PSA Newsletter: Vol. 12 No. 3: October 2006

************************************************************************** PSA Newsletter: Volume 12 : Number 3: October 2006 **************************************************************************

Edited for the Philosophy of Science Association by Malcolm Forster


  1. CONFERENCE: Kant and Philosophy of Science Today. University College London, 2-3 July 2007.
  2. JOB: History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh. Tenured/tenure stream, rank open. Review of complete applications will begin on December 1, 2006.
  3. JOB(S): Philosophy of Science, University of Western Ontario. Deadline: November 20, 2006.
  4. JOB: Philosophy of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Deadline: November 15, 2006.
  5. POSTDOC: Science in Human Culture, Northwestern University. Deadline: January 15, 2007.
  6. CALL for Papers: Science Studies & Science Education. Deadline: March 31, 2007.
  7. BOOK: Ernst Mayr at 100: Ornithologist and Naturalist.


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1. CONFERENCE: Kant and Philosophy of Science Today. University College London, 2-3 July 2007.


Kant and Philosophy of Science Today

2-3 July 2007

  • Institute of Archaeology Lecture Theatre
  • University College London
  • 31-34 Gordon Square
  • London WC1H 0PY

A conference organised and hosted by the Dept. of Science and Technology Studies, UCL, with the joint support of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and the British Academy.

The aim of the conference is to explore the far-reaching legacy of Kant's philosophy in current debates on philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of physics, and to foster international collaboration among scholars researching on Kantian themes in philosophy of science broadly construed.


  • Emily Carson (McGill University)
  • Hasok Chang (UCL)
  • Michael Friedman (Stanford University)
  • Marcus Giaquinto (UCL)
  • Michela Massimi (UCL)
  • Margaret Morrison (University of Toronto)
  • Carl Posy (Hebrew University)
  • Thomas Ryckman (Stanford University)
  • Roberto Torretti (University of Puerto Rico)
  • Friedel Weinert (University of Bradford)

For programme details and booking form, see:

2. JOB: History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh. Tenured/tenure stream, rank open. Review of complete applications will begin on December 1, 2006.

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Tenured/tenure stream faculty position in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, pending budgetary approval.

Area of Specialization: History and philosophy of science and related areas that naturally complement departmental strengths.

Rank: Open; although we are especially interested in distinguished faculty at the full professor level.

Responsibilities: Undergraduate and graduate teaching; regular departmental duties.

Applicants must submit the following materials, which will not be returned: curriculum vitae, at least three confidential letters or reference, or, for senior candidates, names of three referees we may contact; evidence of teaching ability; and samples of recent writing. The department regrets that it cannot solicit missing materials from applicants, or return any materials.

Please direct all inquiries and application materials regarding this position to: The Appointment Committee, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 16260. The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and members of minority groups under represented in academia are especially encouraged to apply.

Deadline for Applications: Review of complete applications will begin on December 1, 2006 and will continue until the position is filled.

3. JOB(S): Philosophy of Science, University of Western Ontario. Deadline: November 20, 2006.

UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO, London, ONTARIO, Canada.The Department of Philosophy invites applications in Philosophy of Science. In addition to the physical, biological, cognitive, and social sciences, we are also interested in candidates in logic and the foundations of mathematics. Depending on retirements, the Department will be hiring as many as five philosophers of science over the next five years. While these positions are likely to be filled at the rank of assistant professor, we are open to exceptional applications from more senior scholars. Ph.D. and experience in teaching and research are required. Please send CV, teaching dossier, writing sample, and three letters of reference to Professor Samantha Brennan, Chair, Department of Philosophy, Talbot College, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A3K7; Fax (519) 661-3922. To be considered for a start date of July 1, 2007, applications must be received by November 20, 2006. Positions are subject to budget approval. Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents will be considered first for these positions. The University of Western Ontario is committed to employment equity and welcomes applications from all qualified women and men, including visible minorities, aboriginal people and persons with disabilities.

4. JOB: Philosophy of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Deadline:

November 15, 2006.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON, Madison, WI. Assistant Professor,tenure track, beginning August 2007. Four courses per year, undergraduate and graduate. Scholarly research and university/ professional service required. AOS: Philosophy of Science. AOC: Logic. Candidates must be qualified to teach in a strong Ph.D. program and must be willing to teach upper- and lower-level logic on a regular basis. Candidates must show evidence of outstanding teaching and research potential. Salary competitive. Candidates should send a CV, three confidential letters of recommendation, a writing sample and a phone number at which they may be reached in late December. Preliminary interviews may be held at the APA Eastern Division meeting. To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by November 15, 2006. Send application to: Philosophy of Science Search Committee, Department of Philosophy, 5185 H.C.White Hall, 600 North Park Street, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706-1403. AA/EOE. UW is strongly committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality.

