ESF-ZiF-Bielefeld Conference SCIENCE AND VALUES: THE POLITICISATION OF SCIENCE
Chairs Professor Martin Carrier, University of Bielefeld Department of philosophy Bielefeld, Germany Professor Peter Weingart, Universität Bielefed Fakultät für Soziologie Bielefeld, Germany
Dates 25-30 May 2009
Location Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), Bielefeld, Germany
The conference will be held at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) at Bielefeld University. The Center is an Institute for Advanced Study and is open to scientists from all disciplines and all countries to organize interdisciplinary projects, conferences or workshops.
Bielefeld is a town in northern Germany, located in the nice, hilly surroundings of the Teutoburg forest. As an economic and cultural centre of Eastern Westphalia and with its population of 330,000, Bielefeld is one of the twenty major cities in Germany. Bielefeld’s excellent infrastructure and its central location puts it within easy reach of all parts of Europe.
Preliminary Programme The ESF-Conference Series on “Science and Values” will be hosted by Bielefeld University and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), and is being organized by the Institute for Science and Technology Studies (IWT) of Bielefeld University in cooperation with the European Science Foundation. The series will encompass three conferences in a biennial schedule beginning in 2009, and again in 2011 and 2013. The topics of these conferences will be politicization, commercialization, and medialization of science, respectively.
A general worry in this field is that the inclusion of sociopolitical values in the confirmation practice of science tends to undercut the objectivity of science. For instance, in the field of expertise, science-based advice for political decision-mak–ing is in constant danger of becoming identified with one of the warring political factions. By tying its judgments too intimately to certain sociopolitical values, science runs the risk of losing its credibility. On the one hand, including such values in the assessment procedure is mandatory for a responsible science. On the other hand, a social bias of science tends to undercut the overarching authority of science which derives from its factual basis. A science tied too intimately with social values might lose the capacity of “speaking truth to power.” As a result, the increasing politicization of science might undermine its credibility. To the extent that science enters the social arena and becomes part of political power play, the scientific claims to objectivity and trustworthiness tend to be sapped.
Each conference will bring together the knowledge and reflective competence of three disciplines, including the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. Such analyses of experts from science studies will be enriched with the experience and understanding of the practitioners, i.e., scientists working under value-related pressure (as it arises from practical challenges and social demands). In addition, representatives of relevant social groups (such as stakeholders) and the media will be included where appropriate.
Application Form To apply, fill in an Application Form. Closing date for applications (as well as for abstract submission): 22 February 2009
Conference Fees EUR 750 conference, meals and twin OR double room EUR 550 non-resident: conference, meals (no room)
Financial Support Some grants are available for young researchers to cover the conference fee and possibly part of the travel costs. Grant requests should be made by ticking appropriate field(s) in the paragraph “Grant application” of the application form.
ESF Contact Ms.AnneBlondeel-OmanE-MailConference Officer Phone: +32 (0)2 533 2024 Fax: +32 (0)2 538 8486 Please quote 09-286 in any correspondence.