Call for Papers – /Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History
and Philosophy of Science – Volume 3: Epistemic Boundaries/
/Spontaneous Generations/ is an open, online, peer-reviewed academic
journal published by graduate students at the Institute for the History
and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto.
In addition to articles for peer review, opinion essays, and book
reviews, Spontaneous Generations is seeking contributions to its focused
discussion section. This section consists of short peer-reviewed and
invited articles devoted to a particular theme. This year, the theme is
“Epistemic Boundaries.” See below for submission
Spontaneous Generations welcome submissions from scholars in all disciplines, including but
not limited to HPS, STS, History, Philosophy, Women’s Studies,
Sociology, Anthropology, and Religious Studies. Papers from all periods
The journal consists of four sections:
1. A focused discussion section (see below for a summary). Recommended
length for submissions: 1000-3000 words.
2. A peer-reviewed section of research papers on various topics in the
field of HPS. Recommended length for submissions: 5000-8000 words.
3. A book review section for books published in the last 5 years.
Recommended length for submissions: up to 1000 words.
4. An opinions section that may include a commentary on or a response to
current concerns, trends, and issues in HPS. Recommended length for
submissions: up to 500 words.
It is now common in the HPS-STS community to speak of the disunity of
science, of the distinct practices and standards of evidence that have
emerged in different scientific communities throughout history. Focusing
on this disunity, science studies scholars have highlighted numerous
types of boundaries demarcating epistemic communities. These boundaries
can be disciplinary, material, geographic, social, cultural,
chronological and/or institutional. This multiplicity raises a number of
interesting questions for our understanding of scientific knowledge:
– How are epistemic boundaries determined and to what extent do they
identify crucial discontinuities? Do different epistemic boundaries
always identify different communities?
– Do some boundaries bring together communities that aren’t
traditionally seen as united? For example, can some boundaries highlight
broad, trans-disciplinary shifts in epistemology?
– What role do physical objects play in determining epistemic
boundaries? What kind of ontologies do epistemic boundaries reveal?
– What role do sites and spaces play in shaping epistemic boundaries?
– Are the boundaries between expert communities different in kind from
the boundaries between experts and their audiences?
– How is knowledge transferred across different kinds of epistemic
boundaries? What happens to knowledge during transfer — does it change,
is knowledge lost or gained? And what exactly is being transferred —
practices, artifacts, theories, models?
Spontaneous Generations welcome short papers exploring these issues for inclusion in
Spontaneous Generations Volume 3. Submissions should be sent no later
than *30 May 2009* in order to be included in the November 2009 issue.
For more details, please visit the journal homepage at