PSA Newsletter: Vol. 1 No. 4: October 1995

************************************************************************** * _________________ ___________________ _________________ * * / / / / / / * * / ______ / / ______________/ / ______ / * * / / / / / / / / / / * * / /_____/ / / /_____________ / /_____/ / * * / / / / / / * * / ___________/ /______________ / / ______/ / * * / / / / / / / / * * / / _______________/ / / / / / * * / / / / / / / / * * /_____/ /__________________/ /_____/ /____/ * * * * * * ___ ___ ___ _____ _____ ___ ___ * * |\ | | | | | | | | | | | | * * | \ | |__ | | |___ | |__ | | |__ |___| * * | \ | | \ /\ / | | | | | | | \ * * | \| |___ \/ \/ ___| |___ |___ | | |___ | \ * * * * * * * * Volume 1 Number 4 * * * * O C T O B E R 1 9 9 5 * * * * * * Edited for the Philosophy of Science Association by: * * * * William Bechtel * * Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program * * Department of Philosophy * * Washington University in St. Louis * * * * Send submissions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. * * * **************************************************************************

Edited for the Philosophy of Science Association by:

William Bechtel
Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program
Department of Philosophy
Washington University in St. Louis

Send submissions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  2. Next PSA Meeting and Call for Papers
  3. Web Site for PSA 1996
  4. Joint NEH and NSF Summer Institute
  5. Net Discussion on Sociology of Scientific Validity
  6. NSF Grant Opportunities in Science and Technology Studies

Subject: 1. EDITOR'S NOTE:

The PSA Newsletter is published electronically on an "as needed" basis by the Philosophy of Science Association to disseminate information. The newsletter is moderated and is restricted to information pertinent to members of the Association (e.g., official business of the Association, information about upcoming meetings of the Association, and information about other meetings likely to be of interest to a broad range of the membership). It is NOT intended for ungoing discussions of intellectual topics within philosophy of science. If you have information that you would like to submit for possible inclusion in a future issue of the newsletter, please send it to the editor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Directions for subscribing and unsubscribing: Send an emailmessage with NO subject to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. To subscribe, include the following as the ONLY line: SUBSCRIBE PSA-NEWS <your name> To unsubscribe, include the following as the ONLY line: UNSUBSCRIBE PSA-NEWS

Subject 2. Next PSA Meeting and Call for Papers


The Fifteenth Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association will be held November 1-3, 1996, at the Stouffer Renaissance Cleveland Hotel at Tower City Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

                           CALL FOR PAPERS



Contributed papers may be on any topic in the philosophy of science. Maximum length is 5000 words, counting footnotes and references. If the text includes tables or figures, an appropriate number of words should be subtracted from the limit. Two copies, each including a 100 word abstract and a word count should be submitted in double-spaced typescript. Format and citation style should match those of Philosophy of Science. (See a recent issue for details.) If the paper is too long or the references incomplete, the paper will be returned to the author. Papers will be blind refereed; therefore, the author's name, institutional affiliation, surface and email addresses, and fax and telephone numbers should appear on a separate page. Hard copy of submissions must reach the chair of the program committee by November 15, 1995. Accepted papers will be published prior to the meeting in a supplemental issue of the journal Philosophy of Science. Notification about the status of submissions will be mailed in late January or early February. A finished manuscript (one hard copy and one on floppy disk, the latter in IBM or Macintosh format, using a standard word processor) must be submitted by March 1, 1996. Authors of accepted papers are expected to present abbreviated versions of their papers, with a time limit of 20 minutes (plus discussion).

Address program inquiries and paper submissions to:

  • Lindley Darden, Chair 1996 PSA Program Committee
  • Department of Philosophy
  • 1125A Skinner Building
  • University of Maryland
  • College Park, MD 20742 USA
  • 301-405-5699 (office)
  • 301-474-0037 (home)
  • 301-405-5690 (fax)

The Program Committee consists of: Lindley Darden, Chair (University of Maryland, College Park), Ron Amundson (University of Hawaii-Hilo), John Earman (University of Pittsburgh), Daniel Hausman (University of Wisconsin), Tim Maudlin (Rutgers University), W. H. Newton-Smith (Oxford University), Rose-Mary Sargent (Merrimack College), Paul Thagard (University of Waterloo).

