The International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) brings together scholars from diverse disciplines, including the life sciences as well as history, philosophy, and social studies of science. ISHPSSB summer meetings are known for innovative, transdisciplinary sessions, and for fostering informal, co-operative exchanges and on-going collaborations.
The venue/dates: University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
July 13-17, 2005
The panel proposal:
I would like to propose a panel focused on the idea of "pseudo-science," particularly as the term is used by non-scientists (historians, cultural theorists, etc.) to designate (supposedly) outmoded scientific theories. If possible, I would like to focus the panel around the historical period 1890-1945 (or thereabouts). As is well-known, the lines between "real" science and "pseudo-" science were not clear in this time period, and in retrospect much of what was then considered serious scientific theory is now regarded with utmost suspicion because of the intertwining of scientific theories and ideology, particularly in Nazi Germany. I am interested in how race science continues to be labelled as a pseudo-science, though race continues to be a topic discussed by "real" scientists to this day.
Possible topics might include various theories of race, heredity and evolution-- neo-Lamarckism, monism, spiritualism-- as well as intersections of science, mysticism and the occult...
My own project is focused on Freud's theories of transmission-- both between individuals and between generations-- which incorporate a certain belief in the reality of telepathy and the ("Lamarckian") inheritance of acquired characteristics. I include an abstract on the website (see the link "Suggest a Session"), but I would be fine with focusing on just one aspect of the somewhat broad proposal. (The larger work is on Freud's theory of Jewishness as a theory of racial memory.)
Please reply by February 1, 2005. I look forward to hearing from you!
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