Latest News

  • PSA Essay Awards: Call for Applications

    The Philosophy of Science Association sponsors contests for (1) the PSA Graduate Student Essay Award and (2) the PSA Early-Career Scholar Essay Award. The decisions for these awards is made by the PSA Lectures and Awards Committee, which consists of at least at least 1 members of the Governing Board and up to 5 senior members of the Association. Th...
  • PSA2018: Call for Posters

    Twenty-Sixth Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association November 1 – November 4, 2018 Seattle, WA Submission is now open for abstracts for posters to be presented at the PSA2018 meeting in Seattle, WA, on November 1-4, 2018. The poster forum will be on the evening of November 2. This will be the 50th anniversary of the first biennial...
  • Richard M. Burian Receives 2017 David L. Hull Prize

    Richard M. Burian, PSA member and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy & Science Studies at Virginia Tech, has been awarded the 2017 David L. Hull Prize. The David L. Hull Prize is a biennial prize established in 2011 by the ISHPSSB to honor the life and legacy of David L. Hull (1935–2010). The David L. Hull Prize honors an extraordinary contribution t...
  • Emily C. Parke Awarded the 2017 Marjorie Grene Prize

    PSA member Emily C. Parke has been awarded the 2017 Marjorie Grene Prize for her essay, 'Experiments, Simulations, and Epistemic Privilege' (Philosophy of Science, 2014, 81(4), 516–536). The Marjorie Grene Prize is awarded by the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology and named in honor of Marjorie Grene (19...
  • Lynn Chiu Awarded the 2017 Werner Callebaut Prize

    PSA member Lynn Chiu has been awarded the 2017 Werner Callebaut Prize for her essay (co-authored with biologist Scott Gilbert), 'The Birth of the Holobiont: Multi-species Birthing Through Mutual Scaffolding and Niche Construction' (Chiu & Gilbert (2015) Biosemiotics, 8: 191-210). The Werner Callebaut Prize is awarded by the International Society fo...
  • PSA2018: Call for Papers

    Twenty-Sixth Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association November 1 – November 4, 2018 Seattle, WA Submission is now open for papers to be presented at the PSA2018 meeting in Seattle, WA, on November 1-4, 2018. This will be the 50th anniversary of the first biennial meeting of the PSA. The deadline for submitting a paper is March 1, 2...
  • PSA2018: Call for Symposium Proposals

    Twenty-Sixth Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association November 1 – November 4, 2018 Seattle, WA Submission is now open for proposals for symposia to be presented at the PSA2018 meeting in Seattle, WA, on November 1-4, 2018. This will be the 50th anniversary of the first biennial meeting of the PSA. The deadline for submitting sympo...
  • Michela Massimi Awarded the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal

    Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture The 2017 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal is awarded to Professor Michela Massimi, PSA member and former Governing Board Member, for her interdisciplinary interests in and communication of modern philosophy and science: particularly in relation to physics, and the thinking of Newton, Kant and Pauli. Professor Ma...
  • 2017 PSA Election Results

    On behalf of the Governing Board of the Philosophy of Science Association, it is my pleasure to announce the results of the 2017 PSA Election. Thanks to all those who voted. We had an excellent turnout of 54.9%. Alisa Bokulich of Boston University and Hasok Chang of the University of Cambridge were elected to the Governing Board of the PSA. Each wi...
  • View Recording of PSA/UCS Joint Webinar: Scientific Facts vs. Alternative Facts (sic)

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 2:00 PM EDT - 3:00 PM EDT Hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists Center for Science and Democracy View recording of the webinar here: https://ucsusa.adobeconnect.com/pae09j6wqa0k/ How can we understand and respond to “alternative facts” when they are presented as of equal value as scientific facts? The UCS Center for Sc...
  • PSA Stands Up for Science

    The PSA is an official partner of the March for Science, and many of our members participated in marches all over the world, among them our President, Sandy Mitchell, and Past-President, Ken Waters.
  • Letter from Sandra D. Mitchell, PSA President

    Dear PSA Members, I am honored to be serving as the President of PSA (as of January 1, 2017) and want to take a moment to both look forward to new initiatives and opportunities and reflect back on what the organization has been doing. Most importantly, I want to invite you to participate in the activities of the PSA and in collectively considering...

