Message from the Chair
Last year in the newsletter, we asked whether the very small (though, of course,
select) membership of the Division of History and Philosophy of Biology was committed to
continuing in that form or how we might best rethink our objectives.
That discussion, through letters and e-mails and at the SICB 1996 Annual Meeting in
Albuquerque led to our new formulation as the Division for Integrative and Comparative
While still committed to exploring the history and philosophy of biology, the Division
members expressed interest in adding consideration of social, legal, political, ethical
and educational issues, recognizing that science is intimately intertwined with social
issues. Thus, we wish to provide a forum for scholarly discussion of the wide range of
issues relating to biology and society. These are fundamental issues that involve
integrating and comparing across all levels of life and its study.
The intention is to experiment with this expanded scope and to invite other members of
SICB to join us in preparing lively program offerings. Our interests strike to the very
heart of why so many members of the Society felt it desirable to identify ourselves as
"integrative" and "comparative." What did we mean by that? What do we
gain by thinking in terms of integration and comparing at all levels and across all
boundaries? This Division provides a place for the Society to consider such issues
explicitly and a reminder that they are important.
To lead this effort in these new directions, the Nominating Committee recommends the
following roster of unopposed candidates. Please review the candidates and send in the
ballot included with this newsletter to approve the roster.
DICI Candidates for Election
Chair: Richard Burian
A philosopher and historian of biology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University, Burian has served as Chair of Philosophy and as Director of the Science
Studies Program. He works closely with biologists in exploring issues of evolutionary
biology and genetics, and has examined national differences in approach and content of
biology. A "big thinker" who considers large issues and the way they play out in
society, Burian has been active in SICB for many years.
Secretary: Joseph Graves
A geneticist at Arizona State University, Graves has made important scholarly
contributions to the study of race and society, to understanding the boundaries between
science and pseudoscience, and to African-American studies. He has served as Division
Secretary for a two-year term.
Program Officer: Keith Benson
Keith Benson will remain as Program Officer through 1998. Executive Secretary of the
History of Science Society, Benson also serves as the American Association for the
Advancement of Science's History Committee Chair. He has served as SICB archivist for many