The twenty-first PSA biennial meeting took place November 6–8, 2008, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the Omni William Penn Hotel. The following content is for archival purposes only.

  • ONLINE REGISTRATION for PSA 2008 is available via the History of Science Society website. Please note that if you registered online for PSA 2006, the profile information you entered then is still stored on the HSS website (and please update your information as needed!). Otherwise, you will need to create a profile, which is quick and painless.
  • HOTEL RESERVATIONS: The conference hotel, the historic William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, is already full, but Jay Malone of HSS has secured overflow space at the Doubletree Hotel (at the conference rate) directly behind the William Penn and the Westin, which is down the street from the conference hotel. Links for hotel reservations are available on the HSS meeting page.
  • FINAL VERSION OF THE PROGRAM is here.
  • TRANSPORT FROM THE AIRPORT
    • If you can walk two blocks, the least expensive option is to catch the 28X bus that runs between the airport and downtown roughly every half hour. You can board the bus from the same part of the airport as the limousine and taxis. Disembark at the intersection of 7th Ave and William Penn Place downtown. The William Penn Hotel is two short blocks south on William Penn Place. Cost is $2.60 one way. For details and a schedule visit the Port Authority website.
  • CHILDCARE IN PITTSBURGH at the PSA/HSS Meetings.
    Parents and guardians may arrange for childcare through Rent-A-Mom, Inc. The agency prefers that you contact them directly. Please phone 412-722-9445 and ask for Suzanne or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Rent-A-Mom prefers that you contact them at least two weeks prior to the meeting. We hope to subsidize costs but this is not assured. You should tell the agency that you are attending the History of Science Society/Philosophy of Science Association meeting to be held at the Omni William Penn. Also let them know if you are interested in sharing a nanny with someone else attending the conference. They try to match the nannies with the children's age and temperament so sharing may be difficult.
    • When making arrangements, the agency will need to know to whom the room is registered, the names of the children, ages, hours of coverage needed, a credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). You will be advised of the cash-payment process to the nanny and also the service rate which is on a credit card and asked to provide an email address for a receipt.
    • The agency will let you know who the nanny is, along with information regarding her work background, age, time with Rent A Mom, etc. The family will be contacted by its nanny before they come to town. The nanny will report to the front desk of the hotel, and come up to the hotel room where the child is.
    • Rates: For the nanny: $12/hour plus an hourly parking reimbursement. For Rent-A-Mom: $5/hour. So $17/hour total, plus an hourly parking reimbursement. There's a 4-hour minimum. There is a public garage across the street from the hotel which charges $5 (flat rate) after 4 p.m. and on weekends.
    • Group: If a group wants to go in together on childcare, only one representative of the group need contact Rent-a-Mom. Nannies report to the front desk and proceed to the hotel room or rooms where the children are. The rule of thumb is 1 nanny per 4 children (although e.g. infants require a higher nanny: child ratio). The children cared for by the nanny can change during her tour of duty, provided that he or she is never responsible for more than 4 children [or the corrected maximum #, given the ages etc of the children].
    • Group Rates: For the nanny: $14/hour plus an hourly parking reimbursement. For Rent-A-Mom: $5/hours. So $19/hour total, plus an hourly parking reimbursement. There's a 4-hour minimum.
  • TRAVEL GRANTS for PSA Members attending PSA 2008 (especially graduate students, independent scholars, and recent Ph.D.s). Jay Malone at HSS has informed me that funds are still available to support attendance to PSA 2008 for those individuals on the program. Graduate students, independent scholars, and recent Ph.D.s are especially encouraged to apply immediately if they have not already done so. For application information visit this website. You may disregard the August 10 deadline mentioned on that page.
  • FIELD TRIPS at the PSA/HSS Meetings, November 6–8, 2008, in Pittsburgh, PA. Registration for field trips will be available with conference registration, which will in turn be available in early August. Each trip can accommodate 38 persons.
    • Field Trip to Muddy Creek ($15) Friday, 1–5 p.m. Discover the early oil and gas industry around Pittsburgh and visit the fields between Pittsburgh and Muddy Creek (guided by geologist Kathy Flaherty). DVDs on the early oil industry in Pennsylvania will be shown during the bus ride (including “Born in Freedom: The Story of Colonel Drake,” made in 1954 and starring Vincent Price as Colonel Drake.) (If we do not receive sufficient bookings by the close of business on 14 October, HSS–supplied transportation will be cancelled and your payment refunded.)
    • Field Trip to Hunt Institute ($10) Friday, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. The Hunt Institute specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science. The institute acquires and maintains authoritative collections of books, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files. During the field trip curators will display and discuss items from their historical collections for conference attendees. Also included is a gallery exhibit on renowned botanical artist Pancrace Bessa (1772–1835). (If we do not receive sufficient bookings by the close of business on 14 October, HSS–supplied transportation will be cancelled and your payment refunded.)

Program Committee

  • Chair: Alan Richardson (University of British Columbia)
  • Ken Aizawa (Centenary College of Louisiana)
  • Rachel Ankeny (University of Adelaide)
  • Davis Baird (University of South Carolina)
  • Paul Bartha (University of British Columbia)
  • Anjan Chakravartty (University of Toronto)
  • Hasok Chang (University College London)
  • Sharyn Clough (Oregon State University)
  • Carla Fehr (Iowa State University)
  • Peter Godfrey-Smith (Harvard University)
  • Brad Monton (University of Colorado)
  • Mark Risjord (Emory University)
  • Laura Ruetsche (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Kyle Stanford (University of California, Irvine)
  • Friedrich Steinle (University of Wuppertal)
  • Peter Vranas (University of Wisconsin)