The HPS Podcast - Conversations from History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science

BONUS EPISODE - Joshua Eisenthal & HPS Chat

September 28, 2023 HPS@UniMelb Samara Greenwood and Indigo Keel Season 1 Episode 14
BONUS EPISODE - Joshua Eisenthal & HPS Chat
The HPS Podcast - Conversations from History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
More Info
The HPS Podcast - Conversations from History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
BONUS EPISODE - Joshua Eisenthal & HPS Chat
Sep 28, 2023 Season 1 Episode 14
HPS@UniMelb Samara Greenwood and Indigo Keel

In this final bonus episode for Season 1 we are doing things a little bit differently. 

Instead of a one-way interview,  philosopher of physics - Joshua Eisenthal - and host Samara Greenwood have a two-way conversation reflecting on Season 1 and discuss how certain episodes intersected with their own research interests.

In particular, Josh and Sam discuss Donna Haraway's concept of Storytelling, Greg Radick's discussion of Counterfactual History and Fallon Mody's thoughts on the uses of biography.

Joshua is a research assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology and associate editor of the Einstein papers.

You can find more about Josh on his website -

The transcript for this episode can be found at - 

Thanks for listening to The HPS Podcast with your current hosts, Samara Greenwood and Carmelina Contarino. You can find more about us on our blog, website, bluesky, twitter, instagram and facebook feeds. This podcast would not be possible without the support of School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne.
HPS Podcast |

Show Notes Transcript

In this final bonus episode for Season 1 we are doing things a little bit differently. 

Instead of a one-way interview,  philosopher of physics - Joshua Eisenthal - and host Samara Greenwood have a two-way conversation reflecting on Season 1 and discuss how certain episodes intersected with their own research interests.

In particular, Josh and Sam discuss Donna Haraway's concept of Storytelling, Greg Radick's discussion of Counterfactual History and Fallon Mody's thoughts on the uses of biography.

Joshua is a research assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology and associate editor of the Einstein papers.

You can find more about Josh on his website -

The transcript for this episode can be found at - 

Thanks for listening to The HPS Podcast with your current hosts, Samara Greenwood and Carmelina Contarino. You can find more about us on our blog, website, bluesky, twitter, instagram and facebook feeds. This podcast would not be possible without the support of School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne.
HPS Podcast |

Welcome to our final bonus episode for season 1 of the HPS Podcast.

 I am Samara Greenwood and today we are doing things a little bit differently. In this episode, we have produced a more informal two-way conversation between myself and the philosopher of physics, Joshua Eisenthal, where we reflect on Season 1 of the podcast and discuss ways in which certain episodes intersect with our own research interests.

 Josh is a research assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology – or CalTech as it is better known - and associate editor of the Einstein papers.

 Josh and I first met at the 9th Conference of Integrated HPS held at the University of South Carolina in March of this year. We bonded over a few glasses of wine, and we thought recording this episode would be a great chance to talk more about all things history and philosophy of science.

 Samara Greenwood: Hey, Josh, how are you? Welcome to the podcast.

Josh Eisenthal: Hey Samara, I’m really happy to be here, thank you. 

Samara Greenwood: So Josh, you first heard about the podcast back in March of this year when we first met at an HBS conference. I'd love to know now that you've listened to the whole season what your impressions are of how the podcast has ended up. 

Josh Eisenthal: Yeah, it's been great. I’ve really enjoyed listening to it. One of the things I've really liked is feeling like I'm almost getting to know people in the discipline who I might have met, or I might have at least come across their work, or I might not know them at all.

And there's a sense in which there's a kind of personal getting to know people. That’s a really nice aspect of the podcast - when you ask people, ‘Oh, what was your story? How did you get into HPS?’ And they tell a bit of their background. So, I've really enjoyed that. And I've also really enjoyed hearing this range of different topics and subject areas that people work on.

