Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lakoff Visit



Professor of Linguistics
UC Berkeley
March 5, 2010
6 p.m.
UCSD Center Hall 105

Prof. Lakoff has been a vocal critic of recent developments in the UC system. He has written: “California’s budget crisis – and so many of our state’s systemic problems – are the result of the absurd twothirds requirement that allows a small minority, now just 37%, to block sensible economic legislation. California is the only state in
America where one-third plus one, only 34%, runs the legislature by blocking the sensible, responsible majority at every turn. ”

Prof. Lakoff will speak about how to pass the California Democracy Act! If passed, it would require only a 51% majority to make much needed changes in our state government.
Event organizers: Associated Students, Saving UCSD Coalition,
Chicano/Latino Arts and Humanities (CLAH) Program

Monday, February 22, 2010

STS Conference - South Asia Institute at the University of Texas at Austin

The South Asia Institute at the University of Texas at Austin is hosting a conference on Science & Technology Studies in South Asia on May 14 and 15, 2010.

We welcome papers on all aspects of science, technology, media, medicine, and the environment that bear on modern and contemporary South Asia.

Kindly circulate this information to anyone you may know who works on these topics.

Abstracts are due March 15, 2010.

You can get more information about this conference at:

Friday, February 19, 2010

REMINDER CFP: Spontaneous Generations - Volume 4: Scientific Instruments: Knowledge, Practice, and Culture

REMINDER Call for Papers - Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science - Volume 4: Scientific Instruments: Knowledge, Practice, and Culture.

Spontaneous Generations is an open, online, peer-reviewed academic journal published by graduate students at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto.

In addition to articles for peer review, opinion essays, and book reviews, Spontaneous Generations is seeking contributions to its focused discussion section. This section consists of short peer-reviewed and invited articles devoted to a particular theme. This year, the theme is "Scientific Instruments: Knowledge, Practice, and Culture." See below for submission guidelines.

We welcome submissions from scholars in all disciplines, including but not limited to HPS, STS, History, Philosophy, Women's Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, and Religious Studies. Papers from all periods are welcome.

The journal consists of four sections:

A focused discussion section devoted to Scientific Instruments (see below). (1000-3000 words recommended.)

A peer-reviewed section of research papers on various topics in the field of HPS. (5000-8000 words recommended.)

A book review section for books published in the last 5 years. (Up to 1000 words.)

An opinions section that may include a commentary on or a response to current concerns, trends, and issues in HPS. (Up to 500 words.)

With the “practical turn” in history and philosophy of science came a renewed interest in scientific instruments. Although they have become a nexus for worries about empiricism and standards of evidence, instruments only rarely feature as primary sources for scholars in the history and philosophy of science. Even historians of technology have been accused of underutilizing the evidence embodied in material objects (Corn 1996). The fundamental questions are not settled. First, there is no general agreement as to what counts as a scientific instrument: Are simulations instruments? Can people function as instruments? Do economic or sociological instruments operate in the same way as material instruments? There is a second, related debate about how scientific instruments work: Is there a unified account? Do instruments produce knowledge or produce effects? Do they extend our senses (Humphreys 2006) or embody knowledge (Baird 2006)? Third, HPS has seen a variety of approaches to fitting instruments into broader historical and philosophical questions about scientific communities and practices: Shapin and Schaffer (1985) relate instruments to the scientific life, Galison (1997) gives instrument makers equal footing with theorists and experimentalists within the trading zone of scientific discourse, and Hacking (1983) elevates instruments to central importance in the realism-antirealism debate. Finally, it seems plausible that there are methodological concerns specific to scientific instruments: What lessons can we draw from anthropology, material culture, and other allied fields?

We welcome short papers exploring the history and philosophy of scientific instruments for inclusion in Spontaneous Generations Volume 4. We recommend that submissions intended for Volume 4 be sent by 26 February 2010 to accommodate the peer review process.

For more details or to submit a manuscript, please visit the journal homepage at:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Climate Change: What Do We Know, and What Should We do?

Richard C.J. Somerville
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
"Climate Change: What Do We Know, and What Should We Do?"
Thursday, March 4, 2010
4:00 - 5:30 PM
Robinson Auditorium, UC San Diego
Registration required, at http://iicas.ucsd.edu

Richard C. J. Somerville will discuss a new scientific synthesis, “The Copenhagen Diagnosis,” which assesses recent climate research findings, including: measurements showing the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass and contributing to sea level rise; Arctic sea-ice has melted far beyond the expectations of climate models; global sea level rise may exceed 1 meter (about 3 feet) by 2100, with a rise of up to 2 meters (6 feet) considered possible; in 2008 carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels were about 40% higher than those in 1990; and at today’s emissions rates, after just 20 more years the world will no longer have a reasonable chance of limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

To avoid dangerous climate disruption, global emissions must peak and then start to decline rapidly within the next five to ten years, reaching near-zero well within this century. (The report is available at www.copenhagendiagnosis.org.)

Richard C. J. Somerville, a theoretical meteorologist, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. His Ph. D. is from New York University, and he has been a professor at Scripps since 1979. He has received awards for both his research and his popular book, “The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change,” a new edition of which was published in 2008. His honors include election as a Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society.

Somerville was a Coordinating Lead Author for the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize equally with Al Gore.

