Evolution, Gender and Sexuality, and ISH: a conference including women and feminist topics

This year’s ISHPSSB meeting, that is The International Society for The History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (fondly called ‘Ishkabibble,’ or just ‘Ish’), is fast approaching.   While the deadline for submitting papers has passed, you can still register to attend, or just take a moment to be pleased with the inclusion of women and feminist topics!  It will take place July 10-15, 2011 in Salt Lake City.  Conference themes mentioned in the cfp include: Civic engagement; Race; Policy, science funding, and scientific progress; Sustainability, environment, energy, and economics; Gender and LGBT; Genetic testing; Evo-Devo; and Education.  The conference committee is international and includes prominent women.  And, the conference is associated with a forum on Evolution, Gender and Sexuality.  Well done!

The Forum on Evolution, Gender and Sexuality

The University of Utah Department of Philosophy will be hosting a Biohumanities Public Forum to complement ISHPSSB 2011.  It is scheduled from 7-9 pm on ThursdayJuly 14, following the final ISHPSSB sessions that afternoon.  The topic of the forum is, “Evolution, Gender & Sexuality.”  We are honored to be able to feature three panel members: Elisabeth Lloyd (Indiana University), John Dupré (University of Exeter), and Lisa Diamond (University of Utah).

The following is from the CFP:

Our expectation for the Salt Lake City meeting is that we will have more cross-disciplinary sessions than ever before.  In addition, we expect that all sessions will be geared toward wider audiences.  This was a major thrust of the discussions that came out of the Brisbane meeting in 2009.  Every scholar has numerous meetings in which to present work to her or his peers: historians speaking to historians, philosophers speaking to philosophers, sociologists speaking to sociologists, and biologists from across the spectrum speaking to biologists within their specialty.  ISHPSSB is uniquely situated to provide us the opportunity to talk to each other, across disciplinary boundaries, about biology studies.  In order for this to happen, we need to think broadly about each other as an audience.  We hope you will begin now to look for ways of collaborating.

Presenters should think about ways their work will potentially connect to other sessions throughout the meeting.  We hope this can be accomplished by thinking about the larger themes that are illuminated by your work.  These themes are meant to be broad and overlapping, but will help to provide benchmarks for organizing sessions as well as signposts for people at the conference seeking out areas of inquiry.  Some themes we have identified include: Civic engagement; Race; Policy, science funding, and scientific progress; Sustainability, environment, energy, and economics; Gender and LGBT; Genetic testing; Evo-Devo; and Education.  Details about several of these themes can be found on the bulletin board, and more will be posted as we move forward.  Please note that not all papers and sessions are expected to fit into one of the themes, and we hope that as we see work that pushes beyond these categories we can all be more aware of the new directions scholars and members of ISHPSSB are taking.

And finally, here is the program committee:

Callebaut, Werner

Millstein, Roberta

Santesmases, María Jesús

Suárez, Edna

Stotz, Karola

El-Hani, Charbel

Largent, Mark (co-chair)

Young, Chris (co-chair)

Local organizers are Matt Haber and Jim Tabery

7 thoughts on “Evolution, Gender and Sexuality, and ISH: a conference including women and feminist topics

  1. Thanks jj,

    I edited the post to make that clear. This is the ‘big’ philosophy of biology conference and it makes me happy to see so many women included and so many feminist-friendly themes.

  2. Also of note: the current President, Treasurer, and Secretary are all women; the student representative is a woman, and two out of the six councilmembers are women.

    To be clear, though, it is an interdisciplinary society, not just philosophy — many members consider themselves primarily historians, social scientists, or biologists.

  3. just

    Indeed, this is a multidisciplinary group, which is fabulous. All I meant was that this is pretty much that ‘main’ conference that philosophers of biology attend.

  4. Hard to say whether more philosophers of biology go to ISHPSSB or PSA, but I agree it’s at least one of the two main ones. I just didn’t want people to think it was a philosophy of biology conference (as contrasted with a big conference for philosophers of biology).

    It’s also interesting to wonder whether the interdisciplinary nature of the Society or of the field has something to do with the better representation of women.

  5. I have also wondered about the impact of multidiscipinarity on representation of women, after all biology is the science with the highest representation of women, and history is pretty darn good as well. What I don’t know is how the representation of women in history breaks down among its own sub disciplines. I have a suspicion that women are not well represented among historians of science, but I have no data to support that suspicion. I am also curious about whether or not ISH has data on the diversity of its members, it would be really nice to know just what the representation of women in the organization is and whether it has changed over time. A final point is that although there are women at ISH, the conferences, at least in the past, have seemed pretty light on feminist work. I have a feeling that if scholars from ISH attended FEMMSS, they might be really surprised to see just how much work that could be categorized as feminist philosophy of biology is out there.

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