CFP: Environments of Science

Submission deadline: February 27, 2017

Conference date(s):
April 20, 2017 - April 21, 2017

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Conference Venue:

IHPST, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Topic areas


Third Annual Binocular Graduate Conference

Theme: "Environments of Science"

Co-organized by the graduate students of the University of Toronto's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology and York University's Science and Technology Studies Department.

Thrusday April 20th—Friday, April 21st

Keynote: Dr. Jennifer Light (Science, Technology, and Society, MIT)

The Binocular Conference is a two-day graduate conference co-organized by students of York University’s Science and Technology Studies (STS) Department and the University of Toronto’s Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST).

Environments of Science 

Science, like all human endeavours, is a situated affair. Scientists approach their respective objects from within particular social, cultural, religious, economic, and institutional contexts. These environments of science shape science’s methods and direction, its goals and values. But the activity of science also leaves its mark on these environments, affecting everything from particular cultural climates to the global climate of planet Earth itself. The third annual Binocular Conference invites graduate students from diverse disciplines to consider this reciprocal relationship between science and its innumerable particular contexts from an equally diverse range of perspectives. We hope this topic will provoke applicants to consider not only how a variety of environments shape science, but how science shapes and engenders environments of its own.

Recognizing both the reality of the complexities of graduate work today and the interdisciplinary nature of the multiple fields of science study, our call for papers is intended to cover as much breadth as possible. As such, and depending on resources available, no graduate level proposal will be rejected by Binocular. We encourage our colleagues, both locally and further afield, to present on their research, keeping the central questions of either scientific environments or environments of science in mind.   

Some more specific questions/topics include: Are there context-independent epistemological values in science? What demarcates science from pseudoscience? Is “science” a human activity distinct from the environments in which it arises? Is a general theory of scientific change possible? Do the nascent philosophies of Object Oriented Ontology and New Materialism contribute productively to already extant knowledge practices in Philosophy of Science? Are changing conceptualizations of the natural environment  (ie. the anthropocene, hyper-objects) co-constitutive with changing conceptions of science?

The Binocular Conference invites the submission of 250-word abstracts addressing the theme below by end of day (EST) on Monday, February 27th, 2017. Please send all abstracts (or any questions you may have) to 

For a more detailed call for abstracts and for more information, visit

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