5. POSTDOC: Science in Human Culture, Northwestern University. Deadline: January 15, 2007.

Northwestern University's Science in Human Culture Program (SHC) invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the contextual study of science, technology, and medicine, to run September 2007 through August 2009. We seek applicants in the history of science/medicine/technology, the philosophy of science, and the sociology/anthropology of science. Each fellow will be affiliated with both the SHC program and with an appropriate disciplinary department (History, Philosophy, Sociology, etc). Fellows will pursue a program of independent scholarship; teach two one-quarter courses each year (a seminar and a lecture); and organize the SHC bi-weekly faculty seminar series. Applicants must have completed all the requirements for the Ph.D. before beginning their fellowship. The annual stipend is $40,000, with an allowance for moving expenses, plus $3100 per year to fund research and conference travel.

Applicants should send the following materials--in both paper and electronic form--directly to the SHC office: 1) a cover letter and full curriculum vitae, 2) a four-page fellowship proposal, 3) a writing sample consisting of either a dissertation chapter or published paper, and 4) graduate school transcripts. They should also arrange to have three letters of recommendation, at least one commenting on teaching qualifications, sent directly as paper copys to the office. Office address: Ms. Barbara Phelan, Program in Science in Human Culture, 20 University Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-2245. The due date for all materials is January 15, 2007. The SHC website is Questions about administrative matters may be addressed to Ms. Phelan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., about the content and goals of the program to Ken Alder, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. AA/EOE: applications from women and minorities are especially encouraged.

6. CALL for Papers: Science Studies & Science Education. Deadline: March 31, 2007.

Special Issue / New Section

Science Education has a long tradition of publishing articles about the relationships between history and philosophy of science and science education. Science Education published the first scholarly papers on sociology of science and science education. Recently, it has provided a vibrant forum for research on argumentation and scientific discourse, drawing from such fields as rhetoric,epistemology, and cognitive sciences. As educational research moves to more nuanced understandings of science teaching and learning, we believe we can both learn from science studies as well as provide evidence relevant to the "blind spot" of science studies -- education. In 2007 Science Education will publish a special issue and institute a new section of the journal focusing on "Science Studies& Science Education."

The intents of this special issue are:

  1. To clarify/illuminate/analyze/discuss the potential significance of science studies for science education;
  2. To provide a forum for the scholarly exchange of ideas and theories regarding science education and science studies;
  3. To launch a new "Science Studies & Science Education" section for Science Education. "Science Studies" is a group of disciplines that draw from history, philosophy, anthropology and sociology of science as well as cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence. The primary focus of Science Studies is to understand science as an epistemic and socio- historical endeavor. The study of science classrooms as environments characterized by epistemic, cognitive, social and affective factors should benefit from Science Studies scholarship. Science Studies holds the potential to contribute to the policy and practice level implementation in science education. Hence, for the special issue and the subsequent establishment of the new section on science studies we will solicit manuscripts that develop our understanding of howScience Studies applies to theory, methodology, policy and practice of science education.

Some example applications of Science Studies in science education might include the following questions:

  • Epistemic Questions: How are ideas formulated, evaluated and developed in science? In science teaching and learning?
  • Cognitive Questions: What constitute scientists' ways of reasoning? What can we learn from cognitive analyses of scientists to help school children and university students in learning science?
  • Historical Questions: How do scientific and classroom ideas change over time? What factors contribute to change?
  • Anthropological Questions: How are classroom and research group cultures produced? Maintained? Changed?
  • Sociological Questions: What historical, political and social norms characterize and guide the scientific enterprise? How do such norms translate to classroom science learning environments?
  • AI Questions: What logical and other formal reasoning capabilities and patterns underlie domain specific inquiry in science and scientific thinking? Are there general patterns of reasoning that are valuable across all scientific domains?
  • Political Questions: How do we implement the theoretically best educational practices into the very constrained real world of science education?

Manuscripts for this Special Issue should be submitted online. Information regarding the preparation of manuscripts and directions for online submission is available at:

For online submissions, submit files at:

Please indicate in a cover letter to the editor that you would like the manuscript to be considered for publication in the ScienceStudies and Science Education Special Issue.

A Rationale for Science Studies and Science Education

The label "science studies" is relatively new and has many meanings so we think it is beneficial for us to share our working understanding. Examples of Science Studies' disciplines include history of science, sociology of science, anthropological studies of science, philosophy of science and cognitive/psychological/AI studies of scientific reasoning. The oldest of the science study discipline sis philosophy of science dating back to antiquity. History of science was established in the academy at the beginning of the 20th century with sociology of science not far behind. Cognitive science and AI emerged at the beginning of the second half of the 20th century with anthropology of science being the most nascent of the group. Like science itself, the initial forays were mainly pursued individually without the benefits of journals, conferences, associations or specialized educational programs.