Samara Greenwood: I'm glad you found that personal element, which I was really keen to introduce. So, it's not just the academic side of things or not just the topics, but really getting a bit of an insight into how people end up here, especially because HPS is this niche area where, when I talk about it with people outside the field and they’re like, ‘Sorry, say that again, what area is that?’ So, I think it is a lovely one to sort of see how people find it. And also, the variety of backgrounds people have coming into it. There's no classic story of how you end up in history and philosophy of science. 

Next, I'd like to chat about a couple of the episodes that both you and I have found connections to in our own work. And so, I thought we'd start with the very first interview, the one with Donna Haraway and her discussion on storytelling in science. It was such a lovely way to start this adventure. 

Josh, I'm interested to know what you thought about Donna's discussion on storytelling and science.

Josh Eisenthal: Yes, I really enjoyed your discussion with Donna. And it was great to hear her voice. 

One of the things it brought to mind for me was the way in which we are engaged in a kind of storytelling all the time when we're doing our own work. And I think that's true when we present our work at a conference and then also when we're writing a paper. I think what we're trying to do, whether we're doing a historical argument or a philosophical argument, we're really trying to reach out to a particular kind of audience and get them engaged, hook them into what we're thinking, find the common ground, particularly with people who might disagree with what we're about to say. And we have to convey what's exciting about a particular figure or a particular event, why it's important what's exciting about a particular idea, and invite the people we're speaking to into a certain kind of way of thinking.

And I think the narrative that we have to construct there is a really important part of doing that work. When I'm preparing a presentation or writing a paper, I'm quite conscious of the narrative arc that I have to construct and how I'm trying to speak to both the more sympathetic and the less sympathetic listener or reader and trying to connect with that person. So, I do think that storytelling is something that we might, especially in analytical philosophy, underestimate. And I wonder what you thought about that, whether you conceive of yourself as doing any storytelling in your work? 

Samara Greenwood: I think for me storytelling is even deeper. Storytelling goes to the heart of research. I think it's really about building more accurate stories of the world whether that's about the natural world or human society and culture or existence, more abstract ideas. 

I'm going to indulge myself a little bit here. It relates to a favourite quote of mine by Ivan Illich and it says: 

"Neither revolution nor reformation can ultimately change a society. Rather, you must tell a new and powerful tale. One so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story. One so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and our present into a coherent whole. One that even shines some light into our future so that we can take the next step. If you want to change a society, then you have to tell an alternative story. "

For me, academic research is about being part of building this more accurate story.

It's not about wishful thinking and hoping that we can create some story. It's about - no, what is the world actually telling us when we dive in deep into our research? What is it telling us that we're not currently realizing and what needs to be emphasized about that? Considering the stories that we've relied on in the past are perhaps failing us today. The best of today's academic research really provides a far more sophisticated, nuanced account than it has before. But, of course, building this story needs to be anchored in the way the world actually is as far as we can make out. I also love how research can challenge my own preconceptions about what I think I'm going to find when I go into it. 

I just wanted to give a concrete example of what I'm talking about. So just this week, I've been transcribing some interviews that were done in the 1980s by Donna Haraway with some primate scientists. While each interview on its own provides a little bit of the picture, as I'm working my way through these interviews, and I'm doing my own oral history interviews, the picture that is building up is one of layers of complex influences, which are shaping these primate researchers and what they were interested in studying during this particular time and place about animals, about primates, about apes and monkeys and the social organization.

And some of these are very unexpected to me, at least. Obviously, the scientists and Donna knew about them way before I've come across them. But for example, I've been fascinated to see the extent to which some animal behaviorists who are looking at primates in the ‘70s saw that they had many common interests with economic theorists and how they use many of the same terms, such as time-energy budgets to describe social behaviour. And so, you see this intersection, not just between different sciences, but between science and what we would call social science and how there's these overlaps that can surprise us. And so exploring how these overlaps come to be can be really interesting.

This is all a very long way of saying that I see my work ultimately as in the business of forming the best possible story I can for the research question I'm looking at with the best evidence at my disposal and aligning with the best research of others. And that meets my own internal sense of integrity or responsibility to tell this alternate, better, more accurate, whatever story. So that was a mouthful. 

