Canterbury Cathedral
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BSPS 2021 Annual Conference Online, 7-9 July

The BSPS holds a major annual conference every year in the summertime. The call for papers is typically in the fall, and deadlines for symposium and contributed paper proposals are typically between January and March. Due to COVID-19, we were unable to hold our annual conference live in 2020, so we created a padlet for the conference instead.  The 2021 annual conference will take place online on 7-9 July 2021.

The BSPS Committee have decided to hold the BSPS 2021 Conference entirely online. While we remain cautiously optimistic that, by July 2021, it may be possible to travel within the UK and gather in groups, we feel more pessimistic about the possibilities for international travel. Only 15% of the symposium submissions were from entirely UK-based panels, which means that a large number of presenters will only be able to attend the conference, if we move online. We would love to have been able to host you all at the University of Kent, but the BSPS committee feel very strongly about making this conference as widely accessible as possible. We do hope to be able to hold the 2022 conference in person.

While we will not be charging a registration fee for attendance at the BSPS 2021 Conference, we do ask that all speakers are current members of the British Society for the Philosophy of science. We are proud to say that our membership is extremely reasonably priced (starting at $20 per year, and just $4 per year for students). All BSPS members receive complimentary electronic access to The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. You can join or renew your membership here:

Call for Abstracts

Symposia at the BSPS 2021 Annual Conference Online

Submission is now open for proposals for symposia to be presented at the BSPS 2021 Annual Conference on July 7th-9th 2021. The deadline for submitting symposium proposals is 25th January 2021.


A symposium should involve several presenters, typically 3-4, organised around a topic of interest. Symposia may be on any topic in the philosophy of science. A maximum of 90 minutes of space on the programme will be allocated to successful symposia. The symposia will be selected by the BSPS committee. The committee will strive for quality, variety, innovation, and diversity on the programme; ideally the programme will reflect the full range of current work in the philosophy of science. Symposia that make connections with, or include, working scientists are warmly invited. We will not be considering ‘Author Meets Critics’ sessions, but topical sessions that build upon recently published books are acceptable.


Proposals must include sufficient supporting material to permit the committee to evaluate the quality and interest of the symposium. Proposals for symposia should include:

  • The title of the proposed symposium
  • A short descriptive summary of the proposal (100-200 words)
  • A description of the topic and a justification of its current importance to the discipline (500-1000 words)
  • Titles and abstracts of all papers, with 250-500 words for the title and abstract of each paper
  • A list of participants and either an abbreviated curriculum vitae or short biographical description (not to exceed 1 page) for each participant, including any non-presenting co-authors.
  • Institutional affiliation and e-mail addresses for all participants, including any non-presenting co-authors.
  • Our current planning assumes that we will be able to hold the BSPS 2021 Conference face-to-face. If it turns out that this is not possible, we will hold this conference online instead. Please indicate in your application whether or not you will be willing to deliver your symposium in an online format.

Deadline and dates

The deadline for submitting symposium proposals is 25th January 2021. Symposium organisers will receive an email confirming receipt of their submission and will be informed of the committee’s decision by 8th February 2021 (prior to the deadline for submitting contributed papers, 15th February 2021). Please see important information below on BSPS policy regarding multiple submissions.


Proposals for symposia should be submitted via email as one pdf file to “

Rules for Acceptance

No one will be permitted to present more than once at BSPS 2021. Thus, if a symposium proposal in which you are a presenting author is accepted, you cannot submit a contributed paper for which you are the presenting author. Commentators that are part of symposia are considered to be presenting authors. A scholar may appear as co-author on more than one paper or symposium talk, but may present at BSPS 2021 only once.

Any individual can be part of only one symposium proposal in which he or she is a presenting author. Note that this policy excludes the practice of being a presenting author for more than one symposium proposal and subsequently choosing to present in only one symposium if multiple proposals are accepted.

If an accepted symposium subsequently loses participants, maintaining acceptance will become contingent upon the symposium organiser developing satisfactory alternatives to maintain the quality and coherence of the committee.

All questions about submissions should be directed in the first instance to conference organiser, Kirsten Walsh, on “

Call for Papers: BSPS 2021 Annual Conference Online, 7-9 July

Submission is now open for abstracts of papers to be presented at the British Society for the Philosophy of Science 2021 Annual Conference online on July 7th-9th 2021. Submissions are invited from anyone with a scholarly interest in the philosophy of science. Submissions from graduate students and people from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged. (A limited number of graduate bursaries will be available.)

Papers may be on a wide selection of topics within the philosophy of science (see list below) and should be suitable for presentation in 20 minutes, which will allow 10 minutes discussion. Abstracts should be received no later than 15th February 2021. Abstracts will be anonymously refereed by the programme committee, and successful contributors notified by late April. Abstracts should include a statement of the main thesis as well as an outline of the central argument of the paper. To ensure full consideration, please also include a short bibliography of 2-5 representative references. We do not anticipate being able to share referees’ comments. Please see important information below on BSPS policy regarding multiple submissions.

List of topics:

  1. General philosophy of science
  2. Philosophy of the physical sciences
  3. Philosophy of the life sciences
  4. Philosophy of the cognitive sciences
  5. Philosophy of the social sciences
  6. Formal philosophy of science
  7. Integrated history, philosophy, and social studies of science
  8. Science and values

Submission Instructions

To submit your abstract, go to:

  1. Log in (create an account if you do not already have one).
  2. Select ‘New Submission’ and enter the requested information, including the title of your paper.
  3. Enter your abstract (in plain text, of no more than 1000 words) into the Abstract box.
  4. Please prepare your abstract for anonymous refereeing. Bear in mind that referees will have to reach a judgement based only the information provided in the abstract.
  5. Please select the topic (or topics) that best describe the area of your submission.
  6. Finally, select ‘Submit’.

For more information please email: