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Bulletin No. 16

This bulletin was published in Synthese Volume 91 No. 1-2 (1992) 153-165, DOI 10.1007/BF00484974.



Executive Committee:


Alternate Assessors:

Former Presidents:

The Executive Committee of the Division is composed of the President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer and the immediate Past-President. The Council consists of the Executive Committee plus the Assessors.

(Uppsala, Sweden, 7-14 August 1991)

Local Organising Committee

Programme Committee

Chairmen of Sectional Panels:

I. Logic

II. General Philosophy of Science

III. Philosophical and Foundational Problems about the Sciences

III. MINUTES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Uppsala, Sweden, 11 August 1991)

(1) Delegates

The credentials committee (R. Hilpinen and H. Pfeiffer) reported that, in accordance with their mandate from the Executive Committee, they had verified the credentials of 20 delegations from ordinary members and two delegations from international member organisations. They were as follows. (The category of each ordinary member and the voting entitlement of each international member is indicated in parentheses.)

Ordinary Members:

Ordinary members not present:

Austria (A), Belgium (A), Brazil (A), Canada (C), Greece (A), Hungary (A), India (A), Israel (A), Korea (A), Monaco (A), Peru (A), Spain (B), Switzerland (A), Venezuela (A), and Yugoslavia (A).

International Members:

(2) Minutes of the Previous General Assembly

The President stated that the draft minutes of the last General Assembly were published in Synthese 76 (1988), pp. 455-61, and in Studia Logica 47(4) (December 1988). The minutes were then agreed and adopted.

(3) New Members

On the recommendation of the Executive Committee, the General Assembly accepted the International Academy of Philosophy of Science as an International Member, with one vote in the General Assembly.

(4) Reclassification and Termination of Members

On the recommendation of the Executive Committee and the application of the member in question, it was agreed to reclassify Italy (A) in category D, The Netherlands (C) in category B, and Sweden (B) in category C.

It was agreed to terminate the membership of Greece on the ground of the failure to pay the dues for three consecutive years.

It was agreed to terminate the membership of Brazil as of the beginning of 1992, unless Brazil pays the dues for 1991 before the end of this year.

(5) President's Report

I am happy to be able to report that the Division has had another successful four-year period of activity. The details will be given to you by the Secretary and Treasurer in their own reports. I myself would just like to take this opportunity of stressing how much the Division owes to the energy, efficiency and dedication that those Officers have displayed. It has been a pleasure to work with them. I do not foresee any immediate need for substantial changes in the way in which the Division operates, though we should do well to continue looking for ways in which to expand our membership and the range of our scholarly and scientific activities, while keeping our administrative costs to the minimum.

(6) Secretary's Report

Scholarly Activities of the Division

The main activities of the Division have been the organisation and sponsorship of scholarly meetings and the publication of their proceedings. The Proceedings of the previous Congress, Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science VIII, were published in 1989 by Elsevier Science Publishers as Vol. 123 of the Studies in Logic series.

Between 1988-91 the Division has sponsored seventeen International conferences, symposia, and summer schools; a list of the meetings is given in Appendix A. The 7th Joint Conference of History and Philosophy of Science was held at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, 18-22 April 1988, on the general theme 'Scientific Revolutions'. The proceedings have been published in a volume edited by William Shea and Beat Sitter, Revolutions in Science, Watson Publishing International, Canton, Mass., 1988. The 8th Joint Conference was held from 12-14 December 1990, in Florence, Italy, on the general theme 'History and Philosophy of Modern Sciences'. The Division has continued to support the European summer meeting of the Association of Symbolic Logic, and it has sponsored several meetings organised by the International Association for Philosophy of Science and its member societies.

Cooperation with Other Organisations

The Secretaries of the two Divisions have maintained close contact during the four-year period. The present Secretary General of the Union is the Secretary of the Division of History of Science, Professor Tore Fr~ingsmyr of the University of Uppsala, Sweden. The Secretary of the Division represented the Union at the 22nd General Assembly of ICSU in Beijing, China, 11-16 September 1988, at the 23rd General Assembly of ICSU in Sofia, Bulgaria, 1-5 October 1990, and at the meetings of the General Committee of ICSU in 1988 (Beijing), 1989 (Lisbon, Portugal) and 1990 (Sofia). L. J. Cohen and R. Hilpinen were members of the ICSU Standing Committee of Structure and Statutes during 1989-90.

In 1989 the Executive Committee created a special Union Committee for ICSU's International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP); this Committee was expanded to a Committee of Science and Ethics in 1991. The Chairperson of the Committee, Professor Kristin Shrader-Frechette (U.S.A.) has prepared for the Executive Board of ICSU a memorandum concerning the conceptual and ethical issues related to the climate changes and the conservation of biological diversity.