Josh Eisenthal: Well, let me say a little bit in response, just to pull out in a few seconds some lovely moments there for me. Firstly, that quote that you gave was a wonderful quote. Yes, really powerful and really interesting. And then, the point that you're making about storytelling, another way of understanding that is sense making.

Certain things that don't hang together for us, and we can start to make them hang together in a way, and thereby see them and understand them in ways that we didn't before. Maybe see them for the first time, in some cases. And then also the broader importance of this, that without these stories, without better stories, without certain kinds of stories, the kind of way in which we in society can make sense of our own history, anticipate certain things in our future, live together in a more equitable or just way. All these things require that we make sense of and tell these kinds of stories and really pay attention to how we're doing. So yes, so thank you for pulling that all into what you got out of this conversation with Donna. 

Samara Greenwood: Thank you. And it did come out from you asking that very specific question. I think it really, digs down deep to something that motivates me not in the everyday, but more in that big picture kind of way.

Now to you. Is there any deep connection to storytelling in your own work? 

Josh Eisenthal: Well, again, one connection that was brought to mind when I listened to the episode with Donna was a connection with Wittgenstein and Wittgenstein's approach to philosophy. Something that I think characterizes quite a lot of Wittgenstein's work is this interest in the kinds of questions that we ask ourselves in philosophy and the kinds of problems that we find ourselves drawn to that characterize philosophy as opposed to other areas of inquiry.

And Donna made this point about the importance of recognizing the stories that we're telling when we're doing the sciences and the danger of not seeing that we're trapped in a certain kind of story - that we're sort of already picked up a certain kind of perspective that we may not have noticed that we've done that. And I think that a lesson that one could be interested in taking from Wittgenstein is exactly that kind of idea applied to philosophy. 

So, for Wittgenstein the risk that you don't recognize that you've already committed yourself to a certain way of seeing things is a great possible source of philosophical confusion. So, there's a real risk that we have already committed to a certain way of telling a certain story or seeing a certain set of problems. And we won't have recognized that fact. And so, there's a line from Wittgenstein that is relatively well known that I think makes this quite vivid. And the quote is... “The decisive move in the conjuring trick has already been made, and it was the very one that seemed to us quite innocent."

 So, there's an idea that already, almost at the proto stage of our inquiry, we may have already committed ourselves in a certain way, without recognizing that we've done so, and that this itself is the source of a certain kind of philosophical confusion or following a red herring. This idea of the importance of storytelling and the importance and the value of different kinds of perspectives, different kinds of stories, and having that plurality of different perspectives. I think that brought to mind at least Wittgenstein's kind of meta-philosophy, his approach to philosophy.

Samara Greenwood: And what you're saying there, too, reminds me of the need for us all to be self-reflective about our work to go back and go what assumptions am I making here that perhaps aren't serving me? Is there a different point of view that I could take? Being open to that and open to the idea that there are ways that you've tackled something that were wrong. You're allowed to be wrong.

And actually one thing Kristian Camilleri, who's my supervisor, always says, if you change your mind and you change how you do something, that's not a bad thing. That can often mean growth and learning, 

Josh Eisenthal: Yeah, it's surprisingly rare, I think, and difficult to change one's mind and philosophy.

I think there are certain figures in history of philosophy or recent philosophy who did famously change their mind, maybe went back and forth on a certain question. But I think most of us are less good at that and it is a kind of skill. 

So, another episode that I thought we might talk about was Episode 5, your conversation with Greg Radick about the counterfactual history of science.

I met Greg at the same time you did at the same great, wonderful conference. And he talks about counterfactual history there, which I was really interested in. So, during the interview, Greg gave a kind of objection to himself. He characterized way that people sometimes respond to this idea of counterfactual history. He said the phrase ‘counterfactual history’ might seem to suggest that you somehow left history and entered an evidence free zone. The idea is, what is this counterfactual history, this 'what if' story? Where suddenly you can't rely on any historical sources anymore because you're imagining something that didn't, in fact, happen. So you've left, standard historical methodology, and as he put it, you're in an [00:11:00] evidence free zone. 

