Call for papers: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on COVID-19

Biomedical knowledge in a time of crisis: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on COVID-19

Editors: D. Teira – S. Leonelli 

Rationale: This Topical Collection brings together scholarly reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic from scholars in the history, philosophy and social studies of biology and biomedicine. Themes may include, but are not limited to, the role of modelling, data practices and uncertainty in pandemic science and policy responses; the genealogies and reconfigurations of life science expertise in the face of the pandemic; the biopolitics and governance of biological knowledge, particularly in related fields such as epidemiology and immunology; the implications for research organizations and management worldwide, including experimental practices and work with non-human organisms; the intersection between private and public research activities and services, including with regard to population monitoring and public health services, across countries; the history and implications of the specific discourse and metaphors (e.g. military) used to depict human relationships with disease; relevant conceptual underpinnings and methodological questions in epidemiology, such as how to compare different populations; historical links to eugenics and racism, particularly in relation to the focus (or lack thereof) on vulnerable populations; and methodological reflections on how the pandemic may affect scholarly work in the history, philosophy and social studies of biology. HPLS invites a diverse group of contributors representing different regions of the world, disciplines, and intersectional concerns. We hope that this collection will highlight the relevance and significance of contributions from the history and philosophy of the life sciences towards understanding the roots, unfolding and implications and of the pandemic.

Format: Papers between 5000 and 10000 words, including references.

Publishing process: All papers will be peer-reviewed as soon as possible and will be published online immediately following acceptance, so as to facilitate the swift publication of research pieces of high societal and scholarly relevance.  

Time window: Submissions are welcome from August 15, 2020 until May 31, 2021. This long window for submission constitutes an exception to normal HPLS practice: it is meant to account for the widely diverging effects of the pandemic on prospective authors around the world (some of whom may have had ample time to research and write due to lock-downs, while others have had to take a break from work due to illness, caring duties or abrupt shifts in their working patterns and focus).