Richard Burian

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy & Science Studies

220 Major Williams
Email: rmburian@vt.edu
Office: (540) 231-6760

"Richard Burian : CV"
     
Office
Department of Philosophy
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0126
Email: rmburian@vt.edu
Phone: (540) 231-6760; Fax: (540) 231-6367
 
EDUCATION
Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1971
B.A. in Mathematics, Reed College, Portland, Oregon. 1963
University of Munich, Munich, Germany. 1960-61
 
PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT

Academic Appointments
  • 1992-2007 Professor of Philosophy and Science Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
  • 1983-92 Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor in the Center for the Study of Science in Society, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
  • 1977-83 Associate Professor of Philosophy, Drexel University.
  • 1967-76 Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Lecturer in Philosophy, Brandeis University.
Academic Administration
  • 2001-03 Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Philosophy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
  • 1992-97 Director, Center for the Study of Science in Society and the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies.
  • 1983-92 Head, Department of Philosophy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
  • 1973-76 Associate Dean of College, Brandeis University.
Visiting and Research Appointments
  • 1999-2000 Senior Research Fellow, Center for History of Recent Science, George Washington University, Washington, DC.
  • 1992 Professeur Invité, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon (Feb. - March).
  • 1991-92 Resident Fellow, National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, NC.
  • 1981-82 Visiting Associate Professor, Departments of Philosophy and History, and Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis (Winter Quarter).
  • 1978-79 Visiting Associate Professor, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh (Fall Trimester).
  • 1976-77 Research Associate, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.
  • 1968-69 Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Thirteen College Curriculum Program, Florida A & M University.
SYMPOSIA, CONFERENCES, and INSTITUTES

  • 2000 Co-organizer with Roger Ariew, Mordechai Feingold, and Joseph Pitt, "A Retrospective on the Work of Thomas Kuhn," Blacksburg, VA.
  • 2000 Co-organizer with Scott Gilbert, Paula Mabee, and Billie Swalla, Symposium on Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Paradigms, Problems and Prospects, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Atlanta, January 7, 2000.
  • 1999 Co-organizer with D. Thieffry of two symposia, "From Embryology to Developmental Biology: Shaping the Embryo" and "From Genes to Cells: Differentiation and Development," International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, July 11, 1999.
  • 1996 Co-Organizer with Sylvia Culp, Symposium on Complexity and Experimentation in Biology, Philosophy of Science Association Biennial Meeting, Cleveland, November, 1996. Published in Philosophy of Science 64 (Supplement, 1997).
  • 1995 Co-Organizer with Denis Thieffry, Symposium on "Biochemical Embryology and Nucleic Acids in the Laboratories of Jean Brachet and Colleagues at Rouge Cloître," International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, Leuven, Belgium, 1995. Published as a special issue of History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 19 (1) (March, 1997).
  • 1995 Co-Organizer with Jean Gayon, "Conceptions de la science: hier, aujourd'hui et demain. Colloque international d'hommage Marjorie Grene," Dijon, May, 1995.
  • 1991 Co-organizer with Muriel Lederman, "The Right Organism for the Job," International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (July).
  • 1990 Co-organizer, with Joseph Pitt, "To Honor Marjorie Grene," a symposium on the occasion of her 80th birthday, VPI & SU, Blacksburg, VA (December).
  • 1990 Co-organizer, with John Beatty and Jane Maienschein, "Experimentation in Evolutionary Biology," Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (August 12-19).
  • 1989 Co-organizer, with S. Kauffman and William Wimsatt, "Foundations of Developmental Biology." Santa Fe Institute (November).
  • 1989 Co-director, with Marjorie Grene, Summer Seminar on "Philosophy of Biology in Historical and Cultural Contexts," VPI & SU.
  • 1987 Principal Organizer, Summer Conference on History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, V. P. I. & S. U. (June).
  • 1984 Co-organizer (with S. Kauffman), Mountain Lake Research Conference on Evolution and Development. Mountain Lake, Virginia (July).
  • 1983 Co-organizer (with W. Bechtel and J. Maienschein), Summer Conference on History and Philosophy of Biology, Denison University, Granville, Ohio (July).
  • 1982 Assistant Director, Summer Institute on Teaching the Philosophy of Biology, Cornell University (directed by Marjorie Grene).
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS 2002-2009

