Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Course Announcement - COGS 260: Cognitive Science of Mathematics

This Spring quarter, Prof. Rafael Núñez is teaching a graduate seminar on the cognitive foundations of mathematics. Students from outside the Department of Cognitive Science are encouraged to enroll!

COGS 260 / Seminar on Special Topics:
Cognitive Science of Mathematics

The goal of this seminar is to provide a general overview of a rather new discipline called the Cognitive Science of Mathematics. The idea is to try to give a naturalistic account of the nature of mathematics and its conceptual structure building on relatively recent empirical findings in cognitive science. Based mainly on methodologies from cognitive semantics and psycholinguistics, experimental psychology, gesture studies, and on findings in neuroscience, we will use a technique called Mathematical Idea Analysis. We will address questions such as: How are mathematical concepts formed? How do the peculiarities of brains and bodies bring forth mathematical ideas? How do we create mathematical infinities if everything in our brains and everything we experience is finite? What do infinitesimal numbers, transfinite cardinals, and the point at infinity in projective geometry have in common? Why is the empty set a subset of every set? And how are these concepts shaped through cultural practices, notation systems, and historical processes? Developments in this field provide a new understanding of the cognitive foundations of mathematics. We will explore some implications of these results for the study of human cognition, mathematics education, and philosophy of mathematics.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CFP: Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation

Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation: A Challenge to Philosophy of Science
Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh
October 15-16, 2010

Call for Papers

This workshop will explore research in philosophy of scientific experimentation that challenges dominant views in contemporary philosophy of science. It will focus on the philosophical analysis of the design, structure, calibration, use and the readings of experimental apparatus, as well as broader experimental conditions. Some of the central philosophical issues to consider in light of such analysis are the nature of scientific theory, the role of evidence, and the structure of explanations and understanding of natural phenomena.

Keynote speakers:
Allan Franklin, University of Colorado
Marcel Weber, University of Konstanz

We invite submissions of extended abstracts (1000 words) of papers of approximately 30 minutes presentation time. Please include your name, the title of the paper, your academic affiliation and your e-mail address in the submission. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2010. Please direct your submissions to The decisions will be announced by July 15, 2010.

Accommodation will be provided for speakers.

Organizing Committee: Slobodan Perovic (Chair), Allan Franklin, John D. Norton, Wendy Parker, Marcel Weber.

Questions can be directed to Slobodan Perovic, or Karen Kovalchick.

For updates, visit:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

CILAS 2010 Grant Competition

The Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies is pleased to announce the 2010 CILAS Grant Competition. Awards range from academic year and summer language fellowships to travel grants for pre-dissertation research. A brief description of each grant can be found below. More detailed information and application instructions are available on the CILAS website.

AY-FLAS is an award offered to students that wish to improve their language skills in Brazilian Portuguese, Zapotec, Aymara, Mixtec or advanced Spanish at the San Diego Consortium (UCSD/SDSU). The award pays resident or non-resident fees, plus a $15,000 stipend to be paid in ten $1,500 installments throughout the academic year. Eligibility: All graduate students who are accepted for enrollment or who are enrolled in a program that requires modern foreign language training.

Summer Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship:
This fellowship is for students who wish to enroll in intensive language programs at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced level. S-FLAS fellowships are broken down into two awards. The first award is a stipend in the amount of $2500. This can be used for any expenses incurred during the language program. The second award is paid directly to the sponsoring institution which covers tuition. This award is up to $4,000. Eligibility: All graduate students who are accepted for enrollment or who are enrolled in a program that requires modern foreign language training.

Tinker Pre-Dissertation Research Travel Grant:
The Tinker Pre-Dissertation Travel Grant awards are for pre-dissertation field research for travel outside the United States (i.e. to Spain, Portugal, Brazil or Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America), for a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of 4 months between June 2010 and February 2011. Awards range from $500 to $1,500.

All UCSD graduate students conducting pre-dissertation research.

There will be an informational session on Friday, February 5 in the Institute of the Americas Complex.

**Applications are due no later than Friday, March 5 by 4:00 p.m.**
Please contact Julia Schneider (858-534-7967), CILAS Grants Coordinator, with any questions.

UCLA Center for Society and Genetics Symposium, January 29-30

Dear Friends of the UCLA Center for Society and Genetics:

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the UCLA Center for Society and Genetics’ 8th Annual Public Symposium, “Outlaw Biology: Public Participation in the Age of Big Bio.” This two-day event will explore new forms of biological and engineering research beyond the university and the corporations and will feature an exhibition and bio/science fair for exploring new forms of participation, open science and do-it-yourself biology.

This event is free and open to the public. For additional information and to RSVP please visit us at

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tokyo 2010: 35th 4S Annual Meeting

Held jointly with Japanese Society for Science and Technology Studies
August 25 – 29, 2010
Venue: Komaba I Campus, University of Tokyo

Friday, January 15, 2010

Science is Everywhere in San Diego, 18-22 February

Scientists, engineers, educators and policy makers from all over the globe will gather in San Diego, California from February 18-22 to discuss “Bridging Science and Society.” The interdisciplinary AAAS Annual Meeting will draw participants from more than 50 countries; speakers alone will represent 99 of the world’s top 200 colleges and universities.

