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Science and Values: A summer institute sponsored by the NEH

Organizers: Sandra D. Mitchell and Peter K. Machamer

Dates: June 23rd to July 25th 2003

Further Information

The impact of values on scientific practice and its credibility form the core topics that we will explore in the NEH Summer Institute on Science and Values, June 23 -July 25, 2003. In that endeavor we will engage in philosophical analyses of general issues by discussing questions about types of values, the ideal of value free science, the underdetermination of theory by facts, the nature of norms, value pluralism and the objectivity. In addition to the general philosophical issues we will focus on a series of cases studies on agriculture, cognitive science, mental illness, archeology and ecology. At a time when science is on center stage in the media delivering us prescriptions and proscriptions for living a healthier life, saving the planet, or succeeding economically and politically, and the government and the courts are relying increasingly on scientific experts in making policy and judgments; responsible, reflective citizens need to be equipped to navigate through the entangled straits of fact and value.

For the participant letter describing the project, please click here.

For the tentative schedule, please click here.

Housing Information

Numerous housing options are available including university residences, short-term lease apartments, and hotels.  A list of options is included in the participant letter.  The most affordable and conveniently located option is in a new, apartment-style University residence -  Bouquet Gardens.  These are new furnished residences, each with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen.  The units are air-conditioned (very important in Pittsburgh in the summer!) and are just a couple of blocks from the Cathedral of Learning where the Institute sessions will meet.  The cost is only $25 per night  (based on full suites).

For more information specifically on Bouquet Gardens, see


Application Information

Information on application procedures is now available.  To download an application, please click here

Please note the eligibility criteria as stated by the NEH:  These projects are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students.  Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the seminar or institute.  Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline.  Foreign nationals teaching abroad are not eligible to apply.  

Application materials should be sent to the directors, Sandra D. Mitchell and Peter K. Machamer by email, fax, or regular mail. 


Fax: (412) 624- 6825

Mail to: Sandra D. Mitchell and Peter K. Machamer,                                           Department of History and Philosophy of Science,                                                    University of Pittsburgh,                                                                                                 1017 Cathedral of Learning,                                                                                       Pittsburgh, PA  15260


  Acceptance Information

Decisions regarding acceptance to the institute have now been made.   Letters were mailed to applicants on March 27.   If you have been accepted, your letter will be accompanied by three additional documents:  Terms and Conditions, an Acceptance form, and Certification for Participants.  These documents can also be downloaded by clicking on the above links (the Acceptance form accompanies the Terms and Conditions).                 

NEH Final Survey

At the end of the Institute, please fill out the survey at:



Page Maintained By:Peter K. Machamer
Last Update: October 2000