3. Web Site for PSA 1996

The Program Committee for the 1996 PSA meeting has established a Web page that contains information about the upcoming meeting. In the near future it will contain information about the invited symposia. The addresss for this page is:

4. Joint NEH and NSF Summer Institute

This summer there will be a special joint NEH and NSF Summer Institute on the Scientific, Ethical, and Social Challenges of Contemporary Genetic Technology

Dates: July 7-Aug.2, 1996
Location: University of Puget Sound

The institute is sponsored by the University of Puget Sound and is supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. Application Deadline: March 1, 1996. For more information, contact:

  • David Magnus, Institute Director
  • Phibbs Prof. of Ethics and Science
  • University of Puget Sound
  • Tacoma, Wa 98416
  • Tel: (206)756-3508
  • Fax: (206)756-3500

5. Net Discussion on Sociology of Scientific Validity


Do you believe that in some historical periods some scientific communities have improved the "competence of reference" or "validity" of some of those beliefs on which they have achieved a new consensus?


Do you believe that the achievement of new consensual beliefs of improved validity happens more frequently in science than in other belief-sharing and belief-transmitting social systems?


As a field, "The Sociology of Scientific Validity" would attempt to delineate those social system features which may help optimize the production of new consensuses of improved competence. It might be envisaged as a second phase of the social-contructivist, relativist, interest-oriented, symmetrical sociology of scientific knowledge. It could be in part a comparative sociology, comparing for example the social system of astrology at various historical periods with that of astronomy. It could study differences in the valid productivity of different laboratories and national styles.

There would be externalist principles: What kind of socio-political structures optimize validity-seeking science. There would be internalist principles: patterns of communication, rules of persuasion, norms, the degree to which norms are lived up to, and the sanctions imposed when violated. Also relevant are sociological speculations as to the effect of current features of scientific institutions on the selection of beliefs for competence of reference: e.g. requirements for the achievement of tenure, the effects of tenure once awarded, editorial review processes, research funding, etc. Some of these may have negative effects.

In addition to dialogue, which will be archived month by month, we hope to archive a cumulative file of annotated citations.

Perhaps before you sign up to regularly receive all new messages, you would like to browse in the currently accumulated text. To do this you would address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and make the body of the message (rather than the subject line) read: GET SOCSCIVAL-L/ARCHIVES 9509

This refers to the September, 1995 accumulation. This won't be much, since we will go on line around September 21, 1995. If you join in October, 1995, you would request 9510, and in a separate request, 9509, etc. At the start, the cumulation will mainly be annotated references.

Without having yet joined, you may nonetheless insert comments into the dialogue, by addressing your message to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Some of you may want to continue in this browsing status, rather than automatically receiving each addition to the conversation as it is added.) To join as a regular member of the discussion groups, address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and enter in the body of the message (not the subject line): Subscribe SOCSCIVAL-L John Doe (ie., your name) From then on, any new additions will come your way automatically, and while they are on your screen you may add your comments without inserting an address (Unfortunately, new subscribers will not automatically receive the month's cumulation prior to their joining. To receive these, use the "get" request described above.) Your name will be added to list of members. To see who all is on this list, address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and for the message: RECIPIENTS SOCSCIVAL-L (Perhaps some of you permanent browsers avoiding automatic receipt of new discussion would nonetheless like to be on the recipients list. If so, use the "subscribe" instructions above and on the line following your name, enter: SET SOCSCIVAL-L MAIL POSTPONE Your contributions to the annotated bibliography will be sent in as discussion text. We will later excerpt them into a cumulative reference list. To access this special archive, address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and for the message send: GET SOCSCIVAL-L REFS

    Donald T. Campbell       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Robert E. Rosenwein      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    21 Sept 1995

P.S. At the 4S-SHOT meetings, Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday Oct 21, 11:30-1:00, there will be a meeting of this interest group. The final program will give the location. An opportunity to purchase a $10.00 box lunch will be available at the registration desk.

6. NSF Grant Opportunities in Science and Technology Studies


Science & Technology Studies (STS) considers proposals for research on the intellectual and social contexts that govern the development and use of science and technology. Besides traditional historical and philosophical modes of analysis, this research may use theories and methods from the social sciences and humanities, and information and analysis from the natural and physical sciences and engineering.

STS supports research on the nature and processes of development in science and technology (past and present) and the differences in the nature of theory and evidence in various scientific and technological fields. It also supports research on the interactions between science and technology and their impact on society, and on the interactions of forces that influence science or technology. It examines such topics as the construction of scientific and technological knowledge and institutions; the relations between science, government and other social institutions and groups; and processes of scientific and technological innovation and change.

Researchers whose projects are expected to contribute to understanding the ethical and social values, policies, and obligations and responsibilities that arise in the interactions of science, technology and society should contact the Ethics and Values Studies Program of NSF.

Except for doctoral dissertation research, STS studies of medicine, public health and society are not normally supported by NSF. Researchers should contact the National Institutes of Health and/or the National Endowment for the Humanities for support of research in these fields.


Support for STS projects is available through grants including:

1) STS Scholars Awards. These normally support individual researchers for part or all of an academic year, for summer research, or for some combination of academic year and summer. Awards allow up to $15,000 for partial support of full time summer research and/or related costs or up to $55,000 for partial support of one or more semesters (or quarters) of full time academic year release time and related expenses. Summer support is limited to no more than 2/9ths academic year salary. Applicants may apply, where appropriate and justified in the proposal, for a maximum of up to three summers' ($15,000*3) support and an academic year ($55,000) for up to $100,000. Some graduate (max. $12,000/year including indirect costs) or undergraduate (max. $6,000/year including indirect costs) research assistance, if justified, may be included within these requests; investigators may also request support for a designated postdoctoral researcher (max. $32,000 including fringe benefits and indirect costs).

STS Scholars Awards are normally made to institutions. PI's who cannot apply through an appropriate institution, however, may apply as individuals. In the latter case, the applicant must be a US citizen, national, or long-term resident (i.e. have permanent resident status).

2) Grants for collaborative research or infrastructure projects. STS can also consider research projects which require several investigators, or investigators and advisors, or collaboration among principal investigators (PIs). In preparing the budget for such collaborative projects, program limits as described for scholars awards for salaries, etc. for PI's should be followed: $55,000 maximum including fringes and indirect cost for full-time academic year research and $15,000 maximum per summer for each PI. For projects that also require postdoctoral researchers or graduate student assistants, see "Small Grants for Training and Research" below. Infrastructure projects may involve preparation of reference works, editions of scientific papers, development of data bases and graphics resources for public use, etc. Electronic dissemination of the results of such infrastructure projects should be the norm in STS projects.

3) Professional Development Fellowships (PDF) for researchers who wish to improve and expand their skills in the areas of STS (for physical and natural scientists and engineers) or in areas of science or engineering (for researchers trained in ethics, history, philosophy, or social science of science). For example, historians, philosophers and social scientists may use this award to work with a scientist or engineer to learn the technical details of research in their area. Alternatively, scientists or engineers may use this award to work with a historian, philosopher or social scientist to learn the methods of research in STS. These awards provide as much as $50,000 (depending on the current salary of the applicant) for support of a full-time academic year of study and research in a field outside the applicant's current area of expertise. They also provide up to $3,000 for travel (moving expenses could be taken from this travel allowance if so desired, but there is no separate moving allowance) and $3,000 for US host institution allowance. There is no dependents allowance.

PDFs must contain both a training and a research component. Letters from host scholars, describing their plans to work with the applicants, and from the host institutions, agreeing to provide appropriate space and facilities, must accompany these proposals.

4) Post-doctoral Fellowships for STS researchers within 5 years of receipt of Ph.D. The purpose of these fellowships is to enhance the methodological skills of researchers in STS. Consequently, applications must contain both a training and a research component and the site for the fellowship must be different from the institution where the fellow received the Ph.D. degree. These awards provide $32,000 per year for up to two years for support of full-time academic year of study and research. They also provide up to $3,000/year for travel and expenses and $3,000/year for U. S. host institutions (a postdoc may hold the fellowship outside of the US, but the NSF cannot pay institutional fees to non-US institutions). There are no dependents allowances and moving expenses must be paid from the travel allowance. Letters from host scholars (i.e. mentors) describing their plans to work with applicants, and from the host institutions agreeing to provide appropriate space and facilities, must accompany these proposals. Letters of recommendation from the fellow's dissertation supervisor must also be provided. No fellowship may begin until the Ph.D. granting institution has certified that the fellow has completed all requirements for the degree. STS Professional Development and Postdoctoral Fellowships provide a stipend and travel allowance to the fellow and an activities support allowance to the host institution. The amount of the PDF stipend depends on the fellow's prior earnings and work history; it can range from $30,000 to $55,000. The activities support allowance can be used to cover direct or indirect costs associated with the fellowship. To assure appropriate processing, the cover sheet for these proposals should indicate "STS Professional Development Fellowships" or "STS Postdoctoral Fellowship" in the upper left hand box. The individual applying answers the questions and fills in the signature blocks at the bottom of the page.

