In 1960, the University of Pittsburgh’s academic vice chancellor, Charles H. Peake, appointed Adolf Grünbaum as Andrew Mellon Professor of Philosophy with the mandate to establish a first-class Center for Philosophy of Science.
Taking Herbert Feigl’s Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science as his model, Grünbaum, as founding director of the new Center, set about to develop a major philosophical research institute.
Grünbaum quickly put in place an Annual Lecture Series–a forum for original work in the philosophy and history of science–together with a series of volumes growing out of these lectures. The inaugural edition of the Annual Lecture Series, which was supported by a grant from the United States Steel Educational Foundation, had an illustrious cast: Ernst Caspari, Paul K. Feyerabend (two lectures), Adolf Grünbaum, Carl G. Hempel, Ernest Nagel, Michael Scriven (two lectures), and Wilfrid Sellars. In 1961, Nicholas Rescher, who had just been recruited as Professor of Philosophy, was appointed the center’s first Associate Director and joined Herbert Feigl, Paul Feyerabend, Norwood Russell Hanson, Philip Morrison, Hilary Putnam, and George Wald in making the presentations in the 1961-62 edition of the Annual Lecture Series.
Papers delivered in the inaugural version of the Annual Lecture Series were published in 1962 by the University of Pittsburgh Press as Frontiers of Science and Philosophy, the first volume of the University of Pittsburgh Series in the Philosophy of Science, under the editorship of Robert G. Colodny, with a publication subvention from the National Science Foundation. Between 1962 and 1978, five more volumes were published in this series, with a sixth added in 1986.