And then Greg's reply to that worry is to say, well, there's no way to avoid counterfactual reasoning in history, we're doing it all the time. Insofar as we're trying to isolate a particular figure, say, as playing an important role, what we're doing is saying, that person made a difference. If they hadn't been around, or if they hadn't done such and such then these other things wouldn't have happened. So, we're using that counterfactual reasoning. And that's what we have to do insofar as we're trying to explain what things made a difference. Or in fact, even if they didn't make a difference, there's a kind of counterfactual thing that you have to engage in.

I think this is very interesting and I wonder how people who resist counterfactual history and don't like the idea of this counterfactual history might respond. But I thought I might ask you, do you feel like we're just compelled to agree with Greg here? Do you think that history will always involve counterfactual reasoning. Do you have an idea of what history would look like without counterfactual reasoning? 

Samara Greenwood: I think that's a really good question. And I have to say, Greg's work, the interview as well as seeing him at the conference, has convinced me pretty strongly that counterfactual thinking is a very useful, essential tool in the history of science and also that it is often hidden in our thinking. That we are using it, but not perhaps explicitly using it as a methodology quite often.

And I am keen personally to keep thinking about how it might inform my work more consciously as I continue in my research. I haven't traditionally explicitly outlined it in my research. So, I am interested. How about you? Do you find counterfactual reasoning important or useful in your own work?

Josh Eisenthal: Yes, I do. One of the projects that I'm interested in is very much a kind of counterfactual history. 

But before I jump into that, I wanted to highlight a distinction that I'm aware of in thinking through this back and forth of Greg and his possible ‘Opponent’.

There's a distinction between a kind of local counterfactual history or the local use of counterfactual reasoning where essentially you are just trying to be explanatory or claim that something made a difference. And then a grander, more global aspect of history where you really ask yourself the question, okay, well, let's take a particular episode in the history of a science and say, what if we change this fundamental feature? And now let's follow that into the future. And sketch out how history might have gone with that change. 

Samara Greenwood: Yes, that is quite 2 different ways, one's sort of a more gentle way and one's more of a really strong way, isn't it? 

Josh Eisenthal: Right. And I think I'm compelled by Greg's argument about the local kind of counterfactual reasoning where I think it's basically unavoidable. I mean, maybe you can give me an example of a kind of methodology or argument in history, which really doesn't even use that kind of reasoning, but I find it quite hard to imagine if it's not like a mere cataloguing of events. Do you have an example of something that's not counterfactual?

Samara Greenwood: Oh, that's a really good one. I'll have to think about that. 

Josh Eisenthal: Yes. I think there are cases in science where sometimes scientists just gather the data, and they don't yet know how to organize it. There's something similar in history where there's certain kind of historical work that's very important where we're not trying to draw the kinds of connections that would support or rely on these kinds of counterfactuals. We're just trying to put the data in place. Maybe that would be an example of at least a certain kind of work that's very important in history, that isn't itself relying on counterfactual maybe, 

Samara Greenwood: I think perhaps you're right. In my own work, there are bits of the process that certainly don't involve counterfactual reasoning. So, as you say, the collection of a timeline of events. I'm not trying to connect them at that stage. I'm just literally trying to, as you say, put the facts in place as far as you can tell of when something happened, who decided what, what was published when, that forms the basis. But in terms of reasoning and historical reasoning, that would be a harder argument. 

Josh Eisenthal: Yes. And this grander kind of counterfactual storytelling I think that's where Greg or me or anyone who tries to do it is going to get potentially a bit more of a pushback from certain kinds of historians.

Where this has come up in my own research, it's just a little bit of the history and philosophy of physics. There's an idea that really only was recognized and appreciated in the 20th century after Einstein's general theory of relativity, which was the steep connection between inertial motion, the kind of motion that an object undergoes when it's not interacting with anything else, the connection between that and parallel transport. Parallel transport, in the sense that I'm interested in, is just moving an object such that all parts of it move along parallel lines.

There was this deep connection between inertial motion and parallel transport that was only fully appreciated after general relativity. And another of philosopher and historian of physics, John Stachel, has already argued that that particular episode was a bit of a historical accident that it hadn't happened earlier. That, in some sense, most of the concepts that were needed to make that leap were already around 40 years earlier, end of the 19th century, before special relativity. And it's a bit of a historical accident that it wasn't appreciated until the 20th century. And then my counterfactual question is - what difference would it have made or what difference might it have made to people working in the 19th century if they had had that insight back then?

And it's a really interesting period because that's really laying the groundwork for the philosophy of geometry. This is the time when we're processing and unpacking and analysing the existence of non-Euclidean geometries and certain key positions within the philosophy of geometry, in particular geometrical conventionalism. And that really set the stage for discussions of philosophy of geometry up until today. 

One of the questions I'm interested in is whether this original motivation for geometrical just wouldn't have really been in place if this insight into the connection between inertial motion and parallel transport had been available in the 19th century. But that is a counterfactual story. I'm really taking an idea that only exists in the 20th century, putting in the 19th century, and then asking this question, what difference might have made to these historical figures.

Samara Greenwood: And you're right. That's a much stronger use of counterfactual reasoning, as you were talking about those local ones. And I guess in my own work, it would be like asking, okay, so if we didn't have the rise of second wave feminism in the 20th century, from the 1960s to 1970s, how different would the trajectory of this theory in primatology have been?

Would it have just continued on similar lines, but more slowly - because there was definitely a sense that feminism accelerated certain lines. My argument would be that - no, it was actually involved in a turn that wouldn't have occurred without second wave feminism. So yeah, so there's some very strong counterfactual reasoning, but I don't frame my own research in quite those strong ways. I do think that would be a much more difficult argument to make. 

Josh Eisenthal: Although I would be interested to see that kind of factual history. 

Samara Greenwood: I agree. But I actually think it's something that I couldn't even do until I've done the stuff that I'm doing now. It's like a stages thing, isn't it? I need to know more before I could even make such a claim. There are various things that are happening independently of that, that could potentially... And that's the tricky bit, right? Because you don't know what other possibilities there are with counterfactual thinking. You're trying to find this alternate pathway, but there are so many potential options in this alternate pathway. It's a very difficult exercise. 

Josh Eisenthal: What we're really doing is just trying to see what the possibilities might have been - just expanding the scope of what we're looking at when we're looking at an historical episode, seeing the alternatives or at least some of them.

Samara Greenwood: Absolutely. And I do think that's what Greg really emphasises and what I took away from that discussion was that. We can so often find ourselves on sort of fairly railroad kind of thinking. This is the scope. This is what we're thinking about. And so, some of these strategies to get us to think about things more broadly or in even more creative kind of ways are actually really, valuable if we're careful about them. I think there's always that qualification, isn't it? If you get carried away, it can lead you down some interesting - dodgy - paths, perhaps.

All right. What was the next episode you would like to talk about? 

Josh Eisenthal: I wondered if we might talk a bit about your conversation with Fallon Mody about biography. And it struck me that it's a great moment to talk about biography of a scientist because one of the blockbuster films of the summer has been this biography of Oppenheimer which so many of my friends and family have asked me what I think about it because I work on the history and philosophy of science. It's a nice moment to have that kind of conversation.

And again, it connected with stuff that I work on, which is why selfishly I wanted to talk about it. There's a case where it feels to me, from the inside, that the biographical details really mattered in me making a kind of historical and philosophical argument.

So, this case is another figure I'm interested in, Heinrich Hertz, who was a superstar physicist from the second half of the 19th century. He became particularly famous because he proved, in some sense, the existence of electromagnetic waves. But he also had this quite tragic side to his life because he died young, he was only 36 when he died, and it was New Year's Day in 1894.

