem:

Adela Molina, Matriz compreensiva da educação científica com uma abordagem intercultural

Maël Montévil, How should we think scientifically about biological objects?

Celso Sánchez, A pesquisa em educação ambiental e a perspectiva comunitarista na pesquisa em educação

Luiza Machado e Ahypunã Gwa Tawato, Povo Maraguá: Vida e Luta

Eduardo Solari, Anna Simão, Maria Bandeira, Insurgências em prol da Autogestão Comunitária

Antoine Dussault, On the possibility of generalized selected effects ecological functions

Fábio Nunes, Projeto de Conservação do Periquito Cara-Suja

André Junqueira, Ecologia Histórica da Amazônia

Sabina Leonelli, Globalizing plant knowledge beyond extractive epistemologies

Hilton Japyassu, Cognição estendida: fechamento organizacional e ecologia da individualidade




1) The History and Philosophy of Pregnancy

Dates: October 6-7, 2023

Keynote speaker: Sara Brill, Professor of Philosophy, Fairfield University

Keynote address: “Birth, Natality and Reproductive Life in Ancient Greek Literature”

Location: Kennedy Union Ballroom, University of Dayton

Organizers: Dr. Myrna Gabbe (University of Dayton), Maja Sidzińska (Ph.D. candidate, University of Pennsylvania), and Evangelian Collings (Ph.D. candidate, University of Pittsburgh)

Contact us: [log in to unmask]

Sponsor: University of Dayton Philosophy Department

Conference description: Our conference is motivated by the dearth of historical scholarship on the philosophy of pregnancy. Historical scholarship on reproduction tends to focus on the conception and development of the embryo, 'generation' and 'embryology,' treating the developing organism as an independent entity. As a consequence, pregnancy is written out of the causal story. The goal of this conference is to recover a history of the philosophy of pregnancy and bring the work and challenges of the pregnant individual into focus.

This conference is open to remote presentations but not remote attendance.

Photo attribution: A van de Spiegel. De formato foetu. Wellcome Collection, Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Registration and Program Schedule TBA


Call for Abstracts


2) Templeton-Sowerby Joint Workshop: Function and Dysfunction in Medicine and Psychiatry


20th – 21st of February 2024


The John Templeton Foundation-funded project ‘Agency, Directionality and Function’ at the City University of New York, and the Sowerby Philosophy and Medicine Project at King’s College London jointly invite submissions for an interdisciplinary workshop on ‘Function and Dysfunction in Medicine and Psychiatry’.


For nearly 50 years, philosophers have debated whether we should understand disease and disorder in terms of biological function and dysfunction. One prominent view holds that in order for something to qualify as a disease or disorder, it must involve the failure of some part or process to perform its natural function. Such debates often take on a special urgency in psychiatry, where theorists often debate whether a specific condition, like ADHD, depression, or even delusions, represents a ‘dysfunction,’ ‘normal cognitive variation,’ or a ‘functional’ response to a life circumstance. Some argue that many putative dysfunctions featuring in medicine are instead cases of ‘evolutionary mismatch’ relative to our post-Pleistocene world. In turn, differing conceptual frameworks for making sense of pathology may impact upon stigma and treatment.


The purpose of this workshop is to promote novel philosophical and conceptual work on the relationships between function and dysfunction, and the notions of disease, disorder, and pathology. In exploring this topic, we hope to move beyond the naturalism/normativism debate in philosophy of medicine and consider issues of function and dysfunction in greater depth. We encourage submissions which engage with parallel literature in the philosophy of biology and science, interdisciplinary and empirically informed submissions, as well as contributions from scientists and clinicians. We also welcome submissions from postgraduate and early-career researchers, and from women and other groups underrepresented in philosophy.


What follows is a suggestive, non-exhaustive list of questions we are interested in discussing as part of the workshop:


• How should we deploy the notions of function and dysfunction to thinking about the nature of disorders, whether psychiatric or somatic?

• Which theory or theories of function are the right ones for biomedicine and psychiatry?

