Dyason Lecture 2018: Dancing with Strangers. Imagining an Originary Moment for Australian STS

Courtesy Mitchell library, State Library of New South Wales

Helen Verran,
Professor, College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Social Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory.
HelenVerran@cdu.edu.au

Title: Dancing with Strangers. Imagining an Originary Moment for Australian STS.

In 1788 in what would in a few years become Sydney, not too far from the site where in 2018 a large group of scholars will meet to critically discuss the roles of sciences and technologies in modern cultures and societies, a group of sailors and soldiers danced with the strangers who had been warily awaiting them when they arrived on shore. Science and technology had also arrived, albeit to an extent unheralded. Of course, the strangers who at first hesitantly welcomed the group they assumed were mere temporary visitors, had their own highly elaborated traditions of knowing and doing that could with careful translation also have been understood as sciences and technologies. It is recorded in the colonial archive that as a start to that translation work, the two groups danced together. Each presumably also showed the other how to dance ‘properly’.

In this lecture I take this promising moment in which knowers in disparate traditions engaged each other with curiosity and respect, as occasion to articulate (another) originary moment in Australian STS.

Biography

Helen Verran grew up in her grandmother's house playing in the creeks that ran into the lower reaches of Sydney's Middle Harbour. Along with biology lessons at a lesser girls high school, the Long Reef rock shelf played its part, and to the bemusement of her family she went away to study science at university. In the 1970s the sciences in Australia were not welcoming for women rearing young children, so like many before her she turned to school teaching. An unexpected opportunity to teach science education in Nigeria led to a career shift, and returning to Victoria in the 1980s Helen joined Deakin University Science Studies Unit. It was here that her long engagement with Indigenous Australian knowledge traditions began. Retiring from nearly 25 years of teaching in the History and Philosophy Department at University of Melbourne, she took up a part-time professorship at Charles Darwin where her work with Aboriginal Australian knowledge practitioners continues.

The Dyason Lecture will take place at the State Library of New South Wales on Thursday 30 August

Reception 6–6.30;
Dyason Keynote lecture 6.30.

Register Now!

2018 ISHPSSB Off-year Call for Papers

Regeneration Across Complex Living Systems: From Regenerating Microbiomes to Ecosystems Resiliency

When: ​October 22 & 23, 2018
Where: ​Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
Submission Due Date: ​11:59pm EST​ ​July 15th, 2018

General Information

This ISHPSSB off-year workshop will focus on understanding the phenomenon of regeneration across complex living systems, asking the question of how regeneration has been understood, defined, and utilized in scientific research at different scales of living systems, both now and in the past. The workshop will begin with the premise that all complex living systems maintain some capacity to repair and to maintain themselves in the face of events that cause disturbances or damage. For example, microbial communities can regenerate to achieve the same function even as species composition changes, spinal neurons in a lamprey can regenerate function even though their cellular wiring changes, and ecosystems can maintain a level of resiliency in the face of changing conditions. In all instances, while these biological systems undergo stress and damage, their parts can coordinate responses to provide repair. But do we mean the same thing by regeneration in each case? How do regenerating parts “know” how to cooperate to make the individuals and systems healthy and whole again? How does an understanding of one level inform the others? What does regeneration, particularly across levels, mean for conceptions of individuality?

Over the course of two days, participants in the workshop will explore the historical, philosophical, and scientific foundations of regeneration across living systems. The organizers welcome papers that address any aspect of regeneration at any level of living systems. Please contact Kate MacCord (​kmaccord@mbl.edu​) with any questions about the workshop.

Pre-Registration (​for those who wish to submit an abstract and/or request travel support​) For those who wish to give a presentation and/or would like to request travel support, please fill out the pre-registration link ​available here​. Funding requests and/or presentation abstracts received after 11:59pm EST on July 15, 2018, will not receive priority. Presenters whose abstracts are accepted will receive access to full travel funding. Travel support for those not presenting will be available on an as-needed basis, but funding is limited. The amount of travel support provided to each participant will depend on the number of requests.

Registration

A full registration will open on August 1, 2018, after speakers have been selected and those receiving travel support have been notified. More information on the link will be sent after the close of pre-registration.

PhD Scholarship – Merchants and Museums: The Natural History Trade

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL INQUIRY

The University of Wollongong’s Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts is offering a PhD scholarship in connection with the Australian Research Council funded Linkage Project ‘Reconstructing museum specimen data through the pathways of global commerce’ (LP160101761). The aim of the project is to revitalize irreplaceable zoological specimens through a closer understanding of their origins, exchange and preservation as part of a global trade in natural history. The project draws on broad expertise in anthropology, economic history, cultural history, archaeology, and spectroscopy.

The PhD project will focus on the growth of the natural history trade in zoological specimens from the Linnean period (c.1758) to the early twentieth century. It will analyse the main trade routes, supply chains, exchange processes, and preservation practices for the natural history trade. Understanding the trade and preservation of natural history products will assist in recovering the stories and scientific knowledge hidden in many currently moribund museum specimens.

One scholarship is available for commencement in or mid-2018 or early 2019, but further PhD opportunities are also available on the project.

RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT

Successful candidates will be supervised by Professor Simon Ville (Wollongong), but with the support and encouragement of other members of the project team. Simon is a leading economic historian and supervises a group of graduate students. He is a member of the history discipline at Wollongong that scores very highly in research rankings and includes many holders of ARC grants and fellowships.

ELIGIBILTY AND APPLICATION DETAILS

Both domestic and international prospective students are encouraged to apply. The scholarship is for three years full-time with a stipend of $AUD 27,082 per annum (tax free).

This project would suit a candidate with:

  • A background in History, Economics, or Anthropology
  • Some experience handling descriptive data and/or archival sources
  • An interest in Transnational History, Economic History or the History of Science
  • Additional relevant research experience and/or peer-reviewed research activity, awards and/or prizes will be regarded favourably
  • Applicants should submit:

For further enquiries contact Simon Ville: sville@uow.edu.au

USyd HPS Research Presentation and Keynote

SCHOOL OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

RESEARCH PRESENTATION
SEMESTER ONE 2018

Friday 8th June

START: 1.30PM
NEW LAW ANNEX SEMINAR ROOM 340

PROGRAM

Welcome – Hans Pols Head of School

1:45–2:10 Eamon Little - Completing Honours Student
“Psychopathy and Moral Exculpation: A Clarification”

2:10– 2:35 Alexander Pereira - Current Honours Student

2:35 Afternoon Tea

3:00–3:30 Tim Shaw - Current PhD Candidate

3:30–4:00 Georg Repnikov recent PhD graduate :
"Beyond Classificatory Realism: A Deflationary Perspective on Psychiatric Nosology".

4:15 - 5:00  KEYNOTE:

Rob Wilson, Ph.D., FRSC
Professor of Philosophy
La Trobe University, Melbourne

"Disciplining Eugenics: History, Philosophy, and HPS"

Eugenics has usually been studied as a historical phenomenon, perhaps one with lessons for present and future uses of science and technology.  Here I want to raise some questions about the relationship of eugenics to both history and philosophy, drawing my experience working in constructing oral histories with survivors of Canadian eugenics over the past 10 years.  This will allow us to discuss received views of eugenics, the enthusiasm for aspects of eugenics in the philosophical bioethics community, and some topics in the philosophy of disability.

5:00PM – Please join us for Drinks and Canapes to celebrate Georg's recent graduation and all our achievements.

RSVP: hps.admin@sydney.edu.au

 

History and Philosophy of Science Winter [Northern Summer] School: History of Psychiatry, Past Trends, Future Directions

History and Philosophy of Science Winter [Northern Summer] School: History of Psychiatry, Past Trends, Future Directions

History of Psychiatry, Past Trends, Future Directions

13-17 August 2018, University of Sydney

We invite applications from graduate students and early-career researchers in the history and social studies of science and biomedicine, and related fields, for a five-day (southern-hemisphere) winter school focusing on scholarship in the history of psychiatry. This is an excellent opportunity for young scholars interested in some of the more exciting recent developments in the history, sociology, and anthropology of medicine, in particular those scholars seeking to integrate various approaches in the interdisciplinary analysis of psychiatry and its history.

