east lansing aerial photo

This conference, originally scheduled for 7–10 July 2020, has been postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As required to get refunds from most institutes and/or insurers, you can download a statement here to confirm this.

7–9 July 2021
Michigan State University, East Lansing (MI), USA

The Local Organizing Committee is thrilled to announce the dates for the 8th Biennial Conference of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP) which will be hosted at Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, Michigan, and held in collaboration with the Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering (SRPoiSE). There will be a joint plenary for the two conferences, and both societies encourage members to engage with both conferences.

For more information about the joint plenary, including details about how to submit abstracts, please visit the SPSP 2020 Call for Papers.

Conference website: https://www.spsp2020.org

For the most extensive and up-to-date info, check the conference website.

SPSP 2020 2021 Local Organizing Committee

  • Kevin Elliott (co-chair)
  • Catherine Kendig (co-chair)
  • Sean Valles (co-chair)
  • Robyn Bluhm
  • Heather Douglas
  • Ellie Louson
  • Greg Lusk
  • Michael O’Rourke
  • Robert Pennock
  • Isaac Record
  • Arthur Ward

We welcome you to our robust and diverse center for interdisciplinary philosophy of science in practice. The Department of Philosophy is known for its engaged approach to the discipline and its growing community of philosophers of science, and the philosophers at MSU work within a vibrant community of more than 60 science studies scholars, more than 20 of whom are employed by Lyman Briggs College, an MSU residential college focused on the study of science.


MSU is located in East Lansing, adjacent to Lansing, the capital of Michigan.

The campus is accessible from five airports. Lansing Capital Region International Airport (LAN) is only 10 miles from the MSU campus. For those using the Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), there is a very nice bus (Michigan Flyer) that makes round trips between DTW and the Marriott Hotel in downtown East Lansing 12 times per day. Travelers can also fly in and out of Chicago and take the daily Blue Water Amtrak train.

Accommodation and updates

We will post information on: visas, lodging options (inexpensive dormitory accommodations will be available), childcare options, and accessibility accommodations (note: conference meetings rooms are ALD compatible and wheelchair accessible).

If you have any questions prior to this, please feel free to contact Catherine Kendig (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Sean Valles (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or Kevin Elliott (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The venue

MSU and Lyman Briggs College

Founded in 1855 as the first land-grant university, MSU’s campus comprises 5,200 acres (21km²) that includes not only extensive research institutes and test farms but also a host of attractive academic buildings from the 1800s and early 1900s, several botanical gardens, and a university that many compare to an arboretum. In addition to the 1930s architecture and arboretum-like grounds, both East Lansing and the nearby capital of Michigan, Lansing, offer many areas of environmental and cultural interest.

Lyman Briggs College is home to the Collaborative Experiential Learning Laboratory (CELL), a new critical making space intended to support interdisciplinary teaching and learning by providing access to prototyping tools like 3D printers and team building tools like games. The CELL would be pleased to host a teaching-focused, hands-on tour showcasing the results of its research into experimental and best practices for teaching science and history, philosophy, and sociology of science.

Meeting Facilities

In order to keep costs low, we plan to hold the conference in Wells Hall, an air-conditioned classroom building on campus. We will be able to reserve a number of classrooms and an auditorium on the days of the conference. These facilities will be available to us without cost during the week, and we can use them on the weekend with payment of a cleaning fee. Classrooms are wheelchair accessible and equipped with audio technology for audience members with hearing impairments.

Nearby Excursions and Opportunities

Within both East Lansing and Lansing, local buses are frequent and reliable. The bike paths, bike lanes, and network of sidewalks means that the university is very pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. Nearby, the Lansing River Trail threads through campus joining the Red Cedar River and offers more options for walking, running and cycling trails.

MSU is home to the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory which is currently under construction, set to be one of the most important nuclear physics laboratories in the world, and its facility offers guided tours. The MSU Bug House (Department of Entomology) has all-ages educational entomology exhibits. The MSU-run W. K.Kellogg Biological Station (located an hour away) is part of the US network of Long Term Ecological Research sites. It offers tours of its scientific projects and also hosts a bird sanctuary that is fun for all ages. The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, in a building designed by Zaha Hadid, hosts a rotating collection of modern art on campus.

Potter Park Zoo in Lansing is a good all-ages venue. A little over an hour east, Detroit is home to a number of attractions, including the Michigan Science Center (science museum). A little over an hour to the west, Grand Rapids hosts the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (spectacular during the summer). The region has a large number of nearby hiking and outdoor recreation attractions, along with many more options if one travels somewhat further to the coast or north towards the upper peninsula.

Many other activities are available in the Lansing area and throughout the state of Michigan. These include:

  • Detroit Zoo
  • Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Lake Michigan beaches: Holland, Saugatuck (and many others we haven’t yet tried)
  • Lake Huron beaches: less crowded and just as lovely as the Lake Michigan beaches
  • Ann Arbor (great restaurants and museums)
  • Traverse City
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes
  • Whitestone Pointe Cabins (inexpensive, right on a gorgeous beach)