I mean, it's a sad, but it's a really good story in the sense of it being quite an interesting, compelling story. He had this really horribly unpleasant sounding and quite mysterious illness. Where he had several operations remove pus from his jaw to relieve this tension that was building up and giving him these terrible migraines that was preventing him from working. And gave him temporary relief and then he'd have to go back for another one. And eventually one of these procedures ended up killing him. And as I say, he was just 36 when he died. 

He'd spent the last few years of his life, dealing with this illness, working on this really theoretical treatise. Which is probably the thing he's best known for, this book, The Principles of Mechanics. And we find him just before he sends it to the publisher, writing a letter to his parents. So we have all this correspondence, and he's telling them how nervous he is for it to be published. And he reveals in that letter that he hasn't shown the manuscript to anybody. And then he sends it off to the publisher, and he dies in the next month. So, the book only appears posthumously. We find all of the generation of physicists reading Hertz's book really lamenting the fact that they can't ask Hertz anything about the book.

The argument I'm interested in is that we fundamentally found it very difficult to understand, in some sense, what Hertz was trying to do in that book. And that the first generation of the readers of Hertz's book suspected that they weren't getting it. And I feel like that confusion has persisted all the way up to how we're still trying to engage with it today.

For me, the biographical details matter in making that argument. And it's just a really interesting case where, yes, sometimes what we're doing in the history and philosophy of science is precisely relying on these kinds of sources, the letter somebody wrote to their parents, for example, in order to try and understand what's going on.

So, I wondered if there's anything similar for you you've encountered biographical details in your own work or in the work of other people you're interested in? 

Samara Greenwood: Yes, but before I go on to my own examples, can I say that is a fabulous example, and it exactly illustrated what you were talking about with how getting down to those personal details can draw you in, right? Personal stories really do, much more than abstract theorising, I think, draw us into the story. 

It really does point to that sense from my own research, how important social networks are for scientists in terms of sharing what they're doing so other people understand what they're doing, making sure their work is understandable to others. And if you don't have that, that's a big gap, right? If you're working in your own little bubble and don't have that process of sharing and reflecting with others, it can make things extremely difficult. So that's fascinating. 

But yes, in my own work, it really does. So, part of my current work is looking at a few very complex episodes of change in science. One that I've mentioned a couple of times is this study of primate social behaviour during the 1970s and then looking at what large scale societal changes, how they contributed to those scientific changes and this involves a lot of layers of analysis. In particular, what I'm interested in is looking at exactly how those macro social changes come to be connected to science. What are the specific avenues? Not just in general in vague sort of terms, but let's really concretely see how those changes are connected.

And people are so central to this, who are the ones that are making these connections? This involves looking very closely at many individuals. It doesn't tend to focus just on one because that doesn't give us enough information. Like Fallon mentioned, looking at multiple individuals that are all involved in the same section, but looking at them in quite a lot of detail, can give us a lot of rich information. So, this is not typical biographical work where I'm just looking at a scientist's life story. I'm looking at a variety of scientists who are central to the scientific changes and then looking at specific things within their biography. I'm looking for how their scientific mindsets were formed from a young age, what life events affected their thinking and their beliefs. Perhaps what scientific skills and habits they adopted during their scientific training, what motivated them in their scientific work, what scientific debates they got, you know, really passionate about, whether that's angry or whether they were really excited by them.

And then comparing and contrasting how they were similar and different to each other. And one thing that surprised me is how important it is to understand how the individuals fit into that larger social picture. So not just them and their local immediate circle, but looking at the general demographics of a discipline and seeing where those individuals fit in terms of the theoretical school, or the practical school, they're part of what university they went to is often a case. All these kind of things really help build this picture of why things turned out the way they did. So yes, biography is important, but it's only one part of the picture. I need to know about the discipline as a whole. What is primatology doing in the 1970s? What's its history? How has it got to where it is? And then I also need to understand the social situation a lot better. I've had to do a lot of research into second wave feminism and the texts that were popular during that time and how it infiltrated universities and how that kind of knowledge spread.

We tend to think of biography in this sort of very limited way as Fallon talked about, but when you see how it can fit into a broader picture of historical research , it's vital and really exciting and part of this sort of bigger network of things to understand.

