January 17, 2021

Call for Special Topics paper submissions

 Nature, Data, and Power: How hegemonies shape biological knowledge

The American Naturalist calls for proposals of manuscripts that address how systems of power and oppression have shaped theory and practice in organismal biology (including but not limited to behavior, ecology, evolution, and genetics)Social relations of power, such as white supremacy, colonialism, misogyny, cissexism, ableism, and heteronormativity, have long shaped scientific understandings of the world. Investments in the maintenance of social hierarchies have manifested at the structural, institutional, and personal level--whether overtly or implicitly, intentionally or not--at all stages of the scientific process. They influence the kinds of questions scientists ask, the formation of scientific expertise and networks of knowledge production, and research outcomes themselves. In this Special Section, we will assemble papers that investigate the cultural, social, and political foundations of the theories and practices of contemporary organismal biology.

Papers should be written for an audience of biology researchers, and should both identify problems within current theories and practices, and make suggestions on how we can transform our thinking and produce more just science. Such contributions are aligned with Am Nat’s mission to “pose new and significant problems, introduce novel subjects, develop conceptual unification, and change the way people think.” We seek submissions from authors of varied disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds in the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. We particularly encourage cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Proposal and manuscript review will be managed by a cross-disciplinary editorial team. Following proposal review, we will invite authors to submit full manuscripts. An invitation to submit a full manuscript does not guarantee publishing in the American Naturalist. Publication charges will be waived for full manuscripts included in this special section. 

Submission process/timeline: 

Please submit a 500 word (maximum) proposal describing your paper idea and why you think it would be a good fit for this Special Section to amnat@press.uchicago.edu with subject line “Nature, Data, and Power Special Section” by February 15 2021. Invitations for full papers will be issued by March 15 2021. The deadline for full manuscripts will be June 15 2021. Anticipated publication of the section is before July 2022.

Papers will be handled by a special Editorial team, in consultation with the Editor-In-Chief (Daniel Bolnick):

Nancy Chen, Department of Biology, University of Rochester

Vince Formica, Department of Biology, Swarthmore College

Ambika Kamath, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley

María Rebolleda-Gómez, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Irvine

Banu Subramaniam, Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Beans Velocci, Department of History, Yale University

Ashton Wesner, Department of History, University of California Berkeley

If you have any questions, please contact amnat@press.uchicago.edu

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