The history of psychiatry has attracted sustained attention by historians of medicine over the past several decades. The attention to psychiatry was partly caused by broader public debates about the role of psychiatry in modern societies. During the 1970s, for example, critics such as Thomas Szasz condemned psychiatry as a pseudo-branch of medicine and as a tool of modern societies to force individuals to conform to arbitrary social standards or to forcibly confine them to mental hospitals which Erving Gofman characterised as total institutions akin to prisons and concentration camps. The historical/philosophical work of Michel Foucault contributed to these characterisations as well. These views greatly contributed to historical research on the history of psychiatry.

How relevant are the approaches to the history of psychiatry inspired by these critical views today? After deinstitutionalisation, there are hardly any mental hospitals left, the influence of psychoanalysis has greatly declined, and psychiatrists appear to focus more on psychopharmacology than on psychotherapy. During this winter school, we will evaluate past and current research on the history of psychiatry, discuss promising new trends, and focus on topics that we expect will be relevant in the near future. Topics that will be discussed include: Modern Research on Insane Asylums and Mental Hospitals; Colonial and Post-Colonial Psychiatry; Diagnosing Populations: Psychiatric Epidemiology; Deinstitutionalisation and community psychiatry; Trauma: Experience, Explanations, and Treatments.

We are looking forward to discussing these issues and many others, according to the interests of participants. Through a mix of seminars, small group discussions, and case studies, graduate students and early-career researchers will become acquainted with the most interesting research in the history of psychiatry. The workshop faculty will illustrate their arguments with examples of their own recent and forthcoming research. We expect participants to shape these discussions and to contribute ideas and examples from their own studies. Additionally, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy Sydney’s harbor, beaches, food, and cultural activities.

The winter course will be taught by Mark Micale (University of Illinois), Hans Pols (University of Sydney), and several other local academics with interest in this area.

We have planned this winter school before the conference of the Society for the Social Study of Science, which will take place from 29 August to 1 September. There will be many interesting smaller events in the week preceding that conference.

Applicants should send a CV and a brief description (maximum one page) of their research interests, and how they relate to the topic of the Winter School, to hps.admin@sydney.edu.au (with a subject heading “Winter School Application”). Closing date is May 31, 2018. We will take care of accommodation expenses and meals for the period of the Winter School, but participants (or their institutions) will have to cover their own transport costs.

The Winter School is supported by the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science and the School of History and Philosophy of Science, and the International Research Collaboration Fund of the University of Sydney.

Due date 31 May, 2018

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BSHS Singer Prize deadline 30 April

The British Society for the History of Science is delighted to invite submissions for the Singer Prize 2018.  The prize, of up to £300, is awarded every two years to the writer of an unpublished essay, based on original research into any aspect of the history of science, technology or medicine.

The prize is intended for younger scholars or recent entrants into the profession. Candidates must be registered for a postgraduate degree or have been awarded such in the two years prior to the closing date.  All nationalities are welcome.

Essays must not exceed 8,000 words and should be submitted in English.  They should adhere to BJHS guidance to authors in all respects.

The prize may be awarded to the writer of one outstanding essay, or may be awarded to two or more entrants. Publication in the British Journal for the History of Science will be at the discretion of the Editor. Essays under consideration elsewhere or in press are not eligible.

The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2018. Submissions should be emailed to the BSHS Executive Secretary, Lucy Santos, office@bshs.org.uk with 'Singer entry' and the author surname in the subject line.

For further information please see http://www.bshs.org.uk/prizes/singer-prize

Charlotte Sleigh, Professor of Science Humanities, University of Kent