Josh Eisenthal: I guess I almost feel foolish for asking if biography comes up in your work, because as I understand the sort of unifying theme in your work of science in context, you're looking at among other things how the actual people doing that work are situated in their broader social, familial world. So of course, you need the biography to draw the connection between the sort of abstract ideas that they're talking about and then the concrete reality of their lived experience. So of course, it seems like fundamental to the kind of project that you're interested in to draw on these kinds of biographical details.

Samara Greenwood: Yes. And as you just said that it made me think to why this particular subject that I'm interested in has had a difficult history is that when you read scientific writing, obviously, especially from the 20th century, it is very formal. Right? It's very stylised, it has a very strong structure. And so, if you only read the texts you can be very much persuaded that it has very little connection to any social context. It is through getting behind the text, looking perhaps at letters that scientists write each other, interviews they've done where they do talk about that personal side, and you can make those connections. But yes, it does mean digging beyond just the surface. 

Josh Eisenthal: Yes, right. Looking past what otherwise gets swept under the rug a lot.

Samara Greenwood: Yeah. So now I thought we could talk about the next season that's coming up. What would you like to see in season two?

Josh Eisenthal: The first thing to say would just be please keep it coming. I really enjoyed season one and a lot more of the same would be great. And also, it's been nice to hear about some topics and from some people that I wouldn't myself have thought of. So in a way, I wouldn't want to be in a position to have too much say on it, because then I wouldn't be surprised. But if I was going to be greedy and ask you to talk about the things that touched more on what I'm thinking about I would love to see conversations focused more on the philosophy of science alongside also the more historical or social arguments. 

That's one thing. And then also, I guess I'd be interested to see more of the specialised sciences. So, physics is the one that I myself am interested in. But you might also do chemistry or mathematics, or you might do the philosophy of economics or the philosophy of computer science. And that's one that's really rising to broader appeal in the face of artificial intelligence right now.

I'd be really curious to hear about what some of the people who work in some of the specialised sciences would want to convey to a broader audience. So those are some of the things I'd be interested to hear and see from season two. 

 Can you give us any teasers of what's coming in season two? 

Samara Greenwood: One thing is Indigo is going to be doing more of the interview, so that'll be great to hear more from Indi. Reflecting on what we've done in season one, I thought we haven't done any chemistry at all. So, we have got philosophy of chemistry coming up in season two. For philosophy of physics, I might have to get some suggestions from you, Josh, other than your good self, of course.

We do have some more STS, so science and technology studies with an emphasis on technology because that was something we haven't done so much. We've got some great speakers on the geosciences, so I think that will be interesting. We're also planning a Christmas special. 

Josh Eisenthal: Wow. Christmas already. 

Samara Greenwood: Look at us planning ahead. 

There's an Australasian HPS conference coming up at the end of November and both Indi and I will be attending. And so we're going to do some spontaneous interviewing and then we'll put together hopefully a fun mix of things from that conference before Christmas. 

So, there's some little teasers for the second season. And we are even thinking to season three as well, because we've got so many possibilities. 

Josh Eisenthal: It sounds fantastic. I'm really excited to hear what new things come up in season two and season three. And I suppose beyond that as well. Thank you so much for creating this podcast. 

Samara Greenwood: Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Josh. That's been lots of fun. 

Josh Eisenthal: It has been. 

Samara Greenwood: That was the final, final episode of Season 1 of the HPS Podcast, where we discuss all things history, philosophy and social studies of science.

 Please join us next week for the very exciting launch of Season 2 with the fabulous, the amazing, Rachel Ankeny discussing all things ‘Scientific Repetoires.’

 To learn more about the podcast you can check out our website at, there you can also find links to our blog, bluesky, twitter, facebook and insta accounts, as well as shownotes and transcript for today’s episode.

 I’m Samara Greenwood and my co-producer is Indigo Keel, together we would like to thank the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne for their ongoing support of the podcast.

We look forward to having you back again next time.

Podcasts we love