ASA News

Astrophysicist Mark Devlin Video BLAST

 A film  will be shown this weekend on many cable and satellite systems on the BBC TV channel. It features
astrophysicist Mark Devlin and his team, using a balloon to take a telescope above the atmosphere. hey call it
the “Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope” (BLAST). ASA Newsletter Co-Editor saw it at
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, IL, several months ago and can vouch for the fact
that it presents a combination of scientific fact, the challenge of science (including persevering through failures),
and touches of humor and human interest.

Eastern Times are as follows: Saturday, July 24 11:10-12:00

Sunday, July 25 05:10-06:00 and 17:10-18:00.

Additional details, including some clips from it, are at

Sydney-Tilburg conference on The Future of Philosophy of Science: Wednesday 14 - Friday 16 April 2010, Tilburg, Netherlands

Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS) Philosophy of science deals with the foundations nd the methods of science. While the scope of philosophy of science is rather uncontroversial, there is considerable disagreement about its methodology. A look into the relevant journals >reveals that there is a plurality of approaches. Some researchers use the traditional method of conceptual analysis, others engage in formal modeling, conduct case studies and – more recently – experiments, or consult the history of science in considerable detail. Despite the differences in these approaches, there also seem to be undeniable trends in our discipline, such as the increasing specialization, and the increasing co-operation with empirical scientists and policy makers.

This conference >will explore the future of philosophy of science. In particular, we are interested in how the different methods philosophers of science use relate to each other, whether they can fruitfully complement each other, and whether current trends allow predictions about the development of our field. We invite contributions that combine cutting-edge individual research with a general perspective on the methods and future of philosophy of science. >The program of the conference is now online. Please visit:

The invited speakers are Michael Friedman, Chris 
Hitchcock, Hannes Leitgeb and Samir Okasha. 
Contributed speakers include William Bechtel, 
Ronald Giere, Alfred Nordmann, Michael Stoeltzner, and Paul Teller.
The registration deadline is 15 March 2010.

God and Physics: July 7th – 11th 2010 Oxford, UK

The Ian Ramsey Centre and the International Society for Science and Religion
are pleased to announce a conference

80th birthday celebration of the work of

John Polkinghorne

July 7th – 11th 2010
Oxford, UK

Nancy Cartwright, Philip Clayton, Chris Isham, Robert Russell, Nick Saunders, Keith Ward, Fraser Watts, Michael Welker andJohn Polkinghorne

are invited (details: ).

FURTHER DETAILS and a poster are on the main Conference page,

Booking details:
Online booking:
If you have any queries about matters to do with booking, please contact us ( NB: Early booking discounts apply before June 4th2010.

Competition: The ISSR is hosting a competition for younger scholars: see

Please tell us ( if you do not want to receive further mailings from the Ian Ramsey Centre, and we will immediately remove your name from our mailing list.

With good wishes

Cynthia Hall


Ian Ramsey Centre,
34 St Giles
Oxford OX1 3LH, U.K

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 274548
Fax: +44 (0) 1865 274717

IRC website:

Opportunity to read exams in the AP Chemistry program

I am now the Chief Reader for Advanced Placement Chemistry, and that I would like to encourage any ASA members who are Chemistry teachers to consider volunteering to read exams in the AP program. The reading takes place in June over a seven day period. This year it will be held at an ocean-front resort in Daytona Beach, FL. Approximately 270 teachers, 50% college and 50% high school, will grade the 'free response' section of about 110,000 exams that have been completed by high school students in "college equivalent" courses. The attraction to engaging in an activity of this sort, of course, is not the reading itself. I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys grading exams. Rather it is the opportunity to interact with like-minded colleagues in an effort that is beneficial to the profession and to the many students who expended the time and effort to write the exams. If anyone is interested they can find application forms at the AP Central website, or failing that, contact me.

Larry Funck

Chemistry Department


Wheaton, IL60187



The continuous and constantly accelerated introduction of advanced new
technologies allowing an unprecedented variety of radically novel
applications is inundating our social and private life. One important
species of these technological breakthroughs is biotechnology and
concerns a vital aspect of our scientific knowledge of the biological
world and its inner laws. As such, it inevitably poses itself as a
challenge to religion which may be seen as either a more pronounced
version of the old antagonism between science and religious belief or
rather as a radically new conflict. The most controversial area of
applied biotechnology concerns human germline modification and
enhancement beyond mere therapy, sometimes referred to as the "new
eugenics", as well as human cloning.

Biotechnology is quite different from purely scientific speculation for
the sake of knowledge only as well as from mere invention of tools. It
embodies a new type of merging science and technology that we may
call "techno-science", being a search for new theories that,
simultaneously, carry within them the demand for their own application
via advanced instruments. At the same time, we are witnessing certain
accommodating moves or outright rejections of certain aspects of
biotechnology on the side of religion.

Papers are welcome for a special theme issue of the /European Legacy/
that will seek to delineate, analyze and discuss the current stage of
the relationship between religion and biotechnology and the impact of
all sorts of human genetic engineering on traditional theological
attitudes to life and the notion of the human person. The special issue
is expected to present as many religious positions as possible and offer
a representative array of themes and methodological approaches,
encompassing discussions in epistemological, ethical, historical or
socio-political terms.


To submit an article for this Special issue please contact:

Dr. Byron Kaldis
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion
The Hellenic Open University <>