France 2013

Tallahassee is a great place to live. In the winter months especially, when our friends in the north have been locked indoors for months on end, growing pale under flickering fluorescent lights, daydreaming about the distant golden days of summer, life in the Panhandle can seem like a Hyperborean existence. But we must admit that the summers are long, and even though there is plenty to do to stay cool, sometimes the best remedy for the heat is to get away for a little while. So this past July, we HPSers wished our fellow graduate students luck as they toiled away grading papers in the inferno and boarded a plane to Paris, where in the summer time, the living is easy.

We spent a full week in Paris and then another week farther south in Montpellier. Our principal reason for going to Paris was to attend a small conference on the Philosophy of Biology at the Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne, where we presented our latest work. In Montpellier, we presented our work again at the biannual meeting of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology. The conferences alone proved to be wonderful experiences, but we did many other things besides. In Paris, we visited Montmartre and climbed the steps to the Sacre Coeur, spent a day at the Musee D'Orsay, ate lunch at Buttes Chaumont park in Stalingrad and drank wine on the banks of the Seine at night. We also took the train to Chartre for the day, before boarding the TGV straight to Montpellier. The South of France proved proved to be a beautiful place, and most of our time was spent wandering around on our own, taking in the cultural experience. We are already planning on another overseas HPS adventure for next summer!

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