Presidents

Current: Sandra D. Mitchell University of Pittsburgh
Term: 2017/01/01 - 2018/12/31
Elect: Alison Wylie University of Washington and Durham University
Term: 2017/01/01 - 2018/12/31
Previous: C. Kenneth Waters University of Calgary
Term: 2017/01/01 - 2018/12/31

Executive Director

Jessica Pfeifer University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Term: 2015/01/01 - present

Governing Board

Alisa Bokulich Boston University
Term: 2018/01/01 - 2021/12/31
Hasok Chang University of Cambridge
Term: 2018/01/01 - 2021/12/31 
Megan Delehanty University of Calgary
Term: 2017/01/01 - 2020/12/31
Peter Godfrey-Smith CUNY Graduate Center & University of Sydney
Term: 2016/01/01 - 2019/12/31
Edouard Machery University of Pittsburgh
Term: 2017/01/01 - 2020/12/31
Laura Ruetsche University of Michigan
Term: 2016/01/01 - 2019/12/31
Janet D. Stemwedel San José State University
Term: 2015/01/01 - 2018/12/31
Michael Weisberg University of Pennsylvania
Term: 2015/01/01 - 2018/12/31

Nominating Committee

Chair: Heather Douglas University of Waterloo
Term: 2018/01/01 - 2019/12/31
Melinda Bonnie Fagan The University of Utah
Term: 2018/01/01 - 2019/12/31
Ismael, Jenann The University of Arizona
Term: 2018/01/01 - 2019/12/31

In July 2016, the Governing Board of the PSA passed a motion that in the interest of transparency, motions passed by the Governing Board will generally be posted on the PSA website, starting with the motions passed since January 1, 2015. Some motions will not be posted (e.g. about personnel) and some motions will be posted after various people have been informed first or after an official announcement has been made. PSA will post passed motions as a default, but a motion need not be posted if the Governing Board, President, or Executive Director decides with reason that the passed motion should not be posted. If the President or Executive Director decides subsequent to a vote that a passed motion should not be posted, they should inform the Governing Board and explain their reasons for not posting the motion.

The motions below are listed by date starting from the most recent. The date the motion was passed is listed following each motion.


Motions Passed by the Governing Board of the PSA

Motion: PSA will provide onsite childcare at the PSA 2018 Meeting along the lines that were piloted at 2016 meeting. Passed on 2 November 2016.

Motion: PSA will provide dependent care subsidies for the PSA 2018 Meeting along the lines that were piloted for the 2016 meeting. Passed on 2 November 2016.

Motion: PSA will seek to provide travel subsidies to graduate students and recent PhDs along the lines that were piloted for the 2016 meeting. Passed on 2 November 2016.

[This will include (a) seeking an NSF grant to subsidize travel costs for U.S. citizens and scholars (regardless of citizenship) studying or working at U.S. institutions as has been done for many years and (b) using PSA’s own funds to subsidize travel costs for those ineligible for funding from the NSF grant which was piloted for PSA2016.]

Motion: PSA will rename the “PSA Recent PhD Essay Award” to the "PSA Early-Career Scholar Essay Award” and change the eligibility requirement for the award to the following: To be eligible for the year X PSA Early-Career Scholar Essay Award, the article must have a publication date in Philosophy of Science during the year X, and the author must supply evidence either that they were a graduate student at the time of publication or that their Ph.D. Degree was awarded after December (year X –5 years). Papers that have received the PSA Graduate Student Essay Award are not eligible for the PSA Early-Career Scholar Essay Award. Passed on 2 November 2016.

Motion: The PSA Lectures and Awards committee shall contain at least one member of the governing board. Passed on 2 November 2016.

[The President appoints the committee members. Previously, at least three members had to be members of the Governing Board.]

Motion: PSA will make the Poster Forum a regular part of its Biennial Meeting. The President will choose a Poster Forum Chair. The Poster Forum Chair will select Poster Forum Committee members in consultation with the President. The Poster Forum Chair will not start this selection process until after the Program Committee Chair has completed selections for the Program Committee. Poster Forum Chairs will serve as consultants to their immediate successors. So, a Chair’s term of service will be four years.  Passed on 6 November 2016.

Motion: PSA will make the Cognate Societies Sessions a regular part of its Biennial Meeting. Passed on 6 November 2016.

Motion: PSA authorizes Governing Board member Janet Stemwedel to pursue further inquiries in to what respectful conduct policy might be worth pursuing with respect to feasibility and report back to board. Passed on 6 November 2016.

Motion: PSA authorizes Executive Director Jessica Pfeifer to look into creating a treasurer position in consultation with the President and to construct a proposal of how the position could be set up. Passed on 6 November 2016.

Motion: The minutes of future PSA Governing Board meetings will consist of motions, votes and brief explanation of rationale behind motions if needed. Passed on 6 November 2016.

