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

2021 Conference videos are now all up

schedule 21

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

and subscribe.

Dyason Lecture video

Peter Godfrey-Smith's 2022 Dyason lecture, "The evolution of sentience", is now available on Youtube. Check out our channel for other talks and presentations.

Dyason Lecture 2022: Peter Godfrey-Smith

The Evolution of Sentience

Thursday 13 October at 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Friends Room in the Mitchell Building, State Library of New South Wales

1 Shakespeare Place, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

In the 2022 Dyason Lecture presented by the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science, Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith considers the evolution of sentience.

How did evolution give rise to feelings, such as pleasure and pain? And which organisms experience the events of their lives in this way? Do insects feel pain? Octopuses? How about plants? Where might we locate the true limits of sentience?

Bookings are essential. Bookings can be made on the State Library event page.

Download the flyer

Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith

Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith is a professor in the School of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Sydney, and he has a PhD in philosophy from UC San Diego. He taught at Stanford University between 1991 and 2003, and then combined a half-time post at the Australian National University and a visiting position at Harvard for a few years. He moved to Harvard full-time and was Professor there from 2006 to 2011, before moving to the CUNY Graduate Center. Since 2015 he has also had a half-time position in the HPS Unit at the University of Sydney.

Peter’s main research interests are in the philosophy of biology and the philosophy of mind. He also works on pragmatism (especially John Dewey), general philosophy of science, and some parts of metaphysics and epistemology. Peter has written six books: Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature, Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection, which won the 2010 Lakatos Award, Philosophy of Biology, Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, and Metazoa: Animal Life and the Both of the Mind. Peter’s photos and videos have appeared in the New York Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, Science, The Boston Globe and elsewhere.

Joint University of Sydney/University of Melbourne/AAHPSSS Seminar

New Zealanad Greenshell Mussells

A jointly sponsored seminar will be held at 5:30 pm Monday 4th April. Mitchell Gibbs from the University of Sydney will be speaking on ‘First Nations Knowledge of Shellfish in Australia’. An abstract and bio are below.

To access this seminar you can use the following Zoom link:


Throughout the world, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), held by First Nations peoples, and its incorporation in shellfish aquaculture and coastal management. In Australia, however, this understanding and incorporation of First Nations TEK of shellfish aquaculture and coastal management is in its infancy. In contrast to Australia, in Aotearoa (New Zealand), there is a rich history of knowledge of shellfish, understanding of cultural practices and the use of stories and ancestral sayings. We reviewed the current state of incorporation of TEK of shellfish in both Australia and Aotearoa. We find that TEK in Aotearoa has improved aquaculture and provides evidence of the value of incorporating TEK in the production of shellfish. We are only now just beginning the journey in Australia to understand and document TEK and practices held by First Nations people. Aotearoa provides valuable lessons on the importance of TEK and guidance for the respectful incorporation of TEK into shellfish aquaculture and coastal management in Australia. If we are to appropriately restore and manage our coasts, then we need to incorporate First Nations Australians knowledge, and respect and protect their connections to traditional sea management.


Mitchell Gibbs is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Geosciences, at the University of Sydney. Mitchell holds a PhD degree in Marine Biology/Biochemistry. Mitchell Gibbs is a Thunghutti man through kinship of the Dunghutti nation.

2021 Dyason Lecture: Libby Robin

The audio on this is a bit subdued, for which we apologise.