Objectivity in Science
June 17-20, 2010
University of British Columbia
Over the past two decades questions have arisen regarding the objectivity of
specific projects in or fields of science: for example, can we trust medical
research when it is funded by pharmaceutical companies? Or, whose research
in climate science meets the standards of scientific objectivity? Such
questions have become important in framing public debate about science and
science policy. At the same time, the objectivity of science has become an
increasingly important topic among historians and philosophers of science as
well as researchers in other fields in science and technology studies (STS)
such as sociology of science, rhetoric of science, and cultural studies of
science. This conference seeks to advance scholarly perspectives on the
objectivity of science by bringing them into conversation with one another.
The conference also asks whether and how such scholarly perspectives on
objectivity might or should inform public debate. The conference will
investigate, moreover, how the specific concerns of scientists, science
policy experts, science journalists, and other groups might be made more
salient in the research of the STS community.
The goal of this conference, thus, is to provide a forum for STS researchers
of diverse disciplinary backgrounds, practicing scientists, and other
researchers to discuss and debate issues concerning the nature of
objectivity in science. A particular concern will be to discuss how, when,
and why questions of objectivity arise within science, in science policy
debates, and in public engagement with science. In addition to conference
sessions held during the day, this conference will feature two evening panel
discussions, open to the public and focused on particular areas of research
wherein the issue of scientific objectivity is particularly salient. The
public panel discussions will focus on questions of objectivity in
collaborative aboriginal research and in research on harm reduction.
Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Ian Hacking (University of
Toronto and the Collège de France) and Professor Naomi Oreskes (University
of California at San Diego).
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
We welcome individual paper and panel submissions related to the theme of
Proposals for papers should include author information (including email
address), paper title, and an abstract of no more than 500 words. Speakers
will have 30 minutes to present and discuss their work.
Proposals for panel sessions should include the name of the panel organizer
(including email), a brief description of the panel, author information,
paper titles, and abstracts for each paper. Panel sessions will be ninety
minutes in duration, including discussion time.
Program Committee: Alan Richardson (UBC), Robert Brain (UBC), Candis
Callison (UBC), Lesley Cormack (Simon Fraser University), Flavia Padovani
(UBC), and Jonathan Tsou (Iowa State University).
The deadline for paper and panel submissions is December 1, 2009. Please
email submissions to Dani Hallet at: [email protected]
The Objectivity in Science Conference is sponsored by the Situating Science
Cluster Grant: www.situsci.ca