  • "Conceptual Revisions Deriving from the Loss of the Tree of Life," International Workshop on Questioning the Tree of Life," Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, July 31, 2009.
  • "On Compound Individuality as a Norm for Biological Organisms," Symposium on Extending the Boundaries of Development, International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, Brisbane, Australia, July 12-15, 2009. Workshop presentation, "Constraints on the Revision of Gene Concepts," Santa Fe Institute Workshop on the Complexity of the Gene Concept," Santa Fe, NM March 9-11, 2009.
  • "On Some Recent Biological Arguments that Support (Darwinian) Evolution, But Challenge the So-Called Synthetic Theory of Evolution," University of Cincinnati, May 29, 2009.
  • "Is Molecular Genetics Becoming Less Reductionistic? Notes from recent case studies on mapping C. elegans and the discovery of microRNA," Invited Lecture, Institut d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences et des techniques, Paris, December 4, 2009.
  • "The Problem of Assessing the Dimensionality of Information: Cautions from a mini-case study of differences between (biological) information and standard calculations of hereditary information," Biographs II, Second Workshop on Visual Representation in the Biological Sciences, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, June 11-14, 2008.
  • "Biological Development, Epigenesis, and Second Nature," Invited Lecture, Bryn Mawr College, January 30, 2008.
  • "Exploratory Experimentation in Recent Molecular Biology and Genomics," International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, Exeter, England, July 26, 2007.
  • "The changing ontology of the gene-historical and philosophical perspectives." Invited laboratory talk, National Eye Institute Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Bethesda, MD, November 14, 2005.
  • K. C. Crosby, R. M. Burian, and E. J. Wojcik, "The work of Donald Poulson: A prelude in the study of developmental genetics in Drosophila melanogaster," Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, San Diego, CA, Jan. 8, 2005.
  • "Molecular Epigenesis, Molecular Pleiotropy, and Molecular Gene Definitions," presented Nov. 21 2004 at the Philosophy of Developmental Biology Working Group, meeting at the University of Texas, Austin, in association with the History of Science Society and the Philosophy of Science Association.
  • "On the Difficult of Using Nucleotide Sequences Alone to Define Genes," platform paper, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans, January 6, 2004.
  • "Pleiotropy and Environment," Symposium on "Gene, Genomes, and Genetic Elements I: Conceptualizing New Developments in Molecular Genetics," International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies for Biology, Vienna, July 16-20, 2003.
  • "The Use of Models and Analogies in Contemporary Science," Athens-Pittsburgh Symposium in the Philosophy of Science, Delphi (Greece), Weds. May 31 -June 7, 2003, on "Proof (Argument) and Demonstration in Philosophy and Science."
  • "'Historical Realism', 'Contextual Objectivity', and Changing Concepts of the Gene," [revised version], Notre Dame University, April 2, 2002 and Symposium in Honor of the Publication of The Philosophy of Marjorie Grene (Library of Living Philosophers), The Personalist Discussion Group at American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meeting, April 25, 2003.
  • "What is philosophy of biology, and what is it good for?" Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, March 25, 2002.
  • "What Theoretical Biology Can Do - and What It Cannot: Model Systems and Model Building in Developmental Biology;" Symposium at the University of Vienna and Konrad Lorenz Institute, Vienna and Altenberg, Austria, 26-28 September 2002, "The Viennese Roots of Theoretical Biology: The Vivarium Centenary."
  • "Modularity, Development, and Genotype-Phenotype Maps," Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Anaheim, CA, Jan. 4, 2002.
  • Commentator, symposium on "History and philosophy of science: revisiting a precarious relationship," (papers by Jutta Schickore, Michel Janssen, Ofer Gal, and F. Steinle, History of Science Society, Denver, November 11, 2001.
  • "Reconceiving Animals and Their Evolution: On Some Consequences of New Research on the Modularity of Development and Evolution," Miami University of Ohio, September 21, 2001; revised versions presented as an invited lecture at Ohio University Athens, OH, September 21, 2001and as a Philosophy/STS Colloquium at Virginia Tech, February 8, 2002.
  • "On the value of case studies in recent science" [revised version], conference on "Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies," Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society, University of Graz, Austria (co-sponsored by Virginia Tech (through the College of Arts and Sciences and the STS program), June 7, 2001.
  • "Developmental genes, developmental modules and changed perspectives on the evolution of organisms," University of Vienna, May 31, with a follow-up workshop at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, June 1, 2001; revised version presented at the International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, Quinnipiac College, July 21, 2001.
  • "What is the State of the Art in Science Studies? One Philosopher's View." Department of Philosophy and the Center for Science in Society, Bryn Mawr College, March 28, 2001.
  • "Mapping in the phage group and the Pasteur Institute: A comparison of styles." Working Conference on "The Mapping Cultures of 20th Century Genetics" at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, 1-4 March 2001.
  • "Mapping in the phage group and the Pasteur Institute: A comparison of styles." Working Conference on "The Mapping Cultures of 20th Century Genetics," Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, March 2, 2001.
  • "On the Internal Dynamics of Mendelian Genetics," presented at "1900: The Rediscovery of Mendel's Laws," Académie des Sciences, Paris, March 23-25, 2000.
  • "Introduction to the Symposium on Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Paradigms, Problems, and Prospects," Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, January 7, 2000, Atlanta, GA.
SELECTED GRANTS AND HONORS

  • 2007 Symposium in Honor of the Retirement of Richard Burian: "The Epistemology of Development, Evolution and Genetics," at the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, Exeter, England, July 28, 2007. Speakers: Ron Amundson, J. Gayon, Manfred Laubichler, R. Richardson.
  • 1999-2000 Senior Fellow, Center for the History of Recent Science, George Washington University.
  • 1999-2000 Fellow, Dibner Institute, MIT (declined).
  • 1999-2000 Research-Study Leave, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
  • 1999-2001 President, International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology.
  • 1998-2000 Division Chair, Division of Comparative and Integrative Issues, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.
  • 1997-98 Chair, Nominating Committee, Section L, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • 1997-99 President Elect, International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology.
  • 1995-97 Co-PI: Career Development Grant for Stephen Weiss, NSF.
  • 1995 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section L (History and Philosophy of Science).
  • 1994 International Union for History and Philosophy of Science, Grant in support of a symposium in honor of R. S. Cohen at the joint meeting of the History of Science Society, Philosophy of Science Association, and Society for Social Studies of Science.
  • 1992 NEH Travel to Collections Grant, for Research at the Institut Pasteur, June 1993.
  • 1991-92 National Humanities Center, Resident Fellow.
  • 1990 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Supplemental Grant, to deliver a conference paper, CNRS, Paris, May.
  • 1990 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Supplemental Grant, to deliver a conference paper, USSR Academy of Sciences, Leningrad, September.
  • 1989 National Science Foundation Conference Grant (with S. Kauffman and W. Wimsatt), "Foundations of Developmental Biology." Santa Fe Institute, November, 1989.
  • 1989 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar (with M. Grene), "Philosophy of Biology in Historical and Cultural Contexts." Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, July-August, 1989.
  • 1985-87 Research Grant, National Endowment for the Humanities for work on A Conceptual History of the Gene.