Applicants for STS Professional Development and Postdoctoral Fellowships must be US citizens, nationals or long term residents (i.e. have permanent resident status).

5) Doctoral Dissertation Research Grants provide funds for research expenses not normally available through the student's university. More information on applying is available in "Grants for Improving Doctoral Dissertation Research" (NSF 92-114). The dissertation advisor is the principal investigator on these applications; the doctoral student should be listed as co-principal investigator. No indirect costs are allowed; and the usual limit on an award is $7,000 for research in North America and $12,000 for work abroad. The proposal should include a letter of recommendation from the faculty advisor evaluating the student's promise as a researcher and the value and status of the proposed research. If the doctoral student will use the award for travel expenses to work with a specialist, the proposal should provide a justification for this choice and a letter from the specialist agreeing to work with the student. The proposal should include a statement indicating whether the student has passed the preliminary qualifying exams and all course work required for the dissertation. These requirements must be met before an award will be made.

6) Small Grants for Training and Research: "SGTR" awards are intended to provide sustained research opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows on important issues in STS. One or more senior investigators may propose a sustained course of study, research and training (for from one to three years) on a subject of significance. These training programs should have a specific research theme and the proposal should indicate how the training will be organized around the theme. The grants can provide a maximum of $100,000 support for one postdoctoral fellow and up to three graduate students to participate each year. For projects of more than one year, PIs may retain or change the postdoc and graduate students. In addition to providing a research theme and plan, applicants should also indicate the efforts that will be made to recruit women and minority students into the programs. The budget for training support belongs in the participant support costs section of the budget form, and no indirect costs can be applied to these budget items. Note: SGTR proposals will only be considered in the Fall of each year. The target date for submission of these proposals is August 1. Within the available funds, STS may only fund 2 or 3 of these SGTR's each year. While these grants provide no support for the principal investigators, PI's may be supported under existing grants or may concurrently submit a regular research proposal.

7) Conferences and Workshops: STS can help to support national or international conferences, symposia, and research workshops that enable leading scientists, engineers, researchers in STS areas of support, policy makers, and representatives of interested groups to develop, evaluate, and share new research findings. Proposals for conference or workshop support should describe the need for the gathering, the proposed date and location, topics and persons who will be involved, prior related meetings, publicity, and expected outcomes. These activities may, where justified, be carried out as special sessions in regular meetings of professional societies. STS gives priority to those conferences and symposia that promote interactions between researchers in STS and scientists and engineers. Concomitant support by several Federal agencies or private organizations is encouraged. Unless there is a very strong justification, STS normally limits support for conferences and workshops to $10,000. Other grant opportunities include support for instrumentation. Proposals can include requests for instrumentation costs. Supplements to existing awards may be requested for instrumentation such as CD-ROM readers, portable computers for research in archives and libraries, etc. Priority will be given to requests that involve use by all faculty and graduate students in a department. The NSF does not normally support the purchase of personal computers. GRANT ADMINISTRATION ADMINISTRATION OF FIXED AMOUNT AND FELLOWSHIPS AWARDS STS Scholars Awards are fixed amount awards. They will be made on a fixed amount basis subject to the conditions of the grant instrument and this Announcement. A fixed amount award represents a predetermined amount for NSF support of the proposed research without regard to the subsequent costs of the project. Note to Institutional Research Administrators: grants awarded on a fixed amount basis are not subject to Federal cost principles as contained in OMB Circular A-21. As part of the final report required by the grant general conditions, the grantee will be requested to certify that the level of effort funded was actually expended. Grants awarded as a result of this announcement are administered in accordance with the terms and conditions of NSF GC-1, "Grant General Conditions," or FDP-II, "Federal Demonstration Project General Terms and Conditions," depending on the grantee organization. Copies of these and other NSF publications are available at no cost from the NSF Forms and Publications Unit, phone (703) 306-1130, or via e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Internet). More comprehensive information is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (NSF 88-47, July 1989), for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number at GPO is (202) 783-3238 for subscription information.

