cience and the Public, 2008 Conference, 21-22 June University of Manchester, UK

Today the sciences are linked to society through many different channels of communication. The public interfaces with science during controversies that involve scientists as well as journalists, politicians and the citizenry as a whole. This interdisciplinary conference brings together diverse strands of academia in order to consider science, technology and medicine as they intersect with non-professional cultures in both contemporary and historical settings.

We are fortunate to have obtained Manchester’s Victoria Baths, well known as the winner of BBC2’s Restoration series, as our conference venue. These historic public baths provide an appropriate venue in which to discuss the intersection of science and the public. Although the Baths are currently being extensively renovated, we have been allowed to schedule a tour as part of the programme.

The deadline for registration is Saturday 14 June.

For registration details and further information, see the conference website, or email [email protected]

Conference programme ——————–

SATURDAY 21 JUNE 09.30-09.45

Introduction and Welcome 09.45-11.15 Session One

1A: Communicating Technology

“Communicating computers” James Sumner, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

“Martians, madness, and the masses: The idea of mass panic as a response to scientific and technological advance, 1938-2004” Daniel Patrick Thurs, University of Portland

“Science blogging, singularities and the multitude of technoscience” Thomas Söderqvist, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen

1B: Biomedical Meanings

“Delphi Forum: actors, policies and discourses of abortion in Spain” María José Miranda Suarez, María González Aguado and Carmen Gallego Martos, Department of Science, Technology and Society, Institute of Philosophy, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

“The interdependency of public attention and scientific progress in the case of stem cell research” Martina Franzen, Institute for Science and Technology Studies (IWT), University of Bielefeld

“Of Aging Research: an exploration between history and public understanding of science” Miguel Gomes and Maria Strecht Almeida, Instituto de Ciências Biomedicas Abel Salazar, Universidade do Porto

11.15-11.30 Break

11.30-13.00 Session Two

2A: Representations of Science

“The Bash Street Kids do dinosaurs: cartoons and the communication of science” Alice Bell, Science Communication Group, Imperial College

“Heroes of science: public image, inspiration and impacts” Bobby Cerini, Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, Australian National University

“Explaining expectations: imagined nanotechnological futures as esoteric and exoteric discourses” Mark Erickson, University of Brighton

2B: Patients and Lay Expertise, Panel 1

“‘Do not refuse to look at these pictures’: the role of visual culture in nineteenth-century animal welfare activism” J Keri Cronin, Department of Visual Studies, Brock University

“Vaccinators, ‘bad niggers’, and servants of the people: routine and revolutionary medicine in The Black Panther” Dayle B DeLancey, Institute for the Medical Humanities, University of Texas-MB

“Inclusion and radicalism in tension: the changing relationship with biomedicine in Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era” Margaret P Wardlaw, Institute for the Medical Humanities, University of Texas-MB

Moderator: Neil Pemberton, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.00 Guided tour of the Victoria Baths

15.00-17.00 Session Three

3A: Science Museums

“The intertextual science museum” Tim Boon, Science Museum

“From the laboratory to the public space: Swiss ethnographic museums, 1920-1945” Serge Reubi, Institut d’histoire, Université de Neuchâtel

“Exhibiting great historical figures in science: the case of Charles Darwin as a geologist” Francis Neary, Sedgwick Museum, University of Cambridge

“Mind the gap! Interpreting contemporary and historic technology at the Science Museum” Ben Russell, Curator of Mechanical Engineering, Science Museum

3B: Patients and Lay Expertise, Panel 2

“Representing patient experience: breast cancer and the NHS in Through the Night (1975)” Elizabeth Toon, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

“Public Access Defibrillator: medical technology in the hands of laymen” Constantin Canavas, Faculty Life Sciences, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

“Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients as experts: Using nominal groups to develop a patient-generated core set of treatment outcomes” Tessa C Sanderson, University of the West of England; Pam Richards, University of Bristol; Sarah Hewlett, University of the West of England

“The death of the man on the Clapham Omnibus, and the stillbirth of British bioethics: moral pluralism and the Warnock Committee on embryo experimentation” Duncan Wilson, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester Moderator: Neil Pemberton, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

17.00-17.30 Break

17.30-18.30 Plenary Address

Professor John Pickstone, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine; University of Manchester (title tba)

19.30 Dance performance by Contact Theatre (optional)


09.00-09.30 Session Four

4A: Constructing Expertise

“The politics of accuracy: judging partisanship in global warming films” Felicity Mellor, Science Communication Group, Imperial College

“‘What to do if it happens’: expert advice and ‘The Public’ in British civil defence planning, 1945-68” Melissa Smith, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

“Print, publicity, and extrapolation in Newton’s Principia” Laura Miller, University of California-Santa Barbara

“Entertainment experts: the construction of scientific expertise in Hollywood” David Kirby, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

4B: Learning From Practice

“From communication to participation: Lessons learnt from public engagement in hydrogen energy” Miriam Ricci, Rob Flynn and Paul Bellaby, Institute for Social, Cultural and Policy Research, University of Salford

“Engaging with the public at the Manchester Science Festival” K. Mathieson, L. Holmes, M. Leech, P. Finegold, D. Donnai and H.R. Middleton-Price, Nowgen and The University of Manchester

“Reluctant mentalities: Why is the British public wary of biomedical psychiatric research?” Felicity Callard, Health Service and Population Research, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

“Public dialogue and science policy” Eva Kristjansdottir, Sciencewise-ERC

11.00-11.30 Break

11.30-13.00 Session Five

5A: Science and Nature on Television

“Popular science programs on Israeli TV, 1968-1993” Merav Katz-Kimchi, Office for History of Science and Technology, University of California-Berkeley

“The battle over BBC science: serving public interest or ‘the National Interest’?” Allan Jones, Department of Communication and Systems, Open University

“Experts in the wild: the merits of intimacy” Jean-Baptiste Gouyon, Department of Sociology, University of York

5B: Public Communication of Evolution and Genetics

“The role of advocacy in the popular evolutionary biology writing” Fern Elsdon-Baker, Division of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds

“The social shaping of STS research in biotechnology: comparing the USA, UK, and Africa” Natewinde Sawadogo, Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham

“‘Racial’ Science and Society after the Second World War” Gavin Schaffer, University of Portsmouth

13.00-14.00 Lunch and close