plenary sessions of the ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting will occur at
the auditorium of the International Broadcast Center (CDI, Centro de
Difusão Internacional, em Português) of the University of São
Paulo, within walking distance of the Institute of Biosciences.
will be two conferences by invited speakers, one of
them on Monday and the other one on Wednesday. Both will happen from
17:30 to 19:00 o'clock.
invited speakers will be Dr. Naomi Oreskes, from Harvard University,
and Dr. Kevin N. Laland, from the Center for Biological Diversity,
School of Biology, University of St. Andrews, U.K.
is Professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of
Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University, and an
internationally renowned geologist, science historian, and
author. She received a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Mining
Geology from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London (1981)
and then worked as an exploration geologist in the Australian outback.
In 1990 she received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Geological Research
and History of Science from Stanford University. She joined the faculty
at Harvard in 2013 after 15 years at the University of California, San
Professor Oreskes is the author of both scholarly and
popular books and articles on the history of earth and environmental
science, including The Rejection of Continental Drift (Oxford, 1999), Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth (Westview, 2003), and in recent decades has been a leading voice on the issue of anthropogenic climate change. Professor
Oreskes’ current research projects include completion of a scholarly
book on the history of Cold War Oceanography, Science on a Mission: American Oceanography from the Cold War to Climate Change (Chicago, forthcoming), and Assessing
Assessments: A Historical and Philosophical Study of Scientific
Assessments for Environmental Policy in the Late 20th Century.
You can learn more on Dr. Oreskes' researches and activities in:
Dr. Oreskes will address the conference:
Can Science Be Viewed as ex ante Authoritative in a Post-Factual World?
2016, a scholar associated with the American Enterprise Institute, a
think-tank dedicated to “strengthening the free enterprise system”
posed the question: “[H]ow [can] scientific analysis conducted or
funded by an agency headed by political appointees buffeted by
political pressures can be viewed ex ante as any more authoritative
than that originating from, say, the petroleum industry?” One
might be tempted to dismiss a question like this, posed as it was by
someone associated with an institute famous for its attacks on climate
science and scientists. But the question is a legitimate one. In
a world that many view as “post-factual,” how can scientific analysis
be viewed as ex ante authoritative? Why should the conclusions of
a scientific community be viewed ex ante as more authoritative than
that originating from the petroleum industry? Or the tobacco industry?
This paper addresses the question from the vantage point of the past
decades of scholarship in history, philosophy, and social studies of
science. I argue that the answer involves the social practices of
science—particularly the practices of communal critical interrogation
emphasized by feminist scholars of science—and the track records of
private enterprise. Despite the various pressures that may buffet
scientists—in government agencies, the private sector, or anywhere
else—so long as they are participating in scientific
communities—presenting their work at conferences and submitting it for
peer-review and publication—and so long as the communities in which
they practice are diverse, we have a basis for ex ante trust.
The processes of critical interrogation, however, rely on an assumption
of good faith: that participants are interested in learning about
natural world and have a shared interest in factual information.
History shows that assumption is often violated in the private sector,
where fraudulent and misleading claims have been used to defend
dangerous products and protect corporate profits. Often these claims
have been presented as scientific, yet have not been subjected to the
tests of critical scrutiny, or have been so subjected and failed those
tests. That is to say, the “scientific” claims of industry are
often not scientific, and this is why, ex ante, we have reason to
is Professor of Behavioural and Evolutionary Biology at the University
of St Andrews, and prior to that held positions at UCL, UC Berkeley and
Cambridge Universities. His principle academic interests are in
the general area of animal behaviour and evolution, with a specific
focus on animal social learning and innovation, the evolution of
cognition, niche construction, and the extended evolutionary synthesis.
He has published over 200 scientific articles on these topics, and been
the recipient of more than £15m in grant income. He has also authored
10 books, including Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution (with John Odling-Smee and Marc Feldman, Princeton UP, 2003), Sense and Nonsense. Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour, 2nd Ed. (with Gillian Brown, Oxford UP, 2011), Social Learning: an Introduction to Mechanisms, Methods and Models (with William Hoppitt, Princeton UP, 2013), and Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind
(Princeton UP, 2017). He is an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of
Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and Project leader
of “Putting the extended evolutionary synthesis to the test”, that can
be known at: http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/ees/the-project/.
You can learn more on Dr. Laland'' researches and activities in:
Dr. Kevin N. Laland will address the conference:
What use is an extended evolutionary synthesis?
Alternative conceptual frameworks can be of value to scientific fields
to the extent that they stimulate new hypotheses, lead to new insights,
open up novel lines of enquiry, or prove generative in other
ways. The extended evolutionary synthesis (EES) is new a way to
think about and understand evolutionary phenomena that differs from the
conception that has dominated evolutionary thinking since the 1930s
(i.e., the modern synthesis). The EES retains the fundamentals of
evolutionary theory, but stands out in its emphasis on the role of
developmental processes, which share with natural selection
responsibility for the direction and rate of evolution, the diversity
of life, and the process of adaptation. The EES emphasizes that
phenotypic variation is not random, that there is more to inheritance
than genes, and that there are multiple routes to the adaptive fit
between organisms and environments. I spell out the structure, core
assumptions and novel predictions of the EES, contrasting these with
more traditional expectations. The EES does not replace traditional
thinking, but rather can be deployed alongside it to stimulate and
advance research within evolutionary biology.
The awards ceremony and the ISHPSSB general meeting will also occur at the same place and time, on Thursday.