Motion: PSA encourages authors with papers accepted by Philosophy of Science to post preprints on Phil-Sci Archive. Authors will be informed of this encouragement when their papers are accepted for publication. Passed on 6 November 2016.

Motion: that in the interest of transparency, motions passed by the Governing Board will generally be posted on the PSA website, starting with the motions passed since January 1, 2015. Some motions will not be posted (e.g. about personnel) and some motions will be posted after various people have been informed first or after an official announcement has been made. PSA will post passed motions as a default, but a motion need not be posted if the Governing Board, President, or Executive Director decides with reason that the passed motion should not be posted. If the President or Executive Director decides subsequent to a vote that a passed motion should not be posted, they should inform the Governing Board and explain their reasons for not posting the motion. Passed July 2016

Motion: that the “Diversity Committee” be renamed the “Committee on Diversity and Climate.” Passed July 2016

Motion: that the Committee on Diversity and Climate be charged with investigating the best practices for climate policies, formulating both a climate statement proposal and a climate policy proposal for administrative and legal review, as well as further discussion from the governing board. Passed July 2016

Motion: that Jessica Pfeifer, Executive Director of PSA, be authorized to set up on-site childcare services for PSA2016 provided it can be done within a $6,000 budget from PSA (not counting additional fees paid by those using the service). Passed July 2016

Motion: that the Governing Board proposes that Article III, Section 3, of the PSA Bylaws be amended as follows (Passed July 2016):

The function of the Governing Board shall be to formulate and give effect to the major policies of the Association. A proposal before the Governing Board shall be considered adopted if approved by a majority of the Governing Board. A referendum of any action of the Governing Board shall be held at the time of the annual election if a demand for it is filed with the Executive Director by fifteen full members before November 1 April 1. The Governing Board shall be overruled only by an absolute majority of the full members.

Per Article VI §2 of the PSA By-Laws, this proposed amendment shall be adopted if approved by two-thirds of the full members who vote on it in the next PSA Election.

Motion: that the Governing Board proposes that Article IV, Sections 5, 6, and 7, of the PSA Bylaws be amended as follows (Passed July 2016):

Section 5

Biennially in odd numbered years the Governing Board shall nominate at least six individuals to stand for election to the Nominating Committee. In addition nominations may be made by any fifteen full members of the Association. All nominations must be filed with the Executive Director on or before September 15 February 15. Preferential ballots shall be used in the election for Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three individuals. Terms shall begin on January 1 of even numbered years and expire on December 31 of odd numbered years.

Section 6

Nominations for President shall be made by the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall nominate at least three candidates for President. In addition, nominations may be made by any fifteen full members of the Association. All nominations must be filed with the Executive Director on or before September 15 February 15. Balloting for President shall utilize a preferential ballot.

Section 7

Nominations for Governing Board members other than the President, President-elect, and most recent past president shall be decided by the Nominating Committee. The number of candidates for Governing Board that the Nominating Committee must select shall equal twice the number of Governing Board members whose current terms are expiring. In addition, nominations may be made by any fifteen full members of the Association.

All nominations must be filed with the Executive Director on or before September 15 February 15. Elections for Governing Board members shall use a non-preferential ballot. Election to the Governing Board shall be by plurality of votes cast.

Per Article VI §2 of the PSA By-Laws, this proposed amendment shall be adopted if approved by two-thirds of the full members who vote on it in the 2017 PSA Election.

Motion: that the Governing Board proposes that Article VI, Section 1, of the PSA Bylaws be amended as follows (Passed July 2016):

Amendments to this document may be proposed by the Governing Board and shall appear on the annual election ballot with an indication that this is a Governing Board proposed amendment. Amendments may also be proposed by a full member. Any amendment proposed by a full member must be accompanied by the signatures of fifteen full members and must be filed with the Executive Director before October 1 March 1. Any amendment proposed by a member shall be circulated to the Governing Board prior to its appearance on the ballot in order to ascertain whether they wish to make a recommendation concerning its adoption to the membership.

Per Article VI §2 of the PSA By-Laws, this proposed amendment shall be adopted if approved by two-thirds of the full members who vote on it in the 2017 PSA Election.

Motion: that the following amendment (in bold) be made to the PSA’s Conflict of Interest Policy for PSA Awards, adding “or other awards committee”:

Conflict of Interest Policy for PSA Awards (Originally adopted July 19, 2014; Amendments in bold passed July 2016)

1. A conflict of interest occurs when Governing Board or other awards committee member is in any of the following relationships with a nominee:

Familial relationship (spouse, partner, parent, sibling)
Dissertation supervisor or supervisee
Collaborator (e.g. coauthor, coeditor) within last 5 years
Departmental colleague within last 5 years
A personal relationship (positive or negative) that the Governing Board member feels would interfere with or compromise member’s judgment (or be perceived as so compromising)

2. Procedure:

For Hempel Award: In the case a Governing Board member is in a COI relationship with any of the nominations, the Governing Board member merely assigns the median score to the nominee with respect to whom the member has a COI. If there is an even number of nominations the voting member pairs the COI nomination with what would be the middleranked nomination without the COI and splits the vote between the two.

