Science and ‘the Public’
Philosophers and historians of science, in our role as public educators, have the distinctive dual task of presenting scientific material to students in the humanities and introducing meta-scientific theory to students in the sciences. This carries with it a responsibility to not only be informed about the institutional structure and methods of scientific practice, but also to foster interaction between scientists and the greater public. Yet, we often lack sufficient formal training in a science and regular experience of what it is like to be a practicing scientist. With this in mind, the graduate students of the University of Notre Dame’s History and Philosophy of Science Ph.D. program, administered by the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, will convene a two day conference for the purposes of exploring questions concerning the relationship between science and ‘the public’, broadly construed.
How can historians and philosophers of science help to identify and remove obstacles in the way of valuing, understanding, and engaging with scientific practice? How can we encourage scientists, also members of the public, to invest in science policy, communication, and outreach? And how can we enrich our own work by further grounding it in actual scientific practice?
The conference will be structured around three components: (i) invited speakers; (ii) a limited number of graduate student presentation sessions; (iii) a participatory professional development workshop on tools for better engaging with scientific practice in one’s research and teaching, with a special emphasis on incorporating fieldwork and promoting inclusivity through DIY science, respectively.
We invite graduate student submissions from humanists whose work relates to the sciences (e.g., history and/or philosophy of science, science and technology studies) as well as natural or social scientists interested in science education. Interdisciplinary, theory, and practice oriented approaches are welcome. Some appropriate topics of interest might include: institutional and epistemic trust in science, communal doubt, expert vs. lay testimony, the role of social/political/feminist values in science, models for citizen, democratic, or open science, the ethical responsibility of scientists, the ethics of emerging technology, and the politics of science (e.g., funding, privatization, secret or forbidden knowledge, etc.).
Abstracts (500 words) suitable for a 20 minute presentation should be submitted through the following link: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ndhpstv2019. The deadline for submission is September 1, 2019. Confirmation of receipt of your submission will be provided; acceptance decisions will be sent out in mid-September.