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“The Regimen of Bodily Health: Nourishment and Natural Knowledge”: HAPSAT 7th Annual Conference. Deadline: December 1, 2010

“The body” as both a material object and metaphor, provides a rich source of inspiration for both philosophical and historical studies of the production and transmission of knowledge. Lawrence and Shapin’s influential anthology, Science Incarnate: Historical Embodiments of Natural Knowledge (1998) broke new ground in this area with discussions of bodies as tools for philosophical inquiry, what it means for knowledge to be “embodied” in physical artifacts, and how bodily self-presentation can generate disembodied knowledge. The body also presents an arena for interplay of ideas about proper management of health and diseases and the application of scientific and medical expertise. Seventeenth century physicians, for instance, recommended a mixture of medicine and dietetics for consumptive patients; proper dietary regimes were often based on theoretical ideas about nourishment and health. Moreover, the body and our ideas of the body have been a political battleground: within the “culture of dissection” and public executions; as displays of ecclesiastical value and status; as technologically manipulable aspects of the self; as and as subjects of experimental philosophy.

On Friday March 18, 2011, HAPSAT, the Graduate Student Society at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto, will host its seventh annual conference, The Regimen of Bodily Health: Nourishment and Natural Knowledge.

This year’s distinguished keynote is Steven Shapin (Dept. Of History of Science, Harvard University): “The Long History of Dietetics: Thinking about Food, Expertise, and the Self.” The keynote is jointly hosted by HAPSAT and the IHPST Colloquium Series.

We invite graduate students and recent graduates working in fields such as HPS, STS, history, sociology, philosophy, public health, anthropology, gender studies, and law, to submit paper and panel proposals that critically engage with this theme. For papers please email abstracts of up to 250 words to [email protected] by December 1, 2010. For panels, please email a document with a 250 word abstract describing the panel as a whole in addition to individual abstracts for each paper (also 250 words). Each presenter will be given 20 minutes.

We welcome papers addressing, but not limited to, the following questions:

  • What is the relationship between embodied lives and disembodied knowledge?
  • How have health regimes influenced historical or philosophical ideas about the body?
  • Do philosophical ideas about the nature of the self, identity, and human agency affect society’s treatment of bodies?
  • To what extent have technologies of the body influenced science in practice (e.g. technologies of blood transfusion)?
  • How are food, bodies, and personal and institutional authority related within the modern medical establishment?
  • What is the relationship between personal appearance and epistemic authority?
  • How have ideas about the degenerate body (e.g. monsters, deformity, disease) been shaped by cultural or social beliefs?
  • How do different modes of food production and consumption affect the political relationships between bodies?
  • What sorts of new political relationships, and political philosophies, are likely to arise if technological advancement makes the transhumanist dream a reality?

We hope to be able to offer billeting and small travel subsides for graduate students travelling to Toronto for the conference.

For more information, visit the conference website. The pdf poster is also available.

Risky entanglements? Contemporary research cultures imagined and practised (Abstract Submission Deadline 29 January 2010)

  • When: 9-11 June 2010
  • Where: Albert Schweitzer Haus, Vienna, Austria
  • Key Speakers:

Philip Campbell (Editor-in-Chief, Nature)

Ulrike Felt (University of Vienna)

Lisa Garforth (Newcastle University)

Pierre-Benoît Joly (INRA, Paris)

Mike Michael (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Helga Nowotny (European Research Council)

Steven Shapin (Harvard University)

Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University)

  • Organisers: Department of Social Studies of Science, University of Vienna
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: 29 January 2010 (maximum length 500 words)

Recent key macro studies agree that scientific research is increasingly entangled in various societal rationales. On the one hand, these analyses should be understood within the context of the growing importance attributed to scientific and technological innovation for shaping contemporary societies. On the other hand, society’s readiness to contribute to an innovation-friendly climate is considered a key-asset for materializing this imagined progress. For both issues, the human side of science, thus researchers and their way of doing research, their values and their readiness to engage with both science and society, is perceived as essential.