The twentieth century saw the institutionalization of the science studies subjects with some attempts to join them in Centers andPrograms for the History and Philosophy of Science. Prior to 1960,history of science was divided into two types -- internal and external histories. Internal histories of science were concerned with the concepts and logic of theories; external histories were concerned with the broader institutional, cultural and technological influences, such as the differences in the acceptance of Newtonian theory in England and France or the role of science societies in the advancement of science. Prior to 1960 the philosophy of science with its emphasis on logic and language was almost exclusively internal.

Under the influence of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions and similar research such as that by Norwood Hanson, Michael Polanyi,Stephen Toulmin, Robert Merton, Ludwig Fleck, and Ernst Nagel, among others, the assumption that internal and external accounts could be pursued independently was rejected. Kuhn's work encouraged other disciplines to take science itself as a subject and psychology,anthropology, and economics of science all were born. The "internal" study of science assumed that the development of science could be studied as a purely logical enterprise without consideration of such factors as the nature of the human mind, the availability of social networks, of social norms, of competitive and cooperative motivations, of social rewards and risks, of information networks or of the financial support for the process. In the last several decades these factors have been studied and while most research tends to focus on one or two dimensions, fruitful interactions are increasingly common.

Just as internal history and philosophy of science had a narrow focus on the logic of scientific processes, research shows that science education has had and continues to have a similar narrow focus on logical and conceptual elements. Science studies now recognize that scientists do not just collect data, they design experiments to collect the data and they refine and interpret both the data and experiments. In each case what they could do and what they actually do are influenced by their motivations, by the social, informational and technological resources available, and by the available alternative theories and models. Scientists also write about, read and argue about data, models, theories and explanations and in each case there are social and cultural contexts that influence their interpretations or their choice of statements.

Students also learn and do science within contexts that include aloof these factors. Ignoring these factors does not make them irrelevant, it only means that science education has been blind totem. Our goal is to broaden the range of issues, interpretative frameworks, and methodological orientations relevant to the production of knowledge in educational settings. Establishing a new section of the journal will create a forum for the exchange of scholarly ideas and research results on "Science Studies & Science Education."

Given the current focus on domain-specific inquiry in science education, it becomes imperative to achieve a fuller comprehension of the nature of reasoning in various disciplines and sub disciplines. Further, there is a need for deeper understanding of the epistemic,material, linguistic, and communicative, and representational practices in these areas. Another important area of needed scholarship is the rich science/society interactions continually occurring and how these ongoing practices are situated in broader social, intellectual, political, and economic contexts. Work with and within these domains could contribute significantly to understanding science thus informing educators as they help students and the public to understand and critique scientific knowledge and knowledge about science.

Another viable area of research concerns the place of activities related to science education in Western society and how this view compares and contrasts with science in other cultural and technological contexts. This focus would include manuscripts addressing the present-day politics of science and science education,and the publics' engagement in matters of science education and policy making. Decisions here are important because they depend on whether we are considering education related to the reproduction of disciplinary practices (technical mastery) or education aimed at more general, citizen level of understanding. And then there is also the need to consider at what level (e.g., elementary to postgraduate) and in which contexts (e.g., formal/in school to informal/ out of school) such decisions are appropriate or not. While some science education researchers explore such issues, the extent to which these scholars use or reference the knowledge bases of science studies is an open question. The special issue and the new section aim to expand scholarly discourse by including traditional and contemporary perspectives that frame our understandings about sciences a way of knowing. We hope that the special issue and the new section will create forum where cross-disciplinary boundaries are challenged and where considerations of science and science classrooms as cultural and epistemic endeavors will stimulate re conceptualizations of the traditionally distinct fields of anthropology and epistemology.


  • Richard Duschl, Rutgers University
  • Sibel Erduran, University of Bristol
  • Richard Grandy, Rice University
  • John Rudolph, University of Wisconsin

7. BOOK: Ernst Mayr at 100: Ornithologist and Naturalist.

A symposium celebrating the 100th birthday of Ernst Mayr was held during the 122nd Stated Meeting of the American Ornithologists' Union in Québec, Canada, in August 2004. The papers presented in this symposium have been published recently (Bock, W.J. & Lein, M.R. (eds.). 2005. Ernst Mayr at 100: Ornithologist and Naturalist. Ornithological Monographs no. 58) and provide extensive information on Ernst Mayr's work in ornithology and biogeography, and his years at the AMNH, with numerous photographs. This monograph also includes a complete bibliography of Ernst Mayr by Jürgen Haffer and a DVD containing excerpts (about 25 minutes long) from a video-taped interview with Ernst Mayr in November 2003. It can be obtained from Buteo Books, 3130 Laurel Road, Shipman, VA 22971, USA. 800-722-2460, ph: 434-263-8671, fax:434-263-4842; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. $ 20.00 + $ 4.00 mailing in the US and $ 5.00 to other countries. Make checks payable to Buteo Books.

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