Abstracts

Professor Douglas will deliver one lecture per day. Each lecture will be followed by a discussion period and an invited commentary, again followed by an open discussion.

 

Lecture I: Science and Values: The Pervasive Entanglement

Abstract:
Although descriptive and normative claims can be conceptually distinguished, science and values are entangled in practice. This talk will provide an overview of how values influence science throughout scientific practice, as well as distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate influences. It will argue that the epistemic authority of science rests on the norms for values in science, the social functioning of the scientific community, and the legitimacy of the values employed in science. While not any argument can challenge a scientific claim, many avenues for challenging scientific claims remain open.

Commentators:
Matthew Brown, Kristina Rolin

 

Lecture II: Science and Democracy: Squaring Expertise with Accountability

Abstract:
Epistemic division of labor pervades modern democracies, and we both do and should rely upon expertise in making decisions. But how can reliance on expertise be squared with the need for democratic representation and accountability? Building on the account of values in science from the first talk, this talk will articulate how we can in practice hold experts accountable in democratic contexts while protecting the integrity of science. How to assess expertise is central to this challenge, as are institutional forms for structuring expert advice in governance.

Commentators:
Eric Schliesser, Torsten Wilholt

 

Lecture III: Science Communication: Beyond the Deficit Model

Abstract:
Considering the avenues for engaging in expertise made available through the roles for values in science, the need for democratic accountability, and the empirical failures of the deficit model, a richer, more theoretically informed model of science communication is needed. This talk will build towards such a model, with examinations of the nature of expertise, the basis of scientific authority, and the roles for citizens. How to structure the two-way communication demanded by theory and assess its success become paramount challenges. From these considerations, a new theory of what the public needs to know about science emerges.

Commentators:
Daniel Steel, Arthur Petersen

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