Is science political? Scholars who study the practice of science and the social impacts of science and technology have long recognized that science does have political dimensions. Research in biology impacts how we define and value people. Basic research in physics and chemistry has led both to helpful new products and serious threats to human health and wellbeing. The findings of climate science may contribute to the reshaping of economies and day to day life for billions globally. On the technical side, Melvin Kranzberg’s enigmatic statement highlights a key problem for our times: “Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.” But what effects do technologies have? And what is our responsibility as scholars and researchers to analyze them, and to extend our voices outside the office, lab, or classroom, directly into political debates? How do we square science’s political dimensions with the necessity that it not be partisan?
In this Science and Society Carnival we make these big questions approachable through a variety of games, interactive activities, an art installation, and conversational breakout sessions and micro-talks. Among topics covered will be gender in science; food production, climate, and environmental justice; privacy and security issues in information technology; interpreting news and “data”; and