CFP: Critical Social Science Approaches to Epidemic Intelligence


Workshop University of Sydney

Critical Social Science Approaches to Epidemic Intelligence

21-22 March 2024

Organizers: Professor Sonja van Wichelen (University of Sydney), Associate Professor Kari Lancaster (UNSW), and Professor Warwick Anderson (University of Sydney)

Workshop Précis

The role of the social sciences in enhancing the social and cultural complexity of epidemic intelligence has been recognised, and in some contexts, institutionalised. Yet, most of the input from the social sciences have been restricted to those coming from the psychological or behavioural sciences, emphasizing, on the level of epistemology, positivistic values of experimental evidence, and on the level of policy, the belief and commitment to the behavioural economic framework of nudging. By bringing together critical social science scholars from medical anthropology, sociology of medicine, the history and philosophy of science, and science and technology studies, this workshop explores how a critical social science of epidemic intelligence can contribute to a more complex conceptualisation of epidemic intelligence, which could advance effective disease modelling.

The workshop will provide a cross-disciplinary conversation between social science scholars aiming to do four things. First, engaging with the current, and with previous global pandemics, we intend to assess how the sociological inputs and metrics have been integrated with disease models and understandings of epidemic intelligence. Second, we aim to interrogate how more critical approaches to epidemic intelligence—linked to social medicine, disease ecology, biosocial approaches, and planetary health—can more adequately capture the biosocial conditions in which viruses become pathogenic. Third, we want to examine what modelling does, sociologically and politically, to the time frames and perceived configurations of epidemic disease. And, finally, we take this opportunity to also think about how our findings could inform science policy and can offer an alternative to the governance of nudge worlds.

Call for Expression of Interest

The workshop is interdisciplinary in nature and brings together scholars from Europe, the US and Asia across a range of disciplines. In order to identify and include Early Career Researchers working in this area in Australia, we are opening a call for expression of interest. The University of Sydney will contribute to costs for travel and accommodation.

There are two ways to participate: as a presenter of a thought-piece or as an active participant in discussions. As funding is limited, priority for funding will be given to presenter of thought pieces. The deadline for a statement of purpose (300-500 words) and a one-page CV is November 30th, 2023. Please send these materials to Rachel Yang:

We will notify you of the outcome by Mid December at the latest. Thought-pieces (3-5 pages) should be submitted by the first week of March so that we can disseminate prior to the workshop. The plan is to compile papers for an edited volume pitched at Cambridge University Press.

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Registration for the 2023 Conference is now open

The registration for the conference is now available. Select the Conference button to see what is currently known, and select the Register button to go directly to registration.

A new collection of Darwiniana online

John van Wyhe has notified us of the above:

... you might be interested in a wonderful collection of Darwiniana focused on Darwin's life and the 1909 Darwin celebrations in Cambridge – 440 colour images in all. The J.C. Simpson Collection at the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University seems to be little known but is full of treasures.

There are letters from all of Darwin's sons, as well as the little-known daughter 'Bessie', J. D. Hooker, a postcard from Ernst Haeckel, a note from A. R. Wallace which makes a very casual reference to his 1858 Ternate essay manuscript, a manuscript leaf of Darwin's Insectivorous plants (1875) and personal cheques signed by Darwin and Emma Darwin. There is a letter offering a photograph of Darwin that the Darwin family had never seen before. And there is the stuffed monkey that was suspended over Darwin’s head when he was given his honorary law degree at Cambridge in 1877.

Darwin Online

This is integrated with the rest of the manuscripts in Darwin Online – by
far the largest collection online and nearing the goal of complete transcription of the Darwin Archive in Cambridge. If you have not visited for a while, have a look.

Final call for papers for Conference 2023

This is a final reminder that the extended deadline for submission for the 2023 AAHPSSS conference is next Monday, 28 August. Thank you to all of you have already submitted, and please do consider contributing a paper or organising a full session if you have not yet done so. If you would like to contribute to the AAHPSSS conference other than through a paper or session, please contact us directly with your ideas.

We are still finalising our catering options for the conference and so have not yet determined our registration fee. At this stage we anticipate that the costs will be around $250 for full members for the three days and $175 for concessional members, with corresponding rates for single day attendance and non-members. We will have these costs determined and registrations open within two weeks’ time, when we will also notify speakers of acceptance.

Another reminder that AAHPSSS members who are postgraduate students or scholars in insecure employment and who reside outside the greater Sydney area will be entitled to apply for a bursary to assist with travel costs to the conference.

The Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS), which AAHPSSS is participating in, has arranged for discounted rates at a range of hotels in Sydney in the week in which the CHASS conferences, including AAHPSSS are taking place. You can view these deals through this page:

Submit your paper

CFP: AAHPSSS 2023 Conference

We are pleased to announce that the 2023 Conference of the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (AAHPSSS) will take place at the University of Sydney, between Wednesday 29 November and Friday 1 December, 2023.

The call for papers is now open!

This year’s conference will be held in conjunction with the annual Congress for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS), so will provide attendees with the opportunity to participate in other discipline-based sessions.

Highlights of this year’s conference will include… the Dyason Lecture by Rachael Brown (ANU), the Langham Prize for the best postgraduate paper presented at the conference, organised workshops, social events and the return of the Science in Society session.

We invite participation from scholars working in any area related to the history, philosophy and social studies of science, medicine or technology (including science and technology studies, sociology of health, environmental humanities, science communication, science policy, and metascience).

You may submit:

  • an individual paper, which will be allocated to an appropriate session
  • An organised session of speakers or a workshop
  • a full- or whole- day series of sessions

You can submit your proposals here

Deadline for submission is extended to Monday 28 August 2023.

The registration costs for the conference will be shared soon. As usual, AAHPSSS is committed to keeping the conference accessible and low-cost. We particularly encourage postgraduate students and early career academics to participate. Langham Bursaries for travel expenses to the conference (from anywhere outside the Greater Sydney Area) will be available for those in need.

Please circulate this CFP among your networks (and let us know where you circulated it). We are looking forward to hosting you!

Very Best,

The AAHPSSS committee

2021 Conference videos are now all up

schedule 21

Or at least they should be shortly after this post. Please visit our Youtube feed:

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SMS 2023 Conference Submission Deadline

The Society for the Metaphysics of Science is hosting its annual conference 10–12 August 2023 at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The submission deadline has been extended to 10 March 2023.

Please see our conference page for submission instructions and further information:

Hope to see you all this summer here in Halifax!