Event information and directions: http://iicas.ucsd.edu/events/speakerseries/ruleoflaw.php
Event questions, contact iicasintern@ucsd.edu or (858) 822-5297.
For special arrangements to accommodate a disability, contact IICAS two weeks in advance of the event.
The 2009-2010 International Law Speaker Series is jointly sponsored by the Institute for International, Comparative, and Area Studies (IICAS), at UC San Diego, and the International Legal Studies Program, at California Western School of Law.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Science and Technology at the Capital

The Triple Helix is proud to introduce Science on the Capitol, featuring a panel of 3 high profile science policy experts from Washington D.C. More information is presented below, along with a flyer for the event.

All students/faculty/and staff are invited!!!
The Triple Helix at UCSD

Moderated by: Dr. Seth Cohen, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry UCSD
Friday, February 19, 2010
Hojel Auditorium, Institute of Americas (located in ERC College, UCSD)
Reception and Refreshments to follow for registered participants

Title: “Science on the Capitol”

We would like you to join us for a stimulating and informative conversation with three well-known Washington D.C. science policy experts. This forum is set to initiate an interface between science, technology, and policymaking among UCSD students and faculty. We hope that with your participation, we can set the foundation for broader set of future activities on science policy at UCSD

Featured panelists are:

Kei Koizumi, Associate Director for Research and Development, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President

David Goldston, Director of Government Affairs, National Resource Defense Council, Columnist for Nature, former Chief of Staff for the House Science Committee

Dr. Michael Holland, Office of the Under Secretary for Science, Department of Energy, former positions at the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Office of Management and Budget

For questions, please contact thetriplehelixucsd@gmail.com

Registration and more information at http://triplehelixblog.com

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Science Studies 20th Anniversary Workshop - Registration now open!

Registration for the Science Studies Program’s 20th Anniversary Workshop, “Science Studies in Context,” is now open! If you plan to attend, please sign up by Monday, March 1. You may register by clicking HERE.

For more information (including the event flyer) and for an additional link to register, please visit the Science Studies website.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Grant-in-aid opportunities

The Caltech Archives would like to bring your attention to the grant-in-aid opportunities offered through the Maurice A. Biot Fund and the Victor Wouk Fund. Both funds offer awards up to $2000 biannually to assist scholars in using the collections in the Caltech Archives.

The next application deadline will be May 3, 2010.

Further information about the Caltech Archives may be viewed at our web site: http://archives.caltech.edu/

Climate Change Email Controversy

The Guardian newspaper is inviting contributions/comments on its account of the climate change email controversy.

To: All Science Studies Students
From: Bob Westman

Charlie Thorpe has just called attention to a fascinating article in The Guardian, the well-known British newspaper. The article is a great example of investigative reporting into a scientific subject of urgent social and political concern. It addresses the hacked email exchanges between climate scientists at Penn State and East Anglia, their subsequent, selective appropriation and distortion by the likes of Sarah Palin and Sen. James Inhofe and the controversy's wider ripple-effects. In what it describes as an "experiment", the newspaper now invites direct, public comment.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Victor Stenger Lecture, Sat., Feb. 20

What Can Science Say About God and the Afterlife?
Saturday, February 20
3:30 PM Lecture
UCSD Student Services Center Multi-Purpose Room
Free and open to the public – no tickets or reservations required

The claim has been made that reason and science supply new and persuasive evidence for the existence of God and the afterlife. A creator God is said to be supported by the apparent fine-tuning of the physical parameters of the universe to make life possible. The afterlife is suggested by studies of past-life memories, near-death experiences, and various paranormal claims. Furthermore, quantum mechanics has supposedly provided reason to believe that consciousness is a separate entity from our bodies and brains and thus able to survive death. New York Times bestselling author Dr. Victor Stenger will examine these claims from the point of view of a physicist who spent forty years studying the fundamental structure of the universe.

Stenger, who received a doctorate in Physics from UCLA in 1963, taught at the University of Hawaii, retiring to Colorado in 2000. He is currently an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Stenger has also held visiting positions on the faculties of universities in Germany, England, and Italy.

Dr. Stenger's distinguished research career has spanned the period of great progress in elementary particle physics to very high-energy gamma ray and neutrino astronomy. He also is the author of nine critically acclaimed popular science books about physics, cosmology, philosophy, religion, and pseudoscience. His 2007 book, God: The Failed Hypothesis; How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist New York Times bestseller. His latest books, which came out in 2009, are Quantum Gods and The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason.

Dr. Stenger will be speaking at the UCSD Student Services Center Multi-Purpose Room (first floor) located on Matthews Quad at the corner of Rupertus Way and Myers Drive (southeast of the Price Center). Books will be available for sale beginning at 3:00 PM. Signing after the lecture. Public parking is nearby at the Gilman Parking Structure (intersection of Gilman Drive and Villa La Jolla Drive).

Brought to you by Rational Thought at UCSD

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Free Workshop, AAAS Meeting San Diego

There will be a free workshop, Communicating Science: Tools for Scientists and Engineers at the AAAS Annual Meeting at the San Diego Convention Center on February 18, 2010. We would like to extend an invitation to researchers and faculty at the University of California, San Diego.

There is no registration fee to attend the full day workshop; however, space is limited, and pre-registration is required.

Scientists and engineers who foster information sharing and respect between science and the public are essential for the public communication of and engagement with science. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has partnered with Advancing Science Serving Society (AAAS) to provide resources, both online and through in-person workshops, to help researchers communicate more broadly with the public. The interactive workshop will include why science communication is important, the defining of audience and message in communication with public audiences; media interviews; on-camera practice; public outreach opportunities; NSF's Broader Impacts requirement; and more. For more information and to register, go to http://www.nsf.gov/events/event_summ.jsp?cntn_id=116211=NSF