As this unfolds on a global scale, it is interesting to observe within research policy and science institutions the convergence of various discourses that stress and imagine what seem to be the key values or myths guiding research today: excellence, accountability, mobility, flexibility, ethical conduct, societal relevance or application orientation, to mention but a few. However, far too little analytic attention has been devoted to (1) how these broad and ostensibly universal notions impinge on different work and knowledge production cultures, (2) how specific local histories and contingencies play out in practice, (3) how these global changes get refracted locally and personally, and (4) how all this re-frames what being a researcher today actually means. This lack seems astonishing given the importance the ‘human factor’ is attributed in current policy discourses around innovation.

This conference invites contributions that address change and continuity of work and knowledge production cultures in research, and ask in which processes ethical, societal and economic rationales shape these very cultures. Of particular interest are contributions that are combining more refined empirical analyses with broader theoretical frameworks of change. By combining works that address different regional-historical contexts and different scientific fields, the conference’s explicit goal is to open up comparative perspectives, thus contributing to a broader understanding of contemporary research cultures.

Conference Themes

  • Research Cultures and Regimes of Innovation

How do academic and economic/corporate logics intersect and interact in today’s research environment? Which new hybrid institutions between “academia” and “industry” arise and how is knowledge production structured in these contexts? Which roles do patents and the ownership of knowledge play in this? What are the contemporary specificities of spaces and places where knowledge is actually produced and communicated?

  • The Social and Temporal Organisation of Research

How has the social and temporal organisation of research changed? Which new roles and responsibilities for researchers come along with these changes? Which broader institutional changes frame these new forms of temporal and social organisation? How does this impinge on research practice?

  • Ethics in (Research) Practice

How do ethical considerations figure in actual research processes? Where are spaces and places where ethics is pondered and debated? How do institutional “ethical” processes (e.g. in journals or committees) impinge on research culture and practice? What are the intentions and the effects of formulating and codifying what good scientific practices are? What are the tensions arising between a global vision of science and local ethical understandings?

  • Biographies and Careers in Science

How do scientists envision and plan their careers and how do institutions shape this process? How “transgressive” are careers to other fields of employment? In how far have scientific biographies changed over the past decades, and how does this impinge on actual research practice? Which role do social, ethical and economic considerations play in these processes?

  • Rituals of Assessing Academic Work

How do new notions of quality and the rituals of ascribing and monitoring it reshape academic biographies and actual research practice? Which new forms of stratification are introduced in particular through audit and ranking practives? Does academic audit contribute to transparency and social robustness, or does it produce closure towards society?

  • Socialising Future Researchers for a New Kind of Science?

How are the professional norms and values of one generation of scientists transferred to the next? How are changes in culture and practice of the sciences reflected in the socialisation of young scientists? What role do ethical as well as socio-economic considerations play in these socialisation processes? Are there any ruptures in this process?

  • Economies of Promise: Imagined Futures as a Resource of Science

What role does the ever-increasing importance of promised future societal benefit play in scientific practice? How do these envisioned socio-scientific futures change how scientists approach problems and structure their research? Which institutional constellations are relevant in this economy of promises? Do particular funding policies have an impact on economies of promise and imagined futures?

  • Public Debates and Research Cultures

How do broader societal debates influence research practice? How does the increasing media coverage of science and scientists impinge on their self-understanding and their actual work? What images of scientific work and research practice arise from media representations of research in science and the humanities? Does public engagement influence research cultures, and in which processes?

A limited numbers of bursaries for financial support of junior scholar is available.

For further details about the submission of abstracts, registration fees etc. see:


Joachim Allgaier or Ulrike Felt

E-mail: conference.sciencestudies (at)

Tel: +43 1 4277-49610 or -49601

Fax: +43 1 4277-9496

150 Years After The Origin of Species: Biological, Historical, and Philosophical Perspectives

Victoria College, University of Toronto, November 21-24 2009

November 24, 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species, and The Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto are mounting a celebratory conference, “150 Years after Origin: Biological, Historical, and Philosophical Perspectives,” on November 21-24.