During the meeting, attendees will celebrate 25 years of science education reform through AAAS’s Project 2061; 50 years of accomplishment in academic research by the University of California, San Diego; 60 years of scientific support from the U.S. National Science Foundation; and 350 years of achievement by The Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy.

AAAS President Peter C. Agre, Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and leader of the recent U.S. science diplomacy delegations to Cuba and North Korea, will open the meeting with the annual President’s Address. Plenary speakers include physicist Barry C. Barish; Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine Carol W. Greider; President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology co-chair Eric S. Lander; and U.S. Geological Survey director Marcia McNutt. A topical lecture series includes language and neuroscience expert Karen Emmorey, sustainability specialist; Robert T. Fraley, cellular and molecular medicine; professor Lawrence S. B. Goldstein; Nobel Prize winning economist James J. Heckman; U.S. Under Secretary for Energy Kristina M. Johnson; earth sciences specialist Thomas Hillman Jordan; marine scientist Stephen Palumbi; safe water expert Kellogg Schwab; infectious disease specialist Steffanie Strathdee; and high school biology teacher Jay Vavra.

In addition to 147 symposia across 13 tracks and day-long seminars of nine sessions in three tracks, a special session will present the 2010 Forum for Sustainability Science Programs.

Two special events are free and open to the public. Career development workshops cover all degree levels and career stages. Family Science Days, held on Saturday and Sunday, feature the Meet the Scientist Series.

The 2010 Annual Meeting underscores the importance of bridging the gap between science and society, calling on scientists to make their work understandable as well as beneficial, while also calling on people everywhere to rediscover the promise that research findings offer. The message will be heard well beyond San Diego, as hundreds of media outlets bring extensive news coverage to all continents.

Learn more and register online

Follow us on Twitter at “AAASMeetings” and use hashtag “#AAAS10” to search for posts about the meeting. Join the AAAS Facebook group for more updates about AAAS and the Annual Meeting.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

If you have any questions, please contact Jill Perla via email or at (202) 326-6450

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spontaneous Generations 3(1) 2009: Table of Contents

The Editorial Board of Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science is pleased to announce the publication of the journal's third issue, which features a Focused Discussion section devoted to the theme "Epistemic Boundaries."

Spontaneous Generations is an open-access online academic journal published by graduate students at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto. To access the papers, please visit the journal's home page. Details of our call for papers for Volume 4: "Scientific Instruments: Knowledge, Practice and Culture" can also be found on the website.

We encourage your comments and questions on the issues raised by the authors of the articles and opinion pieces published in this issue of the journal. Please e-mail your comments to the editor or use the journal’s online comment system.

Table of Contents

Focused Discussion
Editor's Introduction: Epistemic Boundaries / Sebastian Gil-Riano, Vivien Hamilton
Phenomenology in the American Vein: Justus Buchler’s Ordinal Naturalism and its Importance for the Justification of Epistemic Objects / Leon Niemoczynski
Creation Myths and Epistemic Boundaries / Daryn Lehoux
Evolution, Intelligent Design and Public Education: A Comment on Thomas Nagel / Scott Aikin, Michael Harbour, Robert Talisse
‘Exceeding the Age in EveryThing’: Placing Sloane’s Objects / James Delbourgo
Epistemic Fencelines: Air Monitoring Instruments and Expert-Resident Boundaries / Gwen Ottinger
Domesticating the Magnet: Secularity, Secrecy and ‘Permanency’ as Epistemic Boundaries in Marie Curie’s Early Work / Graeme Gooday
“I hold every properly qualified navigator to be a philosopher”: The Making of the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Global Laboratory / Aaron Sidney Wright
Cultural Exchange in a Heterogeneous Research Field: Approaching Scientific Culture with Anthropological Thought / Daniela Baus
Exploring Epistemic Boundaries Between Scientific and Popular Cultures / Marina Levina
Dealing With Disagreement: Distinguishing Two Types of Epistemic Peers / Benjamin Elliott Wald

Going Outside the Model: Robustness Analysis and Experimental Science / Michael Trevor Bycroft
Progress in Science and Science at the Non-Western Peripheries / Deepanwita Dasgupta
Was Kekule's Mind Brainbound? The Historiography of Chemistry and the Philosophy of Extended Cognition."/ David Theodore
On the Subject of Goethe: Hermann von Helmholtz on Goethe and Scientific Objectivity / Dani Hallet
Crossing the Newton-Maxwell Gap: Convergences and Contingencies / Matti Tedre, Erkki Sutinen

Going Public: A Cautionary Tale / Michael Lynch
Response to Lynch / Steve Fuller
Reflections on Trees of Knowledge / Marion Blute
Response to Professor Blute / Ian Hacking

