Science and the Citizen
19 May - 21 May, 2008
- Neil Calder is head of communication at ITER, a global collaboration to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion as an energy source. Prior to this, he was director of communications at the Stanford Linear ...
- Director of Research Laboratories, Istituto Superiore Mario Boella, Turin, Italy
- Educated at the Universities of Vienna and York, Sebastian Cody has been a media executive and freelance consultant for more than twenty years. Through his company Open Media, he has been responsible ...
- Jeffrey Kahn is professor and director in the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He also holds the Maas Family Endowed Chair in Bioethics. His additional faculty appointments ...
- Anna Mastroianni is a visiting scholar at the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Children’s Hospital, and Regional Medical Center, in Seattle, Washington. She is an associate professor at ...
- Clare Matterson is director of medicine, society and history at the Wellcome Trust. She is a member of the Executive Board and has responsibility for medical humanities, all Wellcome Trust public engagement ...
- Vithal Nadkarni works as a senior associate with the Private Treaties division of The Bennett, Coleman & Co, which publishes The Times of India, the English language newspaper with the world’s largest ...
- Michael Thompson is a fellow at the James Marin Institute for Science and Civilization at the University of Oxford and a senior researcher at the Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Research at the University ...
Joint Conference of the 21st Century Trust and the Salzburg Global Seminar
There is a fundamental, often unrecognized but ultimately irresolvable, issue for science in a democracy. In theory, scientific authority is based on ability and on knowledge obtained with methods validated by peers. It is therefore hierarchical or at least meritocratic, with those who have not pursued the discipline having no standing in debate. In contrast, the authority of citizenship is universal and equal. Everyone's point of view has equal weight. This conference will examine the points of tension which may arise in the relationships between scientists and citizens, and how they may best be resolved. The main questions under discussion include:
How does a state regulate scientific activity when faced with experts (some of whom may be acting out of self-interest) and a public which may not easily understand the real risks and benefits? What are the dangers of science becoming politicized? What weight should the state give to the views of citizens whose opinions are shaped by moral or religious views inimical to the utilitarian ones so often used in addressing risk and benefit issues?
What role should the media play with respect to science - that of public educator or watchdog in the public interest - and what is the correct balance between these? Moreover, how do media excesses in this area - such as over-trumpeting the importance of discoveries or engaging in scare stories - complicate debate? Given the need to boost circulation or viewing figures or other structural constraints of modern media, how can science communication best be enhanced?
Finally, how successfully has the more paternalistic model of 'public understanding of science' been transformed into 'public engagement with science'? Is there any fundamental schism between scientists and the public over what is important in forming one's views about the surrounding world?
Payment information: The fee for the conference is $ 550. The fee includes accommodation and meals, tuition and fees and social events, but does not include travel expenses.
Bank Transfer: IBAN: AT 401953000100180942; Bankhaus Carl Spängler & Co., Salzburg, BIC (Bank Code) SPAEAT2S, Austria
Space is limited and reservations will be confirmed in the order in which they are received. For further information about this conference, contact Helene Kamensky hkamensky@SalzburgGlobal.org