Keynote speakers include Spencer Barrett, Evelyn Fox Keller, James Moore, Alison Pearn, and Michael Ruse and Brian K. Hall.

The conference will culminate in a gala dinner, Origin at 150: A Toast to Charles Darwin, on Tuesday November 24, 8:00-10:30pm at the Colony Grande Ballroom, 89 Chestnut St., Toronto. There are limited tickets available, each at $60.

For more information, please call 46-978-5131 or visit the website at, where the full conference program is posted. You may also contact the Secretary for any questions or additional information at [email protected]

ESRC Genomics Network Conference, ‘Genomics and Society: Reinventing Life? 27-28 Oct 2008

Savoy Place, London Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th October 2008 Register online:

The ESRC Genomics Network (EGN) is pleased to host an international, interdisciplinary conference focusing on genomics and society. Showcasing research evidence from across the EGN, this conference will examine the issues from a broad range of perspectives. It will reflect on many applications of genomics research – from pharmaceuticals to fuel – and consider the implications of the life sciences for policy and practice – from innovation and global competitiveness to what this might mean for our personal identity and the ethics of genomics research.

Can society keep pace with current and future developments in the new life sciences? Will research in this area reinvent the world in which we live? This conference will seek to provide some of the answers and encourage knowledge exchange between policy makers, academic researchers, industry, media and NGO representatives and citizens’ groups.

KEYNOTES: Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Paul Rabinow, University of California at Berkeley; Professor Bartha Maria Knoppers, University of Montreal and Dr Iain Gillespie, OECD.


    • The Protection of Biological Information;
    • Molecular Identity: Problems with Chimerism;
    • Biology as Engineering;
    • Public Engagement: Reflecting on the Role of Social Scientists;
    • Sustainable Biofuel Development;
    • Re-examining the Politics of Life Science Innovation in Developing Countries;
    • Bio-scenarios: The Future Impacts of Developments in the Life Sciences;
    • Innovation and Growth in Pharma-Biotech: Puzzles and Interpretations;
    • Life Sciences Industries and the Credit Crunch: Interview with Professor Gary P. Pisano and Professor William Lazonick;
    • Genomes and What to Make of Them – Meet the Author session with Professor John Dupre and Professor Barry Barnes;
    • The Knowledge Exchange: interactive policy debates on ‘Innovative Europe’ and ‘Stem Cell Therapies: Regulating the Future’;
    • Genomics Futures Panel: Debate the future impact of research in the life sciences
    • Postgraduate student networking session

POSTERS: More information on submitting a poster can be found on our website:

REGISTRATION: For further information about the conference or to book your place, please visit our website:

Science with Africa 3–7 March 2008, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Science with Africa conference will examine methodologies for improving science programme participation by scientists and researchers in African nations.

The conference will inaugurate the Science with Africa Office (SWAO) which will serve to provide links and act as a forum for establishing best practices in collaborative science between industrialized nations and African countries.

This is part of a larger initiative of UNESCO on Africa

  • Conference home page

4S Annual Conference: Nov. 2-4, 2006 Vancouver, B.C.

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) holds its annual meeting this year in Vancouver, B.C., at the Empire Landmark hotel. The deadline for submitting abstracts was April 3, 2006.

  • Conference home page
  • Online registration

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Student Pugwash USA’s 14th National Conference on Science and Social Responsibility: Promoting the Integrity of Science, April 12-15, 2007 in Washington, D.C.

Calling All Students Interested in the Ethical Intersection of Science, Technology, and Policy! Researchers worldwide are grappling with issues of integrity surrounding politics in science, conflicts of interest, falsified research, the peer review process, and protections for whistleblowers. Engage with other inquisitive and motivated students in in-depth discussion and debate on these cutting-edge issues as well as the development of a nationwide student initiative to promote the integrity of science. Learn more about the integrity of science theme: [1] To view more information about the conference, visit our conference home page at, [2]