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ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting

General Information

Organizers, sponsors and partners

The ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 meeting is jointly organized by the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB), the Brazilian Association for Philosophy and History of Biology (ABFHiB) and the Institute of Biosciences of the University of São Paulo (IB-USP).

The ISHPSSB provides general support for the meeting; ABFHiB offers local Brazilian organization, including the creation and maintenance of the conference web site; IB-USP provides the location where the meeting will be held, local facilities (including wifi, laptops and datashow equipment) and partial financial support. 


ISHPSSB – The International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) was formed in 1989 in order to hold a biennial meeting, bringing together researchers interested in biology as a discipline, and specifically in its history, philosophy and sociology. The ISHPSSB brings together scholars from diverse disciplines, including the life sciences as well as history, philosophy, and social studies of science. The biennial ISHPSSB summer meetings are known for innovative, transdisciplinary sessions, and for fostering informal, co-operative exchanges and on-going collaborations.

The ISHPSSB awards three prizes at its biennial meetings to recognize excellent achievements in the fields covered by the society. Each prize is named after a pivotal and dearly missed member of the Society and the broader academic community. Two prizes are aimed at graduate students to recognize outstanding papers presented at a previous ISHSSB meeting: Werner Callebaut Prize; Marjorie Grene Prize.

To recognize extraordinary contribution to scholarship and service that promotes interdisciplinary connections between history, philosophy, social studies, and biology, the society awards the David L. Hull Prize.

Since the acronym ISHPSSB is impossible to pronounce, David Hull suggested that one should call it “ishkabibble”, as an homage to the American comedian and cornet player Merwyn Bogue “Ish Kabibble”.

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ABFHiB – The Brazilian Association for Philosophy and History of Biology (Portuguese: Associação Brasileira de Filosofia e História da Biologia) was founded on August 17th, 2006, during the 4th Brazilian Meeting of Philosophy and History of Biology, carried out at Mackenzie Presbyterian University, in São Paulo, SP. ABFHiB's objective is to promote and publicize studies on philosophy and history of Biology, as well as its interfaces, stablishing cooperation and communication among all its members.

One of the main activities of ABFHiB is the publication of two periodicals. One of them is the quarterly Bulletin of the History and Philosophy of Biology (Portuguese: Boletim de História e Filosofia da Biologia). The Bulletin releases news of the area and publishes small articles as well as Portuguese translations of excerpts of important works in the history of biology. The other regular publication of this society is the journal Philosophy and History of Biology (Portuguese: Filosofia e História da Biologia), devoted to the publication of original articles in Portuguese, Spanish and English. Released in June and December, the journal completed its tenth volume in 2015. The open access online version of Philosophy and History of Biology can be accessed on this link:

The first ABFHiB Meeting of History and Philosophy of Biology occurred in 2003. The 13th Meeting was organized in the Institute of Biosciences of the University of São Paulo, in 2015. Besides Brazilians, some researchers from other South American countries – especially Argentina – are also members of ABFHiB and participate in those meetings.

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IB-USP – The Institute of Biosciences of the University of São Paulo (Portuguese: Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo) has an excellent faculty and infrastructure to provide a superior education in life sciences. IB-USP concentrates the undergraduate course in Biological Sciences and five graduate programs, which integrate teaching basic and specialized courses in Biology and performing lab practices and ground-breaking research.

The departments of Genetics and Evolutionary Biology, Botany, Physiology and Zoology had been first established in 1934 on the foundations of the previous School of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters, which was founded simultaneously with the University of São Paulo. In 1969 the departments were brought together to form the Institute.

The infrastructure of the Institute contributes to its academic excellence: multimedia, modern laboratories for microscopy and anatomy, herbarium, xylotheque, apiary, and the Center for Study of the Human Genome assure direct contact with the scientific methodology.

Research at IB-USP includes a wide range of disciplines in biological sciences, distributed within five Departments: Botany, Ecology, Genetics and Evolutionary Biology, Physiology and Zoology.  Innovative research is performed, often in collaboration with scientists and research institutions around the world, and published in high impact, internationally awarded scientific journals.

