Guest Lecture

The Women’s Caucus organises a special guest lecture at the EPSA's biennial conference.

    EPSA21: Catarina Dutilh Novaes

    Title: Public Engagement and Argumentation in Science (with Silvia Ivani) 

    Abstract: Public engagement is one of the fundamental pillars of the European programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020. The programme encourages engagement that not only fosters science education and dissemination, but also promotes two-way dialogues between scientists and the public in various stages of research. Creating a dialogue between different groups of societal actors is seen as crucial to attain both epistemic and social desiderata in science. However, whether this dialogue can actually help with the attainment of these desiderata is far from being a trivial matter. This paper discusses the costs, risks, and benefits of dialogical public engagement practices and proposes a strategy to analyse these argumentative practices, based on a three-tiered model of epistemic exchange. As a case study, we discuss the phenomenon of vaccine hesitancy, a clear case of failure of public engagement, and show how the proposed model can shed new light on the problem.

    EPSA19: Heather Douglas

    "Contours of Science and Justice"

    What is the relationship between science and distributive justice?  Science is a resource, a source of power for supporting decisions, for categorizing, and for revealing levers of action.  As such, it is a matter of justice how this resource is distributed.  The history of science over the past century reveals many ways in which the pursuit of science can be structurally unjust as well as ways it can be part of the pursuit of a more just society.  I will describe aspects of science and justice in the access to science, the use of human subjects, the relationship with communities, and the shaping of the research agenda.  This overview of some of the key aspects of science and justice will be used to show that the values that drive research agendas are not just an ethical matter, but also a political matter.   Scientists, and philosophers of science, need to attend not just to ethical values in science but also to power, and how science can ameliorate past injustices and current inequalities.

    EPSA17: Helen Beebee

    "Women in Philosophy of Science: Where Are We, Where Do We Want to Be, and How Do We Get There?"

    As everyone knows, women are hugely under-represented in professional philosophy in general, and in the philosophy of science in particular. (Is the situation worse in the philosophy of science? That’s a question I’ll address in the course of my talk.) How did this happen, and what can we do about it? In this talk, I present some data and some pertinent results from social psychology, and make some concrete suggestions for things all of us can do—often pretty small things—that might, if we’re lucky, make a difference.

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