Phillip Thurtle. The Emergence of Genetic Rationality: Space, Time, & Information in American Biological Science, 1870-1920 / Ari Gross
Daniel Rothbart. Philosophical Instruments: Minds and Tools at Work / Isaac Record
Bas van Fraassen. Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective / Curtis Forbes
Carl F. Craver. Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience / Kevin Morris
The Unbounded Bridge of Emergent Evolution, a review of Jacob Klapwijk, Purpose in the Living World: Creation and Emergent Evolution / Mark William Westmoreland
Maria Rentetzi. Trafficking Materials and Gendered Research Practices: Radium Research in Early 20th Century Vienna / Vivien Hamilton

Biology Studies Workshop: January 24, 2010

The Philosophy Department will be hosting a biology studies workshop this month. Its main purpose is to give grads an opportunity to present and discuss their work to a group of intercampus faculty in their field. You can check out the website HERE.

Contact Joyce Havstad if you are interested in getting involved.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MSTS Workshop at UC Irvine, Feb. 19, 2010

MSTS: Emergent Intersections, Unexpected Syntheses
Friday, February 19, 2010, UC Irvine
Social Science Plaza B (SSPB) Building, Room 1208
The workshop is free to attend, but registration is required.
To register, please RSVP to Denise Raynor.

Medical anthropology and science and technology studies (STS) represent two vibrant and diverse fields of inquiry, with long histories of intersection within anthropology and beyond. Despite these many points of collaboration and cross-fertilization, the theoretical, methodological, and empirical promise of synthesizing these fields of inquiry remains incompletely realized. Participants in this one-day conference will discuss how medical anthropology and STS might be reconstrued as a unified-yet-diverse domain of research, theorization, and activism. The conference is thus predicated on recognizing that the social phenomena studied by "medical anthropology" and "science and technology studies" are inextricably linked, and understanding these linked formations requires not just moving between disparate fields of inquiry, but rethinking the borders of "the field" itself.

This informal conference serves to celebrate the launching of the UC Irvine Department of Anthropology's Graduate Certificate in Anthropologies of Medicine, Science, and Technology, as well as the proposed MA degree in Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies (MSTS). It is also the inaugural event for the Department's "Anthropology in Transit" conference series. These conferences, informally termed the "405/91/5" conferences, creatively leverage the extraordinary concentration of cutting-edge anthropological scholarship in the Southern California region.

Speakers include: Carole Browner (UCLA), Chikako Takeshita (UCR), Janis H. Jenkins (UCSD), Kristin Peterson (UCI), Douglas Thomas (USC), Mei Zhan (UCI)

10:00a Welcome and introductions
10:15a Faculty panel
11:45a Lunch
1:00p Graduate student panel
2:30p Break
2:45p General discussion
3:30p End of conference

"Histories and Epistemologies of Transgenderism and Transsexuality, Eunichism, and Homosexuality in China" presented by Howard Chiang

SEMINAR BY HOWARD CHIANG: "Histories and Epistemologies of Transgenderism
and Transsexuality, Eunichism, and Homosexuality in China"

Thursday, January 14, 2010
4:00-6:50 p.m.
LGBT Center Fishbowl Conference Room

Howard Chiang is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Program in History of Science at Princeton University. He is the Founding Editor of Critical Studies in History and the Coordinator for the History and Theory Reading Group, which meets regularly in New York City. In this seminar, we will read and discuss three of Howard's works in progress, on "China Trans Formed: An Overview," "The Demise of Eunuchism," and "Epistemic Modernity and the Emergence of Homosexuality in China."

NOTE: The seminar is part of LTCS250 "Queer Chinese Cultures," offered by Larissa Heinrich, but this particular meeting is open to participants who do the reading in advance. If you'd like to attend the seminar, please contact Larissa for information and materials.

Monday, January 11, 2010

IHMS: Call for Applications

First European Seminar for Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Causation and Disease in the Postgenomic Era

Hermance (Geneva), Switzerland, September 6-11, 2010

The Brocher Foundation and a Consortium of five leading European institutions in the philosophy of the life sciences are inviting postgraduate, doctoral and early career postdoctoral researchers in the philosophy of life sciences to submit applications for participation in the First European Advanced Seminar in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences, to be held on the premises of the Brocher Foundation in Hermance (Geneva), Switzerland, September 6-11, 2010. The deadline for applications is February 22, 2010.
For more details visit:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Save the Date! SSP Winter Party

Science Studies Program
Winter Party

Friday, January 15
Location TBA via email invitation

Readership Available in Sociology

SOCI 138 Genetics and Society – John Evans; MWF, 10a-10:50a, Center Hall 105

This course is seeking one 25% reader. Please contact the faculty member directly with your immediate interest. Priority will go to qualified graduate students without current employment. Also note, it is very important that the candidate have no more than 25% current employment.