For other awards: Committee member must declare COI to fellow committee members. They have the option of evaluating and ranking the paper themselves or calling on external assistance if they do not feel competent to judge the paper.

Motion: that the following amendment be made to the PSA's Hempel Award Procedure:

Hempel Award Procedure (Originally adopted in 2012. Amended in April and July 2014. New amendments in bold passed July 2016.)

1. Every Governing Board member is a voting member of the committee to decide the Hempel Award.
2. All deliberations, including our discussions and the names of nominees and nominators, are strictly confidential. You should shred delete your copy of the nomination packets at the end of our deliberations.
3. The Executive Secretary Director will distribute the nomination packets of the nominees.
4. There will be several weeks for you to read the files and engage in any necessary discussion. We respectfully request that this time be used for mentioning material that might be overlooked, and not for campaigning for any particular candidate or making invidious comparisons.
5. You may use your own knowledge as well as the information in the nomination packets in coming to your decisions.
6. We will use a Borda count procedure for voting, so as to maximize the chance of selecting a generally preferred candidate. Each Governing Board member must rank every candidate. For example, if there are 4 candidates, they will give 4 points to their first choice candidate, 3 points to their second choice candidate, 3 points to their third choice candidate, and 1 point to their fourth choice candidate. Votes will be sent to the Executive Secretary Director and are strictly confidential. The votes will be tallied, and the top vote getter receives the award. Voting should take place by August 5 July 20. In the unlikely event of a tie between top vote getters, there will be a run off election to decide between them.
7. In the case a Governing Board member is in a COI relationship with any of the nominations (see the PSA Conflict of Interest Policy for Awards), Governing Board member merely assigns the median score to the nominee with respect to whom the member has a COI. If there is an even number of nominations the voting member pairs the COI nomination with what would be the middleranked nomination without the COI and splits the vote between the two.
8. Hempel Award Nominators can renominate candidates for one cycle by simply informing the Executive Director that they would like their previous nomination to be reconsidered. Self-nominations will be accepted. Nominees and nominators should be members of the Philosophy of Science Association. Current members of the Governing Board of the PSA may not make nominations or be nominated for the Hempel Award.

Motion: that the PSA adopt the following Social Media Policy (Passed July 2016):

Background: Increasingly, members of academic disciplines including philosophy are using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to broadcast information from professional conferences to a wider audience. However, norms around the use of social media tools at professional conferences have not yet solidified, and some conference participants may feel uneasy at the potential for social media coverage to misrepresent their claims or to broaden their audience in an unwelcome way.

Policy: The biennial conferences of the Philosophy of Science Association allow members to share their research with a wider audience. Social media can help extend that audience to members not at the meeting, and to the public. Norms around the use of social media in academic culture are still emerging. Meeting attendees using social media to broadcast content from the conference to a broader audience are asked to engage with respect and professionalism. Do not post images from presentations without consent. Be clear about when you are posting the words or claims of a presenter and when you are posting your own opinion on a presentation. Be considerate of presenters’ requests for no social media coverage; they may be sharing work with their peers at this conference to foster discussion and feedback, but feel that the findings are not ready for wider consumption. If you prefer that your presentation not be shared via social media, communicate that clearly to your audience.

Motion: that for any PSA meeting the President, in consultation with the Program Chair, have the option of organizing a plenary session, remaining mindful that the Governing Board would not wish that this session decrease beyond necessity the number of accepted papers or symposia among those submitted by the membership. Passed July 2016 

Earlier motions (starting 1 January 2015) will be posted soon.

