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News Release

July 04, 2005

International Society to Meet at U of G

Scholars from around the world will gather at the University of Guelph July 13 to 17 for the annual meeting of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology. About 350 experts from 27 countries are scheduled to attend.

“This is a truly interdisciplinary society that draws from the social sciences and humanities as well as the natural sciences,” said conference organizer Prof. David Castle of the Department of Philosophy. “We consider biology in all aspects, from basic theory to technological applications to history to policy issues.”

The conference will feature discussions on a range of topics, including the evolution of cultural identity, modern problems of classification, animal behaviour, regulating modern biology and the art of observation.

A plenary address on joining scholarship and activism will be held July 16 at 4 p.m. in Room 101 of Rozanski Hall and will feature presentations by Brian Wynne and Richard Levins. Wynne, a professor of science studies and research director of the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change at the University of Lancaster, will present “Social Studies of Biology as Public Action: Realist Imaginations?” Recognized for his work in biotech risk assessment, he will talk about his engagement with policy issues such as nuclear “risk” in the 1970s and, more recently, climate change and modern genomics, and how these intersect with his research goals.

Levins, a biologist, philosopher and professor from Harvard University who is known for his work on experimental design and research, will present “Lining the 11th Thesis.” It addresses the contradictions of seeing science as both an unfolding of human knowledge and a pattern of ignorance and knowledge moulded by its owners.

For more information, visit the conference website .

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