The International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) welcomes submission of presentation proposals for the biennial meeting to be held in July 2021. ISHPSSB brings together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to discuss historical, conceptual, philosophical, political, social, cultural, institutional, and ethical issues of the life sciences in an open and informal setting.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s conference will be held virtually “at” - with technical conference support graciously offered by - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), on July 13, 14, 15, 19, and 20, 2021. The main platforms will be Zoom and Slack, with each Zoom session provided with its own Slack channel so that participants can share thoughts in real time. (For those unfamiliar with Slack, it’s like a private version of Twitter or a chat room. Slack access will be free with registration and provided by CSHL.) The day before the conference (July 12), there will be a practice day for presenters, so that everyone can get used to the technology and session protocol.
As ISHPSSB President Greg Radick noted in his fall column: “we aim, in the great ISH tradition, to give you a mind-bendingly, life-affirmingly awesome conference! Of course, virtual conferences raise distinctive challenges, but they also present distinctive opportunities. We intend to make the most of those, as creatively and inclusively as we can.” Working with CSHL, with the potential for incorporating their scholars into the meeting, is one such opportunity. We beg your understanding and forbearance as we explore what it means to go virtual! But we are confident that this will be an experience that will be of value and interest to many ISHPSSB members. And we are taking this opportunity as a learning experience as we plan for what will likely be a ‘new normal’ of holding hybrid meetings.
The conference will consist of familiar ISHPSSB events described further below: organized sessions, individual papers, plenaries, and panels, and of course the General Meeting where we will award prizes and conduct Society business. In response to our present pandemical predicament, the conference will also include a variety of “community-building” sessions, e.g., icebreakers and happy office hours, professional development skill building sessions, and opportunities for network building. Calls for proposals and participation in these community-building sessions will be sent separately. In light of “Zoom fatigue” and to provide an easy way to present new ideas, we have also added lightning talks as a presentation option.
Time Zones. Because we are meeting internationally with participants attending from all over the world, but with conference infrastructure supported by CSHL (located in New York, which at the time of the conference will be on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)), the conference will offer three major blocks of time during which individual sessions will be scheduled. On New York time, these will be morning and afternoon on five days of the conference, and evening blocks on two designated days of the conference:
9:30-12:30 EDT: Block A Sessions
Group 1, 9:30-10:55
Group 2, 11:05-12:30
13:00-14:00 EDT: Community/Skill Building Sessions
14:30-17:30 EDT: Block B Sessions
Group 3, 14:30-15:55
Group 4, 16:05-17:30
17:30-19:00 EDT (on July 14 and 19 only): Social Hours
19:00-22:00 EDT (on July 14 and 19 only): Block C Sessions
Group 5, 19:00-20:25
Group 6, 20:35-22:00
All registrants should be prepared to identify their preferred time-blocks on the abstract submission forms. Your flexibility is requested: please specify all time-blocks that are reasonable for the time-zone you will be presenting from. The program co-chairs will do their best to honor these requests, but given the unpredictability of submissions and the worldwide attendance expected at this meeting, it may not be possible to honor all requests, and we beg your understanding. Organized sessions will be given priority in scheduling over individual paper submissions. Please note a substantial change from previous ISHPSSB meetings: individual paper submissions may be accepted as lightning talks rather than traditional talks, as we work to fit the program into the constraints of the virtual environment.
Fees. As with all conferences, there will be costs to cover but the Society will also be extending subsidies to active members who present at the conference and who have financial need, especially seeking to make the conference more affordable for our student members and our early career members. (Please make sure your membership is up to date by April 1!). The default conference registration rates will be $200 USD standard rate or $150 USD reduced rate. The reduced rate applies to current PhD students, recent PhD graduates (graduated after July 1 2018), independent scholars, and emeritus/a scholars. Registration rates are ‘at cost’, i.e., they reflect the cost to CSHL for providing the infrastructure necessary to host this virtual conference. This generous rate is what is allowing us to host this year’s meeting. ISHPSSB is grateful to CSHL for making this year’s event possible.
Subsidies. In lieu of travel support, ISHPSSB will award registration subsidies for participants presenting their work at this year’s conference, funded either by the National Science Foundation (grant #1656206), or ISHPSSB, depending on applicant eligibility. To apply for a subsidy, register for the conference and then use the supplementary application link included in the CSHL Virtual Meeting email confirming your registration. ISH will offer subsidies of $100 for up to 200 participants qualifying for the reduced rate, and up to 120 participants paying the standard rate. (Thus, those who qualify for both the reduced rate and a subsidy will pay only $50 whereas those who qualify for both the standard rate and a subsidy will pay only $100). In an effort to ensure that the Society’s resources can be used to help as many members as possible, we request that members only apply for subsidies if they have financial need.
Virtual Reduced Packages
|After ISH subsidy for active members who qualify
|$100 (up to 120 participants)
|$50 (up to 200 participants)
(Low & Middle Income Countries
ISHPPB is generously supporting the participation of a limited number of individuals from Low & Middle Income Countries
on a first-come-first-served basis
Academics with current positions at universities or institutions Low & Middle Income Countries
Current PhD students, recent PhD graduates (graduated after July 1 2018), independent scholars, and emeritus/a scholars from Low & Middle Income Countries