Regarding outcome to society, IB-USP promotes countless activities in different areas of Biology: elaboration of didactic material, guided tours, specialized courses for public school teachers, scientic advising and genetic counseling services. The Institute is deeply committed to developing outstanding programs, facilities and laboratories in order to train the future generations of biologists and scientists of related disciplines.

The Institute’s mission is to produce knowledge of biological sciences through innovative research, to apply this knowledge to benefit the environment and society and to train biologists for the future, engaged in building a sustainable world.

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Financial Support

The meeting already counts on financial support from the Provost's Office for Research (PRPUSP; subsidized by Banco Santander), Undergraduate, Graduate and Culture and Extension (PRCEU-USP) from USP.

       PRP   Santander

The meeting will receive financial support from the following Brazilian research agencies: the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP); the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).


FAPESP – The São Paulo State Research Foundation (Portuguese: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) is the main research agency providing grants and scholarships in the state of São Paulo. FAPESP is a public foundation, funded by taxpayers in the state of São Paulo, with the mission to support research projects in institutions of higher education and research in all fields of knowledge. The state of São Paulo has a population of 40 about million and generates 35% of Brazil’s GNP. The São Paulo state constitution establishes that 1% of all state tax revenue belongs to the Foundation and the government transfers these funds monthly. The stability of funding and autonomy of the Foundation allow for efficient management of the resources, which has had a sizeable impact: while São Paulo has 22% of the Brazil’s population and 30% of its scientists with doctorates, the state contributes 52% of the country’s scientific articles published in international journals.

The Foundation works in close contact with the scientific community: all proposals are peer reviewed with the help of area panels composed of active researchers.

FAPESP maintains cooperation agreements with national and international research funding agencies, institutions of higher educational and research and business enterprises. The international cooperation covers a broad range of countries and agencies including the UK Research Councils, the Agence Nationale de Recherche (ANR) in France, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in Germany, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the U.S.A.

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CNPq – The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Portuguese: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) is an organization of the Brazilian federal government under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), dedicated to the promotion of scientific and technological research and to the formation of human resources for research in the country. CNPq was founded in 1951 and since that time has been the leading research funding agency in Brazil. 

CNPq has established a research agenda materialized in a set of Programs, Call for Proposals and Research Networks focused on the various aspects of sustainable development. In the broad areas of biodiversity mapping, ecosystems, biotechnological potential evaluation, Amazon, Ocean and Antarctic sciences, the main actions involved the investment of US$100 million in the past 4 years, supporting 320 projects selected in 12 programs. In the various aspects of sustainable agriculture we additionally invested US$50 million supporting around 200 projects selected in 4 programs. CNPq is also promoting research in the field of Renewable Energy Sources, Biomass, Biofuels, Photovoltaic, wind power generation, hydroelectricity and climate changes, involving resources of US$30 million in the past 4 years.

An important initiative of CNPq is the National Institutes of Science and Technology Program (INCT), launched in July 2008, established as a powerful tool for promoting Science, Technology and Innovation in the country. It involves an initial investment of more than US$300 million, with 126 approved projects in different research areas. The Program aims to mobilize and aggregate as networks, the best research groups in Brazil, working in the frontiers of science and in strategic areas for the sustainable development of the country. Of those, 26 are specifically focused in the various aspects of environment, sustainability, water resources, ocean sciences, biodiversity, renewable energies and urban studies, involving an investment of around US$50 million.

More recently, the Brazilian government, through CNPq and CAPES, has established the Program Science without Borders, a large scale nationwide scholarship program aiming to strengthen and multiply the initiatives of science, technology and innovation through the expansion of the international mobility of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as post-docs and researchers. The primary goal is to offer 100 thousand fellowships for Brazilian students and researchers to go to top universities or research centers worldwide. The broad areas of interest include sustainable development, biodiversity, green economy, water resources, ocean sciences and renewable energies. The program also provides grants for young talented scientists and highly qualified researchers from abroad to work in Brazil in these areas, in joint projects with local research groups, thus contributing to the promotion of a global vision of sustainable development.

