History and Philosophy of Science in Australia: Looking Forward

National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science workshop, University of Sydney, New Law School Annexe 342

26-28 September 2012

Sponsored by the Australian Academy of Science via its National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science (HPS), with support from the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science (SCFS).

The workshop aims to bring together Australian HPS scholars (defining the field broadly to include history, philosophy, and social studies of science, technology, and medicine [STM]) to present their current work, and to discuss the state of the field and its methods. Among the foci will be the intersection between history, philosophy, and social studies of STM, as well as inputs from and impacts on the current practice of science, and prospects for integration in the fields.

The goals of the workshop include:

  • revitalisation of the field within Australia through a focused, intensive workshop with a diverse range of people committed to maintaining and building the field;
  • reflection on the ‘state of play’ within the field of HPS in Australia, forming the basis for strategising about future directions for the field and possible strategic plans on the part of the National Committee;
  • potential publication of an edited collection of top-quality articles which will provide an international showcase for outstanding Australian HPS scholarship; and
  • continuing to strengthen the foundations of the HPS field for the next generation of scholars.

The workshop itself is by invitation, but the opening keynote address by Prof. James Griesemer (UC Davis) on September 26th is open to the public.
Immediately following the closing of the workshop on Friday 28th the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science (AAHPSSS) will be holding its AGM, followed by an afternoon showcasing the best work by HPS postgraduate students from around the country. AAHPSSS will also be holding its annual Dyason Lecture on Thursday evening, this year featuring ARC Laureate Fellow and multi-award winning historian of medicine Professor Warwick Anderson. For more information on these AAHPSSS events visit the AAHPSSS website: aahpsss.org


Draft Program

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Opening Keynote Address, Eastern Avenue Lecture Theatre
6.30-8.00pm
Introduction: Paul Griffiths (Deputy Director, SCFS)
What Salamander Biologists Have Taught Us About Evo-Devo
James Griesemer (University of California, Davis)

Thursday 27 September

All sessions are held in New Law School Annexe 342

8.40-8.45 am – Welcome and overview (Rachel Ankeny, Chair, National Committee for HPS)

8.45-10.45 am
Early Modern Science: Historiographic and Other Considerations
Convenor and chair: Peter Anstey
Luciano Boschiero (Campion): History of science in the liberal arts: its tradition and future
Peter Harrison (Queensland): Early Modern HPS at UQ: Current Projects and Future Prospects
Gerhard Wiesenfeldt (Melbourne): Back to the basics? Changing perspectives in the digital age
Ofer Gal (Sydney): Passionate knowledge
John Schuster (University of Sydney; Campion College): Descartes Studies / Scientific Revolution Studies: The Historiographical Imperatives
Alan Chalmers (Sydney): Mechanical philosophy, experimental philosophy and Descartes

10.45-11.15 am – Tea break

11.15 am -12.30 pm
Narrative- vs. Network-Based Methodologies in HPS
Convenor: Gavan McCarthy
Chair: Jan Brazier (Macleay Museum)
Gavan McCarthy (Melbourne): Narratives and Networks: towards an ecology of HPS
Ailie Smith (Melbourne): Mapping the holdings of the Australian Academy of Science Basser Library
Katrina Dean (Melbourne): Users and uses: Exploring the use of the history of science collections at the University of Melbourne Archives

12.30-1.30 pm – Lunch

1.30-3.30 pm
Emergent Histories of Medicine and Biology
Convenors: Alison Bashford and Hans Pols
Chair: Dominic Murphy
Warwick Anderson
Alison Bashford
Hans Pols
Evelleen Richards
Nicolas Rasmussen
Each participant will give a 15 minute introduction about his or her own research, in particular the direction in which it is currently going, as well as providing some observations on what we think are the more interesting and promising developments in our area. This will provide a very good starting point for our conversations, which can then take place in the second hour. The audience of course will be invited to participate.

3.30-3.45 – Tea break

3.45-5.45 pm
From Activism to Expertise: STS in Action
Convenors: Joan Leach and David Mercer
Chair and Introduction: Joan Leach
Gary Edmond (UNSW) and David Mercer* (Wollongong): A Law and STS Dialogue: Criminal justice, the crisis in forensic science and medicine and a proposal for reform
Rosemary Du Plessis (Canterbury), Richard Hindmarsh* (Griffith), and Karen Cronin (ESR, Wellington): Acting with Science, Policy and Publics
Stephen Healy (UNSW): Boundary Activism and the Art of the Trickster: A Politics of Context
Fabien Medvecky (UQ): Valuing the Environment in Conservation Economics: Life or Lumber?
Nicola Marks* (Wollongong) and Wendy Russell (NETS, DIISR): Setting up an Australian framework for best practice in public engagement: Reflections on the role of STS
Alan Petersen and Di Bowman: STS and Australian science policy: the case of nanotechnologies
Matthew Kearnes (UNSW): Surrealist Economics
* denotes presenting author.

6.30-8.00 pm
AAHPSSS Dyason Lecture, Eastern Avenue Lecture Theatre
Fashioning the Immunological Self: The Biological Individuality of F. Macfarlane Burnet
Warwick Anderson (University of Sydney)

Drinks at the Rose Hotel (see printed program for directions)

Friday 28 September

All sessions are held in New Law School Annexe 342

9.00-10.30 am
The 'Problem of Time' in Fundamental Physics
Convenor: Phil Dowe
Chair: Phil Dowe
Phil Dowe (Queensland): The End of Time
Dean Rickles (Sydney): Pointers, Perceptions, and Partial Observables
Vincent Lam (Queensland): Beables without space-time?
Claudio Mazzola (Queensland): Rationalism and Discrete Time

10.30-10.45: Tea break

10.45-12.30 pm
What’s ‘new’ about the new biology?
Convenor: Paul Griffiths
Chair: Mark Colyvan (SCFS)
Paul E. Griffiths and Karola Stotz (Sydney): What kind of progress occurred when genes went molecular?
Rachel A. Ankeny (Adelaide): What happened when (some) experimental organisms became model organisms?
Maureen O’Malley (Sydney): Integration versus unification in molecular systems biology
Melinda Cooper and Catherine Waldby (Sydney): New Biology or New Legal Forms? – A Question of Methodology

12.30-12.45: Concluding Remarks and Future Directions (Rachel Ankeny)


Organising Committee

A/Prof. Rachel Ankeny (Adelaide) – Chair
Prof. Warwick Anderson (Sydney)
Prof. Peter Anstey (Otago & Sydney)
Prof. Alison Bashford (Sydney)
A/Prof. Phil Dowe (Queensland)
Prof. Paul Griffiths (Sydney)
A/Prof. Joan Leach (Queensland)
Dr Gavan McCarthy (Melbourne)
A/Prof. David Mercer (Wollongong)
Dr Hans Pols (Sydney)