The first Joint Conference of Cheiron (The international Society for the History of the Behavioral and Social Sciences) and The International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN) will be held in Calgary / Banff (Canada). The main conference will be from June 16-19 at the University of Calgary, while a post-conference retreat (with workshops) will be held at the Banff Centre for the Arts from June 19-23, in the Rocky Mountains. Submissions for papers, posters, symposia/panels, or workshops are invited. When submitting poster/paper abstracts and letters of intent for symposia/panels and workshops, please indicate whether you would also consider attending the Banff retreat and presenting at that venue (especially posters and workshops).
Possible submissions may deal with any aspect of the history of the neurosciences, behavioral and social sciences or related historiographical and methodological issues.
The new, EXTENDED SUBMISSION DUE DATE IS NOW MARCH 11, 2011. All submissions must be received by *5pm CST that day*. Instructions for submitting proposals, as well as for registering at the conference, may be found at: Instructions for submitting proposals, as well as for registering at the conference, may be found at: http://www.ucalgary.ca/ISHN_Cheiron/symposium_submission.
Program Highlights and Keynote Speakers
Dr. David Hubel, John Franklin Enders Professor of Neurobiology, Emeritus, at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hubel shared the 1981 Nobel Prize for Physiology for his discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system.
Dr. David Wright, the Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, McMaster University. Dr. Wright is the author and co-editor of seven books and more than two dozen peer reviewed articles and chapters on the history of mental health and psychiatry, including his latest work, Down’s Syndrome: A History.
Dr. Elizabeth Lunbeck, the Nelson Tyrone, Jr Professor of History and Chair, Department of History and Professor of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University. States. She is the author of several books, including The Psychiatric Persuasion: Knowledge, Gender, and Power in Modern America (Princeton 1994, 1996), which won numerous awards including the John Hope Franklin Prize and the History of Women in Science Prize. At present she is editing Histories of Scientific Observation, with Lorraine Daston (Chicago, 2010), and completing two books on the history of psychoanalysis and its cultural meaning.
Dr. Andrew T. Scull, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies at the University of California at San Diego, will give the joint Cheiron-ISHN conference keynote. His most recent work is Madmen: Durkheim and the Law (with Steven Lukes). The author or co-author of a number of books, some of his other recent works include: The Insanity of Place/The Place of Insanity: Essays in the History of Medicine, and Madhouse: A Tragic of Megalomania and Modern
Dr. Frank W. Stahnisch, who holds the AMF/Hannah Professorship in the History of Medicine and Health Care at the University of Calgary and is the current President of ISSHN, will present the 16th Annual ISHN Presidential Lecture. The author or co-author of four books, his book Ideas in Action: The Notion of Function and its Methodological Role in the Research Program of the Experimental Physiologist Francois Magendie (1783-1855), was one of the first specialized works in the German language on experimental practices in modern medical research laboratories.
Workshops to be Held in Banff:
"Mind and Body Medicine" Monday, June-20 (2011) (Morning and Early Afternoon)
"The 'Hard Problem' in History" Monday, June-20 (2011) (Later Afternoon)
"Eugenics and Psychiatry" Tuesday, June-21 (2011) (One Day Workshop)
"Student History of Neuroscience Poster Workshop" Wednesday, June-22 (2011) (Half Day or One Day Workshop – depending on number of submissions)
Historical analysis of a broad range of paradigm shifts in science, biology, history, technology, and in particular in computing technology, suggests an accelerating rate of evolution, however measured.
John von Neumann projected that the consequence of this trend may be an “essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs as we know them could not continue”. This notion of singularity coincides in time and nature with Alan Turing (1950) and Stephen Hawking’s (1998) expectation of machines to exhibit intelligence on a par with to the average human no later than 2050. Irving John Good (1965) and Vernor Vinge (1993) expect the singularity to take the form of an ‘intelligence explosion’, a process in which intelligent machines design ever more intelligent machines. Transhumanists suggest a parallel or alternative, explosive process of improvements in human intelligence. And Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave (1980) forecasts “a collision point in human destiny” the scale of which, in the course of history, is on the par only with the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution.