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CAPES – Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Portuguese: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento do Pessoal de Ensino Superior) is a public agency established in 1951 within the Ministry of Education (MEC). It is a Brazilian government agency awarding scholarships and grants to graduate students at universities and research centers in Brazil and abroad. Its main purpose is to coordinate efforts to improve the quality of Brazil’s faculty and staff in higher education. CAPES is particularly concerned with the training of Doctoral candidates, Pre-doctoral short-term researchers, and Post-doctoral Scholars. At present CAPES supports about 22,000 students in Brazilian graduate programs and 1,500 in other countries.

Capes plays a key role in the formation of highly qualified professionals, through the continued promotion and periodic assessment of graduate programs (academic master’s degree, doctoral and professional master’s degree). To this end, it identifies, stimulates and promotes initiatives of new graduate courses and academic, scientific, technological, technological, cultural and innovation cooperation, at the national and international levels. It provides scholarships for students, teachers and researchers, support to graduate programs and access to scientific, academic, technological and cultural, Brazilian and international literature.

The activities of the National Graduate System (SNPG) currently include about 3,400 Master and Doctor programs spread over nine large subjects: Agrarian Sciences, Biological Sciences, Health Sciences, Exact Sciences, Human Sciences, Applied Social Sciences, Engineering, Linguistics, Literature and Arts, and Multidisciplinary Studies.

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The event already has the support of CAPES through the Program to Support Events in the Country (PAEP-CAPES).


Butantan Institute. Created in 1901, the Butantan Institute is the main Brazilian producer of immunobiological products for public health purposes and is responsible for the majority of vaccines and sera produced in the country through its Technological Development and Production Division. The Cultural Development Center of the Institute sustains the Special Laboratory for the History of Science (LEHC), giving extension courses on the history of sanitary practices and publishing the journal "Cadernos de História da Ciência" (Notebooks on History of Science), available only in Portuguese. Besides that, the Institute develops studies and basic research in 17 different fields of Biology and Biomedicine directly or indirectly related to public health.

The Butantan Institute is located next to the campus of the University of São Paulo. Together with the LEHC team, we are planning cooperation and some activities for the ISHPSSB attendants, such as guided visits to the scientific zoological collections and its four Museums – the Biological, Historical, Microbiology and Emilio Ribas Public Health.

To learn more about Butantan Institute, please visit the website:


SBG - Brazilian Society of Genetics. The Brazilian Society of Genetics (SBG - Sociedade Brasileira de Genética, in Portuguese) was founded in 1955 at Campinas, São Paulo, in a session chaired by the geneticist Frederico Gustavo Brieger. Besides its annuals meetings, the society publishes the journal "Genetics and Molecular Biology" and "Genética na Escola" (Genetics in the School). This journal aims to disseminate educational experiences in the field of genetics, to provide reflections on genetic concepts and to discuss developments in technology related to the quality of life of the population and disseminate materials for classroom work, including the use of historical and philosophical approaches to the fields of Genetics, Molecular Biology and related areas.

SBG will support ISHPSSB 2017 Meeting, assisting in the dissemination of the congress and promoting interchange with its affiliates working with historical and / or philosophical references (distinguished from theoretical or empirical genetic research itself).

To learn more about SBG, please visit the website (only in Portuguese):


ACIESP - Academia de Ciências do Estado de São Paulo, ACIESP. The Academy of Sciences of the State of São Paulo was formed in 1974, to consolidate the view of São Paulo as the main regional center of scientific excellence in Latin America. The ACIESP brings together researchers in the Biosciences, Applied Sciences, Physics, Geosciences, Mathematics, and Chemistry.

ACIESP will support ISHPSSB 2017 Meeting assisting in the dissemination of the conference.

To learn more about ACIESP, please visit the website:


The São Paulo Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the volume of business and consumer market in the city, through tourism, supporting the improvement of services and assistance to visitors.

ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting   
International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB)   
Associação Brasileira de Filosofia e História da Biologia (ABFHiB)   
São Paulo, Brazil, 16 to 21 July, 2017   

São Paulo, Brazil
16 to 21 July, 2017

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