Former Presidents

Philipp Frank Term: 1948 - 1950
Henry Margenau Term: 1951 - 1957
C.J. Ducasse Term: 1958 - 1960
Ernest Nagel Term: 1961 - 1964
Adolf Grünbaum Term: 1965 - 1970
Wesley Salmon Term: 1971 - 1972
Israel Scheffler Term: 1973 - 1974
Arthur Burks Term: 1975 - 1976
Hilary Putnam Term: 1977/01/01 - 1978/12/31
Mary Hesse Term: 1979/01/01 - 1980/12/31
Ernan McMullin Term: 1981/01/01 - 1982/12/31
Robert Cohen Term: 1983/01/01 - 1984/12/31
David Hull Term: 1985/01/01 - 1986/12/31
Arthur Fine Term: 1987/01/01 - 1988/12/31
Thomas Kuhn Term: 1989/01/01 - 1990/12/31
Bas van Fraassen Term: 1991/01/01 - 1992/12/31
Ronald Giere Term: 1993/01/01 - 1994/12/31
Abner Shimony Term: 1995/01/01 - 1996/12/31
Michael Friedman Indiana University
Term: 1997/01/01 - 1998/12/31
Richard Jeffrey Princeton University
Term: 1999/01/01 - 2000/12/31
John Earman University of Pittsburgh
Term: 2001/01/01 - 2002/12/31
Elliot Sober University of Wisconsin, Madison
Term: 2003/01/01 - 2004/12/31
Brian Skyrms University of California, Irvine
Term: 2005/01/01 - 2006/12/31
Lawrence Sklar University of Michigan
Term: 2007/01/01 - 2008/12/31
Nancy Cartwright University of Durham
University of California, San Diego
Term: 2009/01/01 - 2010/12/31
James Woodward University of Pittsburgh
Term: 2011/01/01 - 2012/12/31
Helen Longino Stanford University
Term: 2013/01/01/ - 2014/12/31
C. Kenneth Waters University of Calgary
Term: 2015/01/01 - 2016/12/31

Former Executive Secretaries

Peter Asquith Michigan State University
Term: 1970 - 1996/06/30
George Gale University of Missouri, Kansas City
Term: 1996/07/01 - 2007/12/31
Gary Hardcastle Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Term: 2008/01/01 - 2013/02/09
Jessica Pfeifer University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Term: 2013/02/10 - 2014/12/31

Former Philosophy of Science Editors-in-Chief

William Malisoff Term: 1934 - 1947
C. West Churchman Term: 1948 - 1958
Richard Rudner Term: 1959 - 1975
Kenneth Shaffner Term: 1976 - 1980
Robert Butts Term: 1981 - 1990
Merilee Salmon Term: 1991 - 1995
Philip Kitcher Term: 1996 - 1999
Noretta Koertge Term: 2000 - 2004
Michael Dickson Term: 2004 - 2009
Jeff Barrett Term: 2009 - present

Former Governing Board Members

Anjan Chakravartty University of Notre Dame
Term: 2014/01/01 - 2017/12/31
Wendy S. Parker Durham University
Term: 2014/01/01 - 2017/12/31

Rachel Ankeny

University of Adelaide
2013/01/01 - 2016/12/31

Alan Richardson

University of British Columbia
2011/01/01 - 2016/12/31

Michela Massimi

University of Edinburgh
2012/01/01 - 2015/12/31

Christian Wüthrich

University of California, San Diego &
University of Geneva

Term: 2012/01/01 - 2015/12/31
Miriam Solomon Temple University
Term: 2011/01/01 - 2014/12/31
Stephan Hartmann Tilburg University & LMU-Munich
Term: 2010/01/01 - 2013/12/31
Roberta Millstein University of California, Davis
Term: 2010/01/01 - 2013/12/31
Robert Batterman University of Pittsburgh
Term: 2011/01/01 - 2012/12/31
Nancy Nersessian Georgia Institute of Technology
Term: 2008/01/01 - 2011/12/31
Andrea Woody University of Washington
Term: 2008/01/01 - 2011/12/31
Heather Douglas University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Term: 2007/01/01 - 2010/12/31
Sandra Mitchell University of Pittsburgh
Term: 2007/01/01 - 2010/12/31
P. Kyle Stanford University of California, Irvine
Term: 2007/01/01 - 2010/12/31
John D. Norton University of Pittsburgh
Term: 2007/01/01 - 2010/12/31
Craig Callender University of California, San Diego
Term: 2006/01/01 - 2009/12/31
Alan Hajek Australian National University
Term: 2006/01/01 - 2009/12/31

Former Nominating Committees

2016-2017

Mathias Frisch (Chair)
Holly Andersen
Anya Plutynski

2014-2015

Alisa Bokulich (Chair)
Hasok Chang 
Katherine Brading

2012-2013

P. Kyle Stanford (Chair)
Hanne Andersen 
Kathleen Okruhlik

2010-2011

Margaret Morrison (Chair)
C. Kenneth Waters
Alison Wylie

2008-2009 James Joyce (Chair)
Rachel Ankeny
Roman Frigg
2006-2007 Miriam Solomon (Chair)
Malcolm Forster
Roberta Millstein