I started this weblog in order to share my ideas relating to the history, philosophy, and sociology of the neurosciences, as well as to reflect upon my training and work as a Ph.D. student/candidate in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of History and Sociology of Science (HSS). I entered the program in 2013, and I am one of its greatest fans. Alongside my HSS studies, I am taking part in Penn’s neuroscientific life as a graduate from the certificate program in Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN), which allows me to better comprehend current neuroscientific developments, and to trace their roots back to earlier brain science endeavors.
Subsequent to my studies in mathematics and philosophy as an undergraduate student in Germany (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie and Freie Universität Berlin), I decided to dig more deeply into the conceptual and historical foundations of the sciences. Thus, I acquired an M.A. at Technische Universität Berlin in a program for the History and Culture of Science and Technology (Geschichte und Kultur der Wissenschaft und Technik). I continued my training in philosophy and gender studies while in Berlin.
While at Penn, I also kept myself busy with co-organizing the conference “Sorting Brains Out: Tasks, Tests, and Trials in the Neuro- and Mind Sciences, 1890–2015” together with Ekaterina Babintseva and Matthew Hoffarth, supervised by John Tresch. The fabulous event took place at Penn in September 2015. For more information on the conference, you can consult the call for graduate student abstracts or our poster (yes, it is green!!).
The title of this weblog, by the way, was born out of a lunch discussion in the employee cafeteria on the 10th floor of TU Berlin’s math department with Martin Hähnel and Konstantin Kiprijanov. The “semipermeable” was meant to account for the flow of information in one direction, and the response of readers in the other—so please take advantage of this opportunity.