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Podcast Profile: The HPS Podcast - Conversations from History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science

podcast imageTwitter: @TheHPSPodcast
36 episodes
2023 to present
Average episode: 24 minutes
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Categories: Interview-Style

Podcaster's summary: Leading scholars in History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (HPS) introduce contemporary topics for a general audience. Developed by scholars and students in the HPS program at the University of Melbourne. Episodes released weekly. Current Hosts: Samara Greenwood and Carmelina Contarino. Season 3 launches 7th March 2024! 

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:46 UTC. Episodes: 36. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2024-Apr-11 • 27 minutes
S3 Ep 6 - Kirsten Walsh on 'Rethinking Isaac Newton through his Archive'
Today's guest is Dr Kirsten Walsh, a philosophy lecturer at the University of Exeter.Kirsten’s research primarily focuses on Isaac Newton and his methodology, but she is careful to consider philosophical issues alongside a sensitivity and consideration for historical contexts.In today’s episode Kirsten gives us a sense of how our historical understanding of Newton has changed over time, and the role various archival practices have played in what knowledge is developed. Kirsten’s lively discussion gives...
2024-Apr-04 • 29 minutes
Throwback Thursday - Greg Radick on 'Counterfactual History of Science'
This week the team at The HPS Podcast are taking a mid-semester break!To celebrate we are reposting one of our favourite episodes from Season 1 featuring Professor Greg Radick, a leading historian of biology at the University of Leeds.In the podcast Greg discusses the use of counterfactuals in history of science - the term we use for asking ‘What if?’ questions about history - and their potential to subvert our conventional thinking. In Greg’s research, a central counterfactual question is: “What might biol...
2024-Mar-28 • 28 minutes
S3 Ep 4 - Dan Hicks on 'Public Scientific Controversies'
In today’s episode we have assistant professor and philosopher of science, Dan Hicks, taking us through better understanding public scientific controversies.‘Public scientific controversies’ is a term Dan uses to capture a broad variety of controversies that involve both science and the public. This would include controversies around vaccines, genetically modified foods, medical research and climate change.In studying why controversies like these arise and persist, Dan has found our common explanations are ...
2024-Mar-21 • 28 minutes
S3 Ep 3 - Anna Alexandrova on 'Philosophy of Well-Being Science'
Today's episode features Professor Anna Alexandrova from the University of Cambridge discussing a field she has pioneered - the Philosophy of Well-Being Science.As Anna points out, well-being and happiness are now established phenomena for scientific research, particularly in the disciplines of psychology and economics. But does current scientific research produce knowledge that is properly about well-being? What kind of well-being? Should the goal be a single concept and single theory of well-being?An...
2024-Mar-14 • 24 minutes
S3 Ep 2 - Kate Lynch on 'Causal Explanation in Science'
Today's guest is Dr Kate Lynch, who will discuss the topic of 'causal explanation in science'. Kate is a philosopher of biology and a lecturer in HPS at the University of Melbourne. In this episode Kate introduces us to the difference between 'causation' and 'causal explanation', as well as difficulties involved in assessing what makes a good causal explanation. Some of Kate's research looks at medical explanations of death, including the complications that can be inv...
2024-Mar-07 • 31 minutes
S3 Ep 1 - Lorraine Daston & Peter Harrison on 'Scientists and History'
Today's episode is dedicated to the often complex, sometimes fraught relationship between practicing scientists and the history of science. To discuss this topic, we are joined by two of the most distinguished scholars in the history of science, Lorraine Daston and Peter Harrison, who recently co authored an article for Aeon, urging for a fresh dialogue between scientists and historians. In the interview we cover the history of these tensions, tracing them back to the science wars of the 1990s, as well...
2024-Mar-07 • 20 minutes
S3 - Samara & Carmelina on 'Seeing Science Differently'
Welcome to Season 3 of the HPS podcast!It's so great to be back.Kicking off our third season, we have a new addition to the team, Carmelina Contarino.Carmelina is an Honours student in HPS at the University of Melbourne and will be joining Samara in producing the podcast, as well as hosting several of the episodes.In today's episode, Samara and Carmelina dive into what has become a bit of a theme of the podcast, 'Seeing Science Differently'. Science isn't always as neat or as steri...
2023-Dec-28 • 31 minutes
BOOK LAUNCH - Mauricio Suárez on 'Inference and Representation'
Today on the podcast, Mauricio Suárez talks with Samara about his new book - Inference and Representation: A study in Modelling Science.Mauricio is Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a life member at Clare Hall Cambridge and research associate at the London School of Economics. Mauricio has a long standing interest in the ways scientists represent the phenomena they study, in particular, through modelling, and his book seeks to answer the question: How sho...
2023-Dec-21 • 32 minutes
S2 Ep 12 - Highlights from the 2023 AAHPSSS Conference
Welcome to the final episode of Season 2 (with a bonus ep coming next week!). We take a moment in this episode to reflect on the first year of the HPS podcast.Just a few weeks ago Sam and Indi attended the biannual AAHPSSS (The Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science) conference at the University of Sydney. In this episode they reflect on their time at the conference, featuring interviews with various conference attendees and presenters.HPS Scholars featured in thi...
2023-Dec-14 • 35 minutes
S2 Ep 11 - Hasok Chang on Epistemic Iteration
"We get this instinct that true science must start from a firm foundation. Time and again, that's what I see NOT happening in the practice of science. We start from where we stand. The foundation is never indubitable, the foundation is provisional."Our very special guest today is Hasok Chang. Hasok is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and his research focuses on 'taking the most obvious items of scientific knowledge and asking how we came to kn...
2023-Dec-07 • 23 minutes
S2 Ep 10 - Katherine Furman on the Philosophy of Public Health
"Philosophers of science are really good about thinking about causation and trying to figure out what the mechanisms are that make something work"Today we welcome Katherine Furman, who talks to Indi about the philosophy of public health. Katherine is a lecturer of Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Liverpool. She is currently on research leave to work with the SOCRATES project in Hanover, Germany.Katherine explores with us the intricacies of implementing public health measures...
2023-Nov-30 • 28 minutes
S2 Ep 9 - Carl Bergstrom on Science and Misinformation
Today's guest is Professor Carl Bergstrom from the University of Washington. Carl has been touring Australia over the last few weeks and we were delighted when he agreed to join us while he was in Melbourne. Carl works across evolutionary biology, informatics and science studies and has become particularly well-known for his work concerning the spread of misinformation and what we can do about it. Together with his colleague Jevin West, Carl developed a university course named ‘Calling Bullshit: Data R...
2023-Nov-23 • 17 minutes
S2 Ep 8 - Gerhard Wiesenfeldt on the Unknown Scientist
Welcome to another week of the HPS podcast. This week's guest is Gerhard Wiesenfeldt of the University of Melbourne. He joins us as he discusses the benefits and pitfalls of studying those in the history of science who are less well known. The popular narratives in the history of science tend to centre around a few key figures on whom extensive research and work has been done, those such as Galileo, Newton, Darwin. However, for every household name there were a legion of other scientists also working i...
2023-Nov-16 • 20 minutes
S2 Ep 7 - Ian Hesketh on History Writing within Science
This week's guest is Ian Hesketh, an intellectual historian and historian of science at the University of Queensland. His work in HPS revolves around 19th century scientific practices and their intricacies. He works to situate this science not only in its temporal history, but to delve into the ways in which the practice itself helped to form the science of the day.He joins the podcast to discuss how scientific and historical writing practices can effect the way in which science itself is shaped, as we...
2023-Nov-09 • 24 minutes
S2 Ep 6 - Sarah Qidwai on Science and Colonialism
Today's guest is Sarah Qidwai, a Postdoctoral Researcher in the history of science who focuses on British Imperialism, Science and Colonialism, the relation of Science and Islam, as well as the history of evolutionary biology. Sarah’s dissertation focussed on how the Muslim polymath, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, engaged with science and science popularisation. In this week’s episode Sarah introduces us to the topic of Science and Colonialism – a crucial area of research for understanding many of the features...
2023-Nov-02 • 28 minutes
S2 Ep 5 - Adrian Currie on Opportunistic Methods
Today's guest on the podcast is Dr Adrian Currie, senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Exeter. Much of Adrian's research revolves around the question 'How do Scientists successfully generate knowledge in tricky circumstances?'Much of Adrian's work has focused on the historical sciences, such as palaeontology and archeology. In this episode Adrian talks about how scientists in these fields have developed a range of creative and opportunistic ways of developing knowledge...
2023-Oct-26 • 19 minutes
S2 Ep 4 - Duane Hamacher on Indigenous Science
"Everything on the land is reflected in the sky. So if you want to learn about indigenous astronomy, You have to learn about everything."This week we welcome Duane Hamacher to the HPS podcast as he discusses Indigenous science and its importance in the Australian context. Duane is a professor of astronomy who focuses on Indigenous astronomy, its history, and its present role in our knowledge systems. He works with elders from Indigenous groups across the world to bring to light the history of astr...
2023-Oct-19 • 22 minutes
S2 Ep 3 - Kristian Camilleri on the Turn to Practice
Season 2 of the HPS podcast welcomes back friend of the podcast, Kristian Camilleri. This time he joins us to discuss the turn to practice in the philosophy of science.The "turn to practice" is a common name for the shift in philosophy of science theory when philosophers and social scientists moved from studying science through broad theories and began to analyse how science is actually conducted by practising scientists. By shifting their focus here, philosophers of science were better able to un...
2023-Oct-12 • 32 minutes
S2 Ep 2 - David Kaiser on Scientific Training
"Scientists are not born, they are made" David Kaiser Today's guest on the podcast is David Kaiser, Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and Professor of Physics at MIT. In history of science, David is best known for his books on the history of modern physics including Drawing Theories Apart, Quantum Legacies, and a personal favourite, How the Hippies Saved Physics, which in part looks at how changing cultural conditions in 1970s USA, including severe cutbacks in the funding of ph...
2023-Oct-05 • 12 minutes
S2 Ep 0.5 - Season 2 Intro Episode
Welcome to season 2 of the HPS Podcast! To ease you into a new season, Samara and Indigo sit down to reflect on the first season. They take a look at how the season performed, with listernership outstripping their expectations, both in terms of numbers and global reach. They discuss what we have to look forward to in season 2, with new events, guests and topics. But most importantly, it is a chance to catch back up with your two favourite podcast hosts before they are swept away into the whirlpool of podcas...
2023-Oct-05 • 29 minutes
S2 Ep 1 - Rachel Ankeny on Research Repertoires
"That's what ‘repertoires’ is trying to force philosophers to look at - that whole ecosystem that encompasses the doing of science." Prof. Rachel Ankeny We start season 2 with the wonderful Rachel Ankeny discussing scientific change and the concept of research repertoires.Rachel is professor of History and Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, with wide ranging expertise across HPS, bioethics and science policy, as well as food studies. Rachel is also editor in chief of the journal Studie...
2023-Sep-28 • 31 minutes
BONUS EPISODE - Joshua Eisenthal & HPS Chat
In this final bonus episode for Season 1 we are doing things a little bit differently. Instead of a one-way interview, philosopher of physics - Joshua Eisenthal - and host Samara Greenwood have a two-way conversation reflecting on Season 1 and discuss how certain episodes intersected with their own research interests.In particular, Josh and Sam discuss Donna Haraway's concept of Storytelling, Greg Radick's discussion of Counterfactual History and Fallon Mody's thoughts on the uses of biograp...
2023-Aug-18 • 24 minutes
BONUS EPISODE - Simine Vazire on Making Science Better
Welcome to a special bonus episode of The HPS Podcast with Professor of Psychology, Simine Vazire, discussing the ways in which HPS scholars and scientists can work together to create better science.We are releasing the episode to coincide with the campaign put together by Simine and others to support the legal defence of Data Colada – a group of professors who identify concerns with the integrity of published research. Members of Data Colada are being sued by Francesca Gino, a Harvard Business School Profe...
2023-Aug-17 • 21 minutes
S1 Ep12 - Fiona Fidler on Collective Objectivity
"It wouldn’t make sense to leave the entire burden of upholding objectivity in science on the shoulders of fallible individuals, right?" Prof. Fiona Fidler To finish off our inaugural season with a bang – today’s episode features the visionary researcher who initiated the idea for the podcast – Professor Fiona Fidler. Fiona is head of our History and Philosophy of Science Program at the University of Melbourne and co-lead of the MetaMelb research initiative. In this episode Fiona first discusses h...
2023-Aug-10 • 21 minutes
S1 Ep 11 - James McElvenny on Language and Science
Today on the podcast is Dr James McElvenny, historian and philosopher of linguistics, discussing the topic of language and science.As James points out in this episode, intersections between language, the language sciences and science are many and varied. For example, James introduces us to the ways in which the study of language and the study of science have interacted in history, in particular through famous figures in the philosophy of science such as Wittgenstein and Carnap. James also makes the importan...
2023-Aug-02 • 20 minutes
S1 Ep 10 - Martin Bush on Knowledge Circulation and Visualisation
This week we welcome Dr Martin Bush to the podcast to discuss the role of imagery and visualisation in the circulation of science and knowledge. Martin is a member of the HPS department at the University of Melbourne who focuses primarily on the role of imagery in the popularisation and teaching of astronomy. In this episode, he takes us through the different arenas in which science is produced, discussed and circulated, and how these spheres can influence, or gate keep knowledge from each other. Martin the...
2023-Jul-27 • 21 minutes
S1 Ep 9 - Caleb Hazelwood on Scientific Metaphysics
This episode features Caleb Hazelwood, philosopher of science and PhD candidate, talking on the topic of Scientific Metaphysics. As Caleb explains, ‘scientific metaphysics’ refers to coming to grips with what ‘really is’ in the world – and being crystal clear about the concepts we use to describe natural phenomena and how they interact. For example, Caleb talks about the importance of differentiating between entities we consider stable across the universe – such as the elements – compared with more space-...
2023-Jul-20 • 21 minutes
S1 Ep 8 - Samara Greenwood on Social Change and Science
This week Indigo Keel interviews our regular host, Samara Greenwood, on societal contexts and science.Samara is currently undertaking a PhD in which she investigates the various ways in which changes in society can come to shape change in science. In this episode Samara discusses some of the controversies of drawing links between political contexts and scientific change, including links between second wave feminism and Primate Field Studies in the 20th century. She also discusses how studying context-to-sci...
2023-Jul-13 • 25 minutes
S1 Ep 7 - Rachael Brown on Values in Science
Today on the podcast Samara talks with Dr Rachael Brown on values in science. In particular, the downfall of the value-free ideal. Dr. Rachael Brown, is a philosopher of biology and director for the Centre for Philosophy of the Sciences at the Australian National University or ANU in Canberra. Rachael runs her own wonderful podcast on philosophy and science called The P-Value. In discussing values in science, Rachael describes how the traditional stance is that science works best when scientists do not bri...
2023-Jul-06 • 24 minutes
S1 Ep 6 - Fallon Mody on Scientific Biography
On this episode Samara interviews Dr Fallon Mody, Historian of Medicine and Metascience researcher at the University of Melbourne, on the topic of Biography.For non-historians, scientific biography is likely thought of as a straightforward telling of a celebrated individual’s life history, like Albert Einstein or Marie Curie. However, historians find biography - as a research tool - is better put to a broader range of uses. For example, Fallon has used group biographies in her own research investigating the...
2023-Jun-29 • 29 minutes
S1 Ep 5 - Greg Radick on Counterfactual History of Science
This weeks guest is Greg Radick, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds.In the podcast Greg discusses the use of counterfactuals in history of science - the term we use for asking ‘What if?’ questions about history - and their potential to subvert our conventional thinking. In Greg’s research, a central counterfactual question is: “What might biology be like now if a different side had triumphed in early debates on genetics?”From this seemingly simple ‘what if?’ question a...
2023-Jun-22 • 22 minutes
S1 Ep 4 - Cordelia Fine on Sex Difference Research
Professor Cordelia Fine joins Samara this week to talk about 'norms of reaction' in relation to sex differences. Feminist critics of sex difference research are often accused of claiming there are no sex differences, or that sex hormones have no influence on human behaviour. Cordelia talks us through why this is a false characterisation. Instead, feminist researchers are digging into the ways in which the developmental outcomes of genes and hormones on behaviour can vary radically depending on env...
2023-Jun-15 • 28 minutes
S1 Ep 3 - Alan Love on Purpose in Biology
Does nature have a purpose? The simple scientific answer is no, but the fuller story is, of course, more complicated than that. Concepts like goal directedness, directionality, and even purpose are used - usefully! - in biology all the time. How can we reconcile these two realities? Today's guest on the HPS podcast is Professor Alan C. Love. Alan is professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota and principal investigator of 'The Purpose Project'. Alan joins Samara Greenwood to talk a...
2023-Jun-08 • 25 minutes
S1 Ep 2 - Kristian Camilleri on The Disunity of Science
How do you view science? Is it a unified discipline that relies on a single method, or are the sciences more diverse than the standard image implies? In this episode of the podcast, Samara meets with the University of Melbourne’s own Dr Kristian Camilleri to talk about the Disunity of Science. Kristian highlights the problems with a monolithic vision of science and argues for seeing the sciences as diverse and differently evolving practices. This 'disunity' becomes clear when we appreciate that sc...
2023-May-31 • 11 minutes
S1 Ep 1 - Donna Haraway on Storytelling in Science
In this episode of The HPS Podcast, Samara interviews a member of 'HPS Royalty' - Donna Haraway, who highlights the important role of narrative and storytelling in the sciences.For Donna, storytelling in science involves being aware of how important scientific narratives are to scientific practice, and to the ways science contributes to humanities broader 'story' of the world. Donna proposes that engaging in 'polymath curiosity' by reading more in the world of HPS and beyond ca...
2023-May-31 • 7 minutes
S1 Ep 0.5 - Introduction to the Podcast
Welcome to The HPS Podcast! Before we dive into the history and philosophy of science interviews we’ve all been waiting for, our host Samara Greenwood takes us through the backstory to the podcast. Samara discusses what HPS is all about, the aims of the podcast, as well as a bit about the history of the discipline. We then meet the rest of the podcast crew, Fiona Fidler and Indigo Keel, before learning more about the upcoming season. To find out more about HPS at the University of Melbourne and beyond, here...