Call for abstracts


We invite submissions for the next International Society for the History Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology biennial meeting, which will take place in Oslo, Norway, 7–12 July 2019.

The Council, Local Organizing, and Program Committees are working to put together an exciting program inspired by socially relevant work on biology and the life sciences and featuring Keynote Lectures by Fern Wickson and Gísli Palsson. We are building on the strengths of local communities of scholars in the social studies of science, biomedical sciences, science communication, and museum studies, and exploring new and established topics through engaging and innovative formats. We especially encourage historians, sociologists, and biologists to join us and feel at home here, while preserving our society as a great venue for philosophers to meet.

In order to encourage interdisciplinary exchange, the ISHPSSB Council has created an Interdisciplinary Organized Session Prize. Candidate sessions are expected to stand out as a fruitful combination of approaches or methodologies from several of the ISHPSSB disciplines, and especially through contributions from the social studies and history of the life sciences. The prize will be awarded to the organizer and all participants of an organized session. Organizers can self-nominate by identifying their submission as an “Interdisciplinary Organized Session” upon online submission.

It is our goal that ISHPSSB be the place where natural scientists, social scientists and humanities scholars meet to learn and discuss challenging contemporary subjects around the life sciences. We further want to encourage our members to think of connections between our more traditional subjects and other practices, including relations between art practices and the life sciences, and how they challenge us to rethink our work in the social studies of science and the history and philosophy of science. With these purposes in mind, we introduce the possibility of experimenting with novel formats in a new Mixed Media and Posters Session, alongside traditional Organized and Individual Papers Sessions.

Submissions close: 18th January, 2019.

If you have inquiries related to submissions and the program, please send an email to the ISHPSSB Oslo Program Committee:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Submission formats


Organized Sessions

We encourage participants to submit organized sessions. Submissions of this type will benefit from a policy of rolling acceptance.  The earlier you submit an organized session, the earlier you will hear from us about acceptance, and the more leeway you will have as to the scheduling of your session and your trip. You may use the ISHPSSB 2019 Open Organized Session Submission Form to post ideas for organized sessions and to coordinate with others looking to do so. 

These activities are submitted by one organizer, who must also participate in the session. All sessions will have exactly 90 minutes. There are two different types of Organized Sessions:
* Traditional Session
* Diverse Format Session

The organizer can either invite the other participants directly, in order to submit a closed proposal; or use this link to submit an Open Organized Session proposal (including title and abstract of the open session), inviting other participants to make contact before submitting a proposal. The ISHPSSB 2019 Session Board for reviewing Open Organized Sessions will open as open sessions submissions come in, in November 2018.

a. Traditional Session:

(90 minutes)

Each Traditional Session proposal should include three speakers and a Chair, who can be one of the speakers but need not be.  Each speaker will have 25 minutes total (including discussion).  This submission format requires a session title and a 250­–500 word session abstract; titles and 250–500 word abstracts for each talk; and the names, affiliations, and email address for all participants. It is possible to submit a double Organized Session, with the same title, six speakers, with two 90 minutes slots.

When you are ready to submit your session, follow this link.

b. Diverse Format Session

(90 minutes)

Each Diverse Format Session should have at least two participants, including a chair who may be one of the participants. These sessions allow a variety of formats and may be organized as roundtables, panels, dialogues, theater games, performance lectures, longer talks, lightning talks, commentaries, films, etc. This submission format requires a session title and 250–500 word abstract, as well as the names, affiliations, and email address for all participants.  Additional information relevant to the particular format (for example, short bios in the case of panels) can also be included in the information submitted by the session organizer.

When you are ready to submit your session, follow this link.

Individual Papers – oral presentations

Individuals may also submit a paper proposal, which requires a paper title and 250–500 word abstract, the presenter’s name, affiliation and email address. Full names, affiliation, and email address of co-authors (if any) are also required. The submission should be made by the person who will present the paper at the meeting. The paper presentation must be no more than 20 minutes in length, with an additional 10 minutes for discussion.  Individual Paper submissions will be grouped by the Program Committee and scheduled into 90 minutes sessions. Individuals may submit only one Individual Paper. Before submitting your individual paper, please check the ISHPSSB 2019 Session Board  to see if there might be a proposal for an Organized Session that your contribution fits with.

When you are ready to submit your individual paper, follow this link.

Mixed Media and Poster Presentation

Participants can submit a poster or experiment with presenting via mixed media formats. Examples include the presentation of short films (3–5 minutes) or other multimedia works, including artistic performance-based formats (such as performance lectures), lab work, or games. Any special technical arrangements required should be specified in the proposal. The Program and Local Organizing Committees will do our best to cope with technical and/or space requirements as relevant, but it is expected that each presenter will provide any additional equipment needed beyond standard presentation materials.

The submission for the Mixed Media and Poster Session requires a title and 250–500 word abstract, plus the participant’s name, affiliation and email address; it should also include the specification of technical and/or space requirements. Full names, affiliation and email of co-authors (if any) is also required. Individuals are allowed only one submission for the Mixed Media and Poster Presentation.

When you are ready to submit a proposal for the Mixed Media and Poster Session, follow this link.

Submission requirements and rules


One submission is allowed per participant (as either a speaker, co-author, commentator, roundtable participant, mixed media or poster author), besides chairing one session.

All individuals submitting Individual Paper proposals are encouraged to check open sessions notices posted on the ISHPSSB 2019 Session Board; this will help both speakers and program-co-chairs to organize a more cohesive conference.  Diversity and inclusion are valued by the ISHPSSB community.  We especially encourage session organizers to attend to considerations of participant diversity, in terms of discipline as well as geography, gender, race/ethnicity, and career stage.

We invite presentations that address historical, philosophical, social and/or cultural aspects of the life sciences. Interdisciplinary approaches and papers tackling educational issues in the history, philosophy, and social studies of the life sciences are also welcome. Contributions to the study of other sciences are outside the scope of this conference.

Due to the international scope of the conference, papers will be presented in English, independent of the nationality of the speaker.

Linkt to ISHPSSB's website

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