Jacques Loeb Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences

Dear Colleague,

The new Jacques Loeb Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel, supports advanced research covering all relevant topics related to the life sciences. The Centre is named after German-American physiologist Jacques Loeb (1859-1924), one of the legendary experimentalists and seminal thinkers in the history of biology. His passionate promotion of biology as an exact experimental science and his opposition to vitalistic concepts prevalent at the time had a major impact on the development of the life sciences, where he strongly influenced the work of Otto Warburg, Thomas Hunt Morgan, Hermann Muller, and Herbert S. Jennings, among others. Loeb took a deep interest in philosophical and political issues and was in contact with major figures of science, philosophy, and history, among them Svante Arrhenius, Albert Einstein, Ernst Mach, Leonor Michaelis, Wilhelm Ostwald and George Sarton.

The Jacques Loeb Centre is engaged in pursuing a wide range of investigations into the modern experimental life sciences. Research topics include: analysis of scientific progress and research practices involved; metaphysics in science and ethics of research; the influence of politics and various ideologies on the conduct of science; industrial hygiene and the environment; and the nature of the connections between bio-scientists and industry.

The Centre organises annual workshops and guest lectures. The inaugural workshop, “Philosophies in Biology”, on the role that different philosophical concepts have played in the development of the modern life sciences, will take place on 4-5 March 2008.

The Centre is headed by Ute Deichmann (director) and Anthony S. Travis (deputy director).

The Centre offers post-doctoral and graduate fellowships in the history and philosophy of modern biological, biochemical and medical sciences, commencing during 2008. Posts will be allocated for one or two semesters. There are opportunities for collaboration with faculty in the departments of philosophy, medicine and philosophy, with other divisions at the university, and active participation in seminars.

Applications are invited from recently qualified PhDs wishing to undertaking further research and from graduate students in the final stages of completion of their doctoral theses.

Applicants should provide the following (in English): CV, research proposal, two letters of reference, evidence of research and writing proficiency, either the sample chapter of a PhD thesis or publication(s).

In cases of languages other than English, please contact the Jacques Loeb Centre.

Applications for the academic year 2008/2009 should be received by 1 March 2008.

Address and email:

Jacques Loeb Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Department of Philosophy
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
P.O.B. 653
Beer-Sheva 84105