ISHPSSB Biennial Meeting 2021
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: