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HPS@UniMelb News #3

Hello all,

It has been a busy semester, but we finally have found some time to share our HPS news!

1. PhD Scholarship Opportunities

We currently have THREE PhD Positions in HPS related research groups. All are open for expressions of interest, with fully-funded positions to start in 2025. See below for more detail and links to relevant UniMelb pages.

  • Project proposals are invited from prospective students with a background in the humanities and social sciences in areas that align with the following: histories of mental illness, psychiatry, psychology, and therapies (late 19th to 21st centuries), or the history and social implications of the use of technologies in mental health.

  • More information available here.

  • Project proposals are invited from a broad range of disciplines in one or more areas that align with the research focus of the Initiative, such as:

    • reviewing open science initiatives (e.g., replicability, reproducibility);

    • peer review (e.g., open peer review, alternative review protocols);

    • self-correction mechanisms in science;

    • research quality and integrity evaluation;

    • credibility and trust in science.

  • More information available here.

  • Project proposals are invited from prospective students that align with the research interests of our interdisciplinary group. Our team studies questions at the intersection of death, technology and society and we are currently investigating projects associated with cemetery spaces, online memorialisation, the materiality of human remains, personalised and cross-cultural commemoration practices, and ecological futures of death care.

  • More information available here.

2. The HPS Book Celebration

We recently held an HPS Book Celebration to celebrate the recent publication of three books by Dr Jacinthe Flore, Dr John Wilkins & Rev Dr Stephen Ames. It was a wonderful evening, with great speeches, food, drink and conversation. You can find more about the books below, and more about the event on the SHAPS research blog Forum here.

Jacinthe Flore, The Artefacts of Digital Mental Health (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023).

The book aims to examine digital mental health through three artefacts that are defined by their ubiquity, everydayness, popularity, innovation and hype: smartphone apps, wearables devices, and ingestible sensors, which are at the centre of research, development, and investment in mental health and digitalization.

John Wilkins, Understanding Species (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

Are species worth saving? Can they be resurrected by technology? What is the use of species in biomedicine? These questions all depend on a clear definition of the concept of 'species', yet biologists have long struggled to define this term. This book provides an introduction to the concept of 'species' in biology, philosophy, ethics, policymaking and conservation.

Stephen Ames, A Strange Goodness? God and Natural Evil (ATF Press, 2024).

Many people find the suffering and death produced by natural processes like tsunamis, genetic disorders, and extreme weather events, and the evolutionary process leading to all living things on the planet good enough reason to decide not to believe in such a God. The book is an invitation to revisit that decision.

Stephen Ames (Left) with Kristian Camilleri holding Stephen's book.

3. The HPS Podcast

The HPS Podcast has enjoyed a stellar third season, reaching new highs in terms of downloads (over 15,000 downloads and counting!) as well as listener engagement.

Guests and topics for the season have included

There are two more excellent episodes to be released over the coming weeks to finish Season 3. Then, the podcast will return for Season 4 later this year.

Remember, you can listen to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any of the usual podcast places. If you are the social media type, you can also follow the podcast on BlueSky, X (Twitter), Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

4. The HPS Seminar Series

We have also had a wonderful semester of presentations through our regular Wednesday lunchtime Seminar Series. We even managed to capture some of the action in the seminars by Gerhard Wiesenfeldt on 'Indigenous Astronomy as Complementary Science' and Cordelia Fine on 'Evolved Gender Roles'.

A list of abstracts of past 2024 seminars can be found here. Upcoming seminars can be found here and to hear in advance about future seminar presentations, please sign up to the HPS Seminar Mailing List here.

Thanks for reading and we hope you have a wonderful week,


If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter, feel free to email me at



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