Tag Archives: science

Call for Papers: 4S Open Panel on STS, Technology & Psychology


CfP: Open Panel @ the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S)

November 11-14, 2015. Denver, CO.

STS Open Panel call for papers deadline: March 22, 2015.

An open panel is being hosted at the 4S AGM on “STS & Technologies/ Techniques in the Psychological Sciences.” The panel organizers welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines, including those from the humanities, STS, anthropology, psychology, statistics, psychiatry, etc. They are particularly interested in interdisciplinary work that combines historical and contemporary sites of analysis to address the following questions:

What can STS theories and methodologies contribute to the study of the
psychological sciences?

What perspectives from psychology and the behavioral sciences might be
beneficial to STS?

How do psychological sciences and technologies create power and knowledge,
across diverse societal spheres?

How might we best identify and address aporias in existing research on the
psy sciences, including discussions of race/gender/sexuality, new models of
subjectivity, and new technologies, projects, and processes of

Submissions should be made directly to the conference (find detailed instructions here).         Please also forward a copy of your abstract to the panel organizers:

 Marisa Brandt, UCSD (mrbrandt@ucsd.edu)                                                                                          Beth Semel, MIT (bsemel@mit.edu)                                                                                                              Luke Stark, NYU (luke.stark@nyu.edu)

Further conceptual elucidation after the jump:  Continue reading Call for Papers: 4S Open Panel on STS, Technology & Psychology

Obama sets R&D goal: 3% of U.S. GDP

On Monday, President Obama made a fundamental change in policy. In a speech delivered at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, Obama said the U.S. will begin to reinvest in science and technology.

A half century ago, this nation made a commitment to lead the world in scientific and technological innovation; to invest in education, in research, in engineering; to set a goal of reaching space and engaging every citizen in that historic mission.  That was the high water mark of America’s investment in research and development.  And since then our investments have steadily declined as a share of our national income.  As a result, other countries are now beginning to pull ahead in the pursuit of this generation’s great discoveries. 

He set a goal that will put investment in science in technology to levels not seen since JFK made the then-audacious claim in 1962 that man would walk on the moon by the end of the decade.

I’m here today to set this goal:  We will devote more than 3 percent of our GDP to research and development.  We will not just meet, but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race, through policies that invest in basic and applied research, create new incentives for private innovation, promote breakthroughs in energy and medicine, and improve education in math and science…. This represents the largest commitment to scientific research and innovation in American history.

This new plan also includes renewed focus on science education, including an additional $5 billion for the Secretary of Education’s Race to the Top program and improved funding for graduate and post-graduate training.

Free BJHS Articles Online

The British Journal for the History of Science writes:

The British Journal for the History of Science (BJHS) has a long and established tradition of publishing research of interest to historians in the field of North American sciences.  To illustrate BJHS’s strength in this area, the journal’s editor, Professor Simon Schaffer, has selected some key articles that should be of particular interest.  Click here to access our BJHS North American sciences online selection -with our compliments.

Isis asks, “What if…?”

The September 2008 issue of the leading history of science journal, Isis, includes a set of articles on counterfactual history — exercises where historians ask what might have been if past events had played out differently than they actually did. For decades most serious historians have dismissed such speculation as pointless (e.g., reported at AHP here), but there has been a percolating resurgence of interest in the question in recent years.

The section, organized by Gregory Radick of the University of Leeds in the UK, begins with the question “Why What If”:

Like the people they study, historians of science make conjectures about what might have been. Unlike scientists, however, historians of science have no tradition of self-consciousness about counterfactual methods. The essays in this Focus section are conversation starters toward that missing tradition. Continue reading Isis asks, “What if…?”

Does an education in science need history?

Isis, 99(2)In the latest issue of Isis, 99(2), Graeme Gooday, John M. Lynch, Kenneth G. Wilson, and Constance K. Barsky ask an important question: “Does science education need the history of science?” Generalized to address recent questions about the place of “the History of psychology” in “the discipline of Psychology,” their discussion seems particularly timely.

Perhaps predictably, given what is likely my own bias in sharing their article with the readers of AHP, Gooday and his colleagues answer such questions in the affirmative: “science education can gain from close engagement with the history of science both in the training of prospective vocational scientists and in educating the broader public about the nature of science” (p. 322). Their essay makes this case in two parts, with a third suggesting some ways in which historians could further increase the value they offer to science:

First it shows how historicizing science in the classroom can improve the pedagogical experience of science students and might even help them turn into more effective professional practitioners of science [pp. 323-327]. Then it examines how historians of science can support the scientific education of the general public at a time when debates over “intelligent design” are raising major questions over the kind of science that ought to be available to children in their school curricula [pp. 327-329]. It concludes by considering further work that might be undertaken to show how history of science could be of more general educational interest and utility, well beyond the closed academic domains in which historians of science typically operate.

Of the three, the third part of their essay seems most likely to generate the kind of discussion that would help historians of psychology secure the future of History in Psychology. Continue reading Does an education in science need history?