If the submitting institution has never received an NSF award, it is recommended that appropriate administrative officials become familiar with the policies and procedures in the NSF Grant Policy Manual which are applicable to most NSF awards. If a proposal is recommended for an award, the NSF Division of Grants and Contracts will request certain organizational, management, and financial information. These requirements are described in Chapter III of the NSF Grant Policy Manual.

Upon completion of the project a Final Project Report (NSF Form 98A), including the Part IV Summary, will be required. NSF will send the form with Part I information preprinted to the Principal Investigator (Project Director) approximately one month prior to the grant's expiration date. Applicants should review the sample form in the GPG prior to proposal submission so that appropriate tracking mechanisms are included in the proposal plan to ensure that complete information will be available at the conclusion of the project.

When to Submit

Except for the SGTR program, which is limited to August 1 of each year (see previous page) formal proposals should be sent to NSF by February 1 and August 1. Express mail service is not necessary. Generally, proposals are reviewed and the results communicated to applicants within six months of those target dates. Until a decision is announced, no information can be provided on the probability of support.

What to Submit

For the STS program, 20 copies (19 to the "PPU," one to the Program Director of STS) of proposals should be submitted. Except as may be modified by this Announcement, all applicants should follow the standard NSF guidelines in the NSF Grants Proposal Guide (the "GPG"--NSF 94-2). All proposals should contain the sections outlined in GPG in the order indicated. GPG contains all of the forms needed for formal submissions. It is available from Forms and Publications Unit, NSF, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22230; 703-306-1130, and can be requested electronically via Internet: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For further information on application procedures for the STS program, contact:

  • Science & Technology Studies Program
  • National Science Foundation, Room 995
  • 4201 Wilson Blvd.
  • Arlington, VA 22230
  • Tel: 703-306-1743
  • Fax: 703-306-0485 or 0486

19 copies of each proposal, including one copy bearing original signatures, should be mailed to:

  • Announcement No. 95-92
  • National Science Foundation
  • 4201 Wilson Blvd. Room P60
  • Arlington VA 22230

Only one (1) copy of NSF Form 1225, Information about Principal Investigator/Project Director, should be sent, attached to the original signed proposal. One additional copy of the proposal should be sent directly to the STS Program in Room 995 of NSF.

Proposal Review

Proposals will be reviewed in accordance with established Foundation procedures and the four general criteria described in GPG. Normally, proposals are submitted to a two stage review process: merit review from knowledgeable researchers followed by review by a panel made up of historians, philosophers and social scientists who study science and technology. In preparing a proposal, PI's should recognize the differences in these two kinds of review: merit review from specialists and panel review by researchers who look at the contribution the project may make to questions of interest to the broader STS community. PI's are welcome to suggest a list of merit reviewers. The PI may also request that the proposal not be sent to certain reviewers (no explanation is needed for such a request). These suggestions should be sent in a letter separate from the formal proposal. The STS program will do its best to use some (but not all) of the suggested reviewers and avoid if possible those who the PI asks not to review. It is not always possible, however, to use suggested reviewers or to avoid others.

The National Science Foundation provides awards for research in the sciences and engineering. The Awardee is wholly responsible for the conduct of such projects and for preparation of the results for publication. The Foundation, therefore, does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

The Foundation welcomes proposals on behalf of all qualified scientists, engineers, and science educators, and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in any of the research and research-related programs described in this document.

In accordance with Federal statutes and regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provides funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on an NSF project. Contact Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities, Directorate for Education and Human Resources (703) 306-1636. The Foundation has TDD (Telephonic Device for the Deaf) capability, which enables individuals with hearing impairment to communicate with the Foundation for information relating to NSF programs. The number is (703) 306-0090. PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

[For Privacy Act Information, please see printed version or STIS version of this announcement.]

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