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IUHPST Essay Prize in History and Philosophy of Science 2021

The International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST) is pleased to announce the outcome of the competition for the third IUHPST Essay Prize in History and Philosophy of Science. This prize competition seeks to encourage fresh methodological thinking on the history and philosophy of science as an integrated discipline. For this round of the competition the prize question was: “What can history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine contribute to our current global challenges?

The winner of the 2021 prize is the essay entitled " Misinformation age: What early modern scientific fakes can tell us about today’s online fabrications " by Ms. Marlis Hinckley of Johns Hopkins University.

 

 

This thoughtful, provocative, and well-argued essay gives an illuminating analysis of how misinformation can spread, looking at the 16th century as a source of insight. Hinckley draws an imaginative and instructive parallel between 16th-century animal fakes (in particular, Aldrovandi’s “dragon”) and some salient current cases such as the impact of the Wakefield study on autism and vaccination, and the circulation of misinformation about COVID-19. The linkages she draws are keen, sensitive, plausible, and relevant. The historical work Hinckley presents is a deft and productive synthesis, succinct and filled with content. It genuinely integrates a philosophical perspective in order to understand the nature of information and to advance an ethical argument about responsible information-sharing. Hinckley opens up important practical questions and suggests that we need to craft a nuanced notion of “common sense” in order to guide people in sharing information with each other. We commend Marlis Hinckley for this bold and original essay, which takes a reflective look at history to challenge our present ways of life.

Ms. Hinckley will receive her prize and present the content of their essay in a special session at the 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology (ICHST) in Prague (online), 25–31 July 2021.

This prize is administered by the Joint Commission , whose remit is to make links between the work of the two Divisions of the IUHPST, namely the DHST (Division of History of Science and Technology) and the DLMPST (Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and Technology). The panel of judges for the 2021 competition consisted of: Rachel Ankeny, University of Adelaide, Australia; Agnes Bolinska, University of South Carolina, USA; Hasok Chang (chair), University of Cambridge, UK; Benedikt Löwe, Universities of Amsterdam/Hamburg/Cambridge, the Netherlands/Germany/UK; Helen Longino, Stanford University, USA, Joseph Martin, Durham University, UK; Michael Osborne, Oregon State University, USA, and Dirk Schlimm, McGill University, Canada.

Call for Submissions (closed; deadline was 15 January 2021).

The International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST) invites submissions for the 2021 IUHPST Essay Prize in History and Philosophy of Science. This biennial prize competition seeks to encourage fresh methodological thinking on the history and philosophy of science and related areas.

Entries in the form of an essay of 5,000–10,000 words in English are invited, addressing this year’s prize question: “What can history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine contribute to our current global challenges?” What constitutes a current global challenge is left to the judgment of the authors, but examples include the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, socioeconomic inequality, racism, the refugee crisis, and science denialism.

All entries should consist of original work that has not previously been published. Entries written originally in another language should be submitted in English translation, along with the name and contact details of the translator. Entries will be judged on the following criteria, in addition to general academic quality: direct engagement with the prize question, effective integration of historical and philosophical perspectives, and potential to provide methodological guidance for other researchers in the field.

The author of the winning entry will be invited to present the work at the 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology (ICHST) to be held in Prague, Czechia, 25–31 July 2021. Presenting at the Congress will be a condition of the award.

The award will carry a cash prize of 1,000 US dollars and a waiver of the Congress registration fee.

Other strong entries will also be considered for presentation at the Congress. In order to ensure this consideration, entrants should submit the entry also as a standalone paper abstract for the Congress by the deadline for that, following the standard instructions indicated on the Congress website.

Entries are invited from anyone, without restriction of age, nationality or academic status. Co-authored work will be considered; if the winning entry is a co-authored work the cash prize will be shared out among the authors.

This prize is administered by the Joint Commission of the IUHPST , whose remit is to make links between the work of the two Divisions of the IUHPST: the DHST (Division of History of Science and Technology) and the DLMPST (Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and Technology) .

Entries for the prize competition should be submitted in pdf format by e-mail to the Chair of the Joint Commission, Professor Hasok Chang , Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, hc372(at)cam.ac.uk. Any queries should also be directed to him. The deadline for submission is 15 January 2021.