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Home2021 IHPST Biennial Conference

Join us for our FIRST hybrid conference! We are excited to have the availability for both virtual presentations and attendance, as well as our regular, in-person sessions and activities.

In light of this, we have added an extended deadline for submissions. An early call is still available for those who may need to make travel plans.

16th Biennial IHPST Conference


University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta Canada
July 4-8, 2021


Conference Organizers

Conference Chair: Dr. Glenn Dolphin–Department of Geosciences

Dr. Gwendolyn Blue
–Department of Geography

Dr. Douglas Clark–Werklund School of Education

Dr. Jesse Hendrikse– Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine

Dr. Frank Stahnisch– Department of History, Faculty of Arts, and Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine

Dr. Ian Wincester–Werklund School of Education

Dr. Gregor Wolbring– Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies

Conference Theme 

“Energizing Education with the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science”


The province of Alberta sits atop the third largest oil repository in the word, the Athabasca oil sands. Extraction of the oil has been at the center of controversy in terms of environmental impacts as well as First Nations relations. During this time, as well, the world is coming to grips with the ramifications of its own use of fossil fuels as calls from the scientific community and activist groups seek to curb the use of this fossil energy. Some countries are beginning to boast of the high percentage of energy they produce from “renewable” resources and industry is rapidly growing to try to enhance the technology that will allow even more energy to be produced via wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, etc. sources. Energy, itself, has a long history of development in understanding, from concept, to construct, to commodity. It is a foundational understanding in all disciplines of science and technology. Emerging (in English) out of the concept of force approximately in the 16th century, it is now considered (in the NGSS) one of the cross-cutting concepts. It is a concept that cannot be directly observed or measured. Through history there have been multiple metaphors used to give concrete meaning to this abstract concept. Energy is a stimulus, an ability to do work, a resource. It can be transferred, absorbed, deposited or released. Hopefully, with the variety of directions possible to incorporate the study of energy in science teaching, historically, philosophically and sociologically, we can develop lively (and energetic) discussions throughout the conference and beyond.

Important Dates

FIRST call- Proposal Submission Deadline
October 15, 2020    decision until December 15, 2020
LAST call-  Proposal Submission Deadline
February 28, 2021    decision until March 30, 2021
Early Registration Deadline coming soon!    
Registration Deadline coming soon!    

Submission Guidelines

Read the full Call for Proposals here.
Submit ONE file with:
- 250 word abstract (will appear in conference program)
- 500 word proposal (not including references)

Proposals should include focus of presentation, methodological approach, analysis and conclusions. For panel submissions, provide an abstract for the panel as well as presenter names and abstracts for each individual presentation

File Requirements:
- Word or Google document
Label with your name (e.g. Family_Given_IHPST 2021)

Acceptance will be based on applicability to the conference theme and on their general interest to the IHPST audience. You do not need to be an IHPST member to submit a proposal.

Submission deadline is 15 October 2020 (early call) or February 28, 2021 (last call). Please direct questions to Glenn Dolphin at

          1. Graduate Student Summer School (information, submit proposal)
          2. Special Session:Teachers’ experiences using HPSS in classrooms (information)

Conference Details

The conference will take place on the campus of the University of Calgary, in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The U of C has been rated in the top 200 universities, globally, #6 of research universities in Canada. Originally founded as a branch campus of the University of Alberta in 1908, the University was granted autonomous status as the University of Calgary in 1966. The university’s priorities are to make advancements in energy innovations, human dynamics, engineering solutions for health, earth-space technologies, and brain and mental health. The university excels at these grand challenges within the context of such values as balance, curiosity, collaboration, excellence and sustainability.  

Located Just east of the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the city of Calgary is a vibrant, urban center with a population of about 1.5 million. Calgary is the energy capital of Canada and an important global financial hub. It is one of Canada’s most ethnically diverse cities, with 40 international consulate offices. Calgary was named most liveable city in Canada and 4th in the world (2018 Global Liveability Ranking, Economics Intelligence Unit). Part of that liveability must certainly be due to the fact that Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada, boasting 333 [sunny or cloud-free] days per year.


The conference will begin Sunday afternoon (4-8 July) with registration and then an opening session and welcome reception in The Forum of the Taylor Institute. Daily, Monday through Wednesday, four groups of six parallel sessions will fill the days.

Invited Speakers

The IHPST Council is happy to announce that Dr. Alison Wylie will be responsible for the Springer lecture. Dr. Alison Wylie is a philosopher of social and historical sciences. She is the current President of the Philosophy of Science Association, and the Past-President of the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division. She works on philosophical issues raised by archaeological practice, and by feminist research in the social sciences. (


The other keynote speaker is the Professor Carol Cleland. She is a teacher at the University of Colorado Boulder, and the current Director of Boulder’s Center for the Study of Origins.  Her research focuses on issues about scientific methodology (historical science vs. experimental science, the role of anomalies in scientific discovery), biology (microbiology, origins of life, the nature of life, and astrobiology), and the theory of computation. She is the inventor of the term ‘shadow biosphere,’ a subject on which she has written and lectured extensively (

Getting to and around Calgary

Coming soon



Coming soon

Special Events

Original dramatization performance


This performance will be a collaborative effort among historians, philosophers and sociologists of science, scientists, and the U of Calgary College of Fine and Performing Arts to create a dramatization of focused on four famous women scientists.

  1. Eunice Foote (1819-1888)-first to discover that CO2 in the atmosphere would cause warming of the atmosphere
  2. Marie Curie (1867-1934)-Discovery of radioactivity
  3. Marie Tharp (1920-2006)-Mapper of the world's oceans, discovered the mid oceanic rifts which helped usher in the theory of plate tectonics
  4. Ingrid Lehmann (1888-1993, 105 years old!)-discovered the earth's solid inner core using seismic data.

One-Day Doctoral Consortium (summer school)

This special event will be structured after the national conference Science Education at the Crossroads ( Here, students will not come to present findings, but to come with a vexation (a problem) and a venture (a proposed solution), present it to the group, and allow the group to discuss the problem and solution in constructive manner. To find out more about this Graduate Student Summer School opportunity, please click here.

Three Optional Field Trips (taking place the day prior to the conference opening day)

1. Frank Slide
Site of a massive rockslide that covered most of the town of Frank. There is a visitor and the possibility of touring previously active coal mine.

2. The Royal Tyrell Dinosaur Museum and journey to the K-Pg (the ash layer signifying the extinction of the dinosaurs)
Trip will include “behind the scenes” tour into the museum’s collections and fossil prep laboratories.

3. Burgess Shale

One of the most famous fossil deposits of some of the earliest known multi-cellular life. This trip, however, would be reserved for only the hardiest hikers, as it is a long steep climb to get to the site.

Banquet Dinner at Heritage Park

Heritage Park Mission Statement: Connecting People with the Settlement of Western Canada and Preserving Our Culture and Heritage.

Heritage Park Historical Village first opened its gates on July 1, 1964. Since opening its doors, the Park has grown into one of Calgary’s premier tourist attractions and one of North America’s largest and most successful living history museums. Throughout the year, guests have the opportunity to interact with nearly 100 years of history.  Heritage Park’s exhibits span the early 1860s fur trade to the petroleum and automobile-dominated 1950s. It is the Park’s mission to preserve the history of the early West and to educate and entertain guests of all ages for many generations to come.