We invite submissions describing systematic attempts at understanding the likelihood and nature of these projections. In particular, we welcome papers critically analyzing the following issues from a philosophical, computational, mathematical, scientific and ethical standpoints:
* Claims and evidence to acceleration * Technological predictions (critical analysis of past and future) * The nature of an intelligence explosion and its possible outcomes * The nature of the Technological Singularity and its outcome * Safe and unsafe artificial general intelligence and preventative measures * Technological forecasts of computing phenomena and their projected impact * Beyond the ‘event horizon’ of the Technological Singularity * The prospects of transhuman breakthroughs and likely timeframes
Amnon H. Eden, School of Computer Science & Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, UK and Center For Inquiry, Amherst NY
This theme is the context for her talk entitled “Disordered or Just Different? Myth, Science, and Sexuality” that will focus on the scientific evidence on core sexuality obtained over the last fifty years and the medical profession’s treatment of intersex, homosexual, and transsexual peoples.
Here’s a conference description and schedule:
The Center For Inquiry/Chicago First Annual Spring Conference: Dangerous Nonsense: Exploring the Gulf between Science and its Impostors
Saturday, April 24th, 2010
8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
111 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago 60601
26th Floor - Conference Room
Bunkum grows like a weed in American culture - whether it's climate change denial, conspiracy theories, or healing by prayer. Some ideas are not only nonsense, they are dangerous nonsense, with serious implications for our lives. In this age where misinformation can be spread more easily than ever before, understanding the role of the scientific process in human affairs is critical to our survival. This conference will present top scientists in biology, physiology, and physics, each of them gifted at explaining both the science and its impostors of their respective fields.
Join them and gain valuable insight into exploring the world through science and reason.
A proposal to put human genes into goats, sheep and cows to try to get the animals to make human proteins in their milk will be in the public spotlight next week.
Submitters will have Monday and Tuesday to tell the Environmental Risk Management Authority what they think of plans by AgResearch to breed and keep genetically modified animals at its Ruakura research facility, near Hamilton.
AgResearch says that if the experiment works, proteins from the animals could be used to make cheaper "biopharmaceuticals" to treat human diseases.
The company has already been breeding transgenic cows. Now it wants approval to continue working with the cows, and add sheep and goats to the trial.
The breast cancer drug Herceptin was developed using genetic modification and AgResearch says such treatments have "huge" marketvalue.
But opponents say it has exaggerated the possible benefits of the trial, and given authorities far too little information about what it plans to do with the proteins if it can makethem.
More than 90 per cent of the 1545 people who made written submissions opposed the plan - most using a pre-prepared form. Four submissions supported it and six did not say.
Are we on the cusp of discovering what determines gender? The old mantra - all girls have XX chromosomes and all boys have XY - is no longer reliable. Scientists are now looking beyond chromosomes to "brain sex" and the role of newly discovered genes. By studying transsexuals and people on the gender extremes, they believe they can unlock the gender puzzle. This high-quality documentary looks at the new and challenging science of gender.
COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) While climate change affects everyone, women bear a heavier burden – and gender activists say they should have a greater say in planning the response to climate change.
Dorah Lebelo says millions of women around the world are subsistence farmers and erratic weather patterns have affected their ability to feed themselves, let alone produce a surplus to sell. Women, Lebelo continues, are very much dependent on natural resources such as water, firewood, or wild fruits which sell.
Lebelo is a member of Gender CC, a global women’s rights network that is lobbying for the incorporation of a gender perspective into the final document of the climate change meeting at the Danish capital.
“The advancement of women, their leadership and meaningful participation, and their engagement as equal stakeholders in all climate-related processes and implementation must be guaranteed,” she says.