• Are there different types of dysfunction and, therefore, different types of pathology?

• Do disorders always involve a failure of a part of the body to perform its function, or can there be disorders without dysfunctions?

• Do some mental disorders, like depression or delusions, actually involve the ‘correct functioning’ of our minds and brains? If so, how do we assess ‘correct functioning?’

• Is there a difference between a trait that is unable to perform its function and one that is simply ‘mismatched’ to its present environment? What might that mean for intervention?

• How do functional and dysfunctional biological processes interact in producing pathological outcomes?

• What does work on function and dysfunction imply for the relationship between psychiatric and neurological conditions?

• What are the practical implications of differing judgments about function for research, treatment, and stigma?


Confirmed Speakers:

David Papineau (KCL), John Matthewson (Massey), Ema Sullivan-Bissett (Birmingham), Justin Garson (CUNY), Fabian Hundertmark (Bielefeld), Harriet Fagerberg (CUNY)


Deadline: 1st of July 2023


Submission Guidelines:

Please send abstracts suitable for anonymous review to [log in to unmask]. Abstract submissions should not exceed 500 words, excluding references. Please use the subject line ‘Function Workshop 2024’, and include your name, position and current affiliations in the message body.


General inquires can be directed to Justin Garson at [log in to unmask]. For more information and recent updates, see



David Papineau, Nick Makins, Rivkah Hatchwell, Harriet Fagerberg, and Justin Garson



3) International Philosophy of Biology Circle
Summer School 2023
Biology and Society
8–12 August 2023; 15.00–21.00 UTC


The International Philosophy of Biology Circle will hold an online Summer School on Biology and Society from 8–12 August 2023, 15.00–21.00 UTC daily. The summer school will be dedicated to the memory of three scholars who have made seminal contributions to this field: Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levins, and Richard C. Lewontin. The school will include five organized courses besides independent presentations in the philosophy and history of biology. The organized courses will be devoted to: the biology of human behavior; biotechnology and society; race, ethnicity, and biology; ecology, biodiversity, and society; and public health. These courses will present overviews of the field as well as current research and will each consist of four or five presentations that will be directed particularly to graduate students and younger scholars.


Course presenters include Gökhan Akbay, Mariana Benitez, Jacopo Nicola Bergamo, Michael Blakey, Michael Boylan, Callie Burt, Felipe Cabelo, Alina Chan, Charbel El-Hani, Lisa Gannett, Yrjö Haila, Eugene Koonin, Phila Msimang, Stuart Newman, Aaron Panofsky, Christian Promitzer, Sahotra Sarkar, Kartik Shanker, Victoria Shmidt, Scott Williams, and Kulyash Zhumadilova.

Besides these organized courses, the Summer School will include presentations from participants including work-in-progress. In selecting these presentations, priority will be given to early career researchers. Those interested in presenting their work should send a short “cv” and an Abstract (200 words maximum) to [log in to unmask] by 15 June 2023; acceptance decisions will be announced by 30 June 2023. When available, papers will be precirculated before the Summer School.

The Summer School is free and open to everyone but requires registration at by 31 July. All meetings will be conducted over Zoom and will be recorded and made available to the public. For more information, contact [log in to unmask].

The International Philosophy of Biology Circle is an association of scholars interested in the life sciences and related fields who have been meeting online biweekly since 2020 to discuss work-in-progress in the philosophy of biology and related areas. It consists of more than 90 members from 26 countries. In Summer 2021 it held its first public workshop; starting in 2023 it will be organizing annual Summer Schools.

Thank you,



Dr. C. David Suárez Pascal

Profesor de Carrera Asociado C T.C.


Laboratorio de Historia y Filosofía de la Biología

Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Circuito Exterior s/n, Ciudad Universitaria C.P. 04510 Ciudad de México


ISHPSSB Newsletter Editor



Best regards, Lloyd


Lloyd Ackert, Ph.D.
Department of History

Drexel University

ISH Listserve Moderator