Meetings of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee has met once a year: in 1987 during the Moscow Congress of LMPS, in August 1988 in Oxford, in August 1989 in Munich, in August 1990 in Utrecht, and again during the present Congress. Much of the business of the Committee has been conducted by correspondence.


The Secretary has continued the publication of annual bulletins about the activities of the Division in Synthese and Studia Logica, by courtesy of the Editors of the two journals. These bulletins have also been distributed to the members of the Division.

(7) Treasurer's Report

At the last General Assembly in Moscow 1987 our financial expectations were not good. It was not clear whether the Moscow Congress would require more than the US$25,000 reserved for it. ICSU had announced its intention to reduce its contribution from $5,000 to $3,000 per year. Increasing world-wide inflation threatened to reduce our assets. Therefore I presented a very cautious forecast for the years 1987-91. The actual development was not as negative as expected.

The expenses for the Moscow Congress did not exceed the $25,000. The contributions from ICSU touched the limit of $3,000 only in 1989; in the other years ICSU contributed more via special grants so that the average was $4,600. Increasing inflation caused higher interest rates. On the other hand, surprisingly, the applications for supporting scientific activities did not reach the expected level. Perhaps one reason for this is that our support can only cover a small part of the budget of a conference or symposium, and it has become more difficult to get the difference from other sources. The dues from the Ordinary Members turned out to be on the average less than expected, even though the unit of subscription had been increased at the last General Assembly.

If you imagine that we have already paid for this Congress, and more than $8;000 is still outstanding for this year, we arrive at the figure $40,000 at the end of this year, compared with $43,000 at the end of 1987. This means that I have been able to maintain the assets of the Division almost on the earlier level. Of course, because of the decrease of the buying power of the dollar, the assets have reduced in comparison to 1987. Nevertheless I refrain from proposing a new increase of the unit of membership dues, but I assume that my successor will be forced to ask you to increase the unit again.

There is another item to be mentioned, which may be relevant to you and your Committees. Last year ICSU introduced a new system of grant applications and combined it with a new method of distributing its support to the Scientific Unions.
Earlier, one half of the annual ICSU grant was allocated to the unions according to a certain fixed ratio of distribution. The second half was distributed as special grants for which special applications had to be made; these were grants for specific events, conferences, symposia and so on. These applications generally exceeded the amount available, and an ICSU committee had to decide how the money was distributed. Of course this took time and therefore the applications had to be submitted a long time in advance.

The new procedure of ICSU consists of distributing the whole support as special grants, that is, applications have to be made in all cases. The tentative level of annual support for each ICSU body is determined by the Standing Finance Committee of ICSU and communicated to the Unions about two years in advance. The application for a given year must be made by February of the previous year. This means that a half of our scientific activities should be planned two years in advance. For example, in October 1990 ICSU informed IUHPS that in 1992 $12,000 can be expected, that is, $6,000 for each Division. In the future, the corresponding date is already 1 February. The applications concerning the use of this amount (in 1992) had to be made by 15 February 1991. To put it in practical terms, if you plan activities which you wish to be subsidised by the Division, apply at the earliest possible date to the Secretary, so that the application can be included in the ICSU contribution.

Finally, I want to mention the criteria which ICSU favours in distributing grants: international nature of the meeting; interdisciplinary character (involving more than one of the ICSU bodies); promotion of basic sciences; participation of young and women scientists; and cooperation with scientists in developing countries.

(8) Unit of Subscription

It was agreed to keep the unit of annual subscription on the present level of US$125.00. However, the Treasurer informed the Assembly that an increase will probably be necessary in 1995.

(9) Budgetary Determinations

The General Assembly authorised the Executive Committee to make budgetary determinations in the interval until the next General Assembly.

(10) The New Executive Committee and Council of the Division

On the recommendation of the Nominating Committee (L. J. Cohen (Chair), M. Makkai, G. Nerlich, and D. S. Scott), the following were elected (nem. con.) to office for the period 1991-95.


(11) The Commission on the Ethics of Science

On the recommendation of the Executive Committee, it was agreed to create a Commission on the Ethics of Science, and appoint the following persons to the Commission:

The main purpose of the Commission is to advise ICSU and its members about questions related to science and ethics, and organise research and conferences in the field. The Commission will also serve as the IGBP-commission of the Division.

(12) Location of the 10th International Congress (1995)

The President informed the General Assembly that the possibility of issuing an invitation for the next congress was currently under consideration in two member committees, but that it would be premature to name either of these. The General Assembly therefore authorised the Executive Committee to explore these possibilities further, and to decide in due course, when one or more formal invitations become available, about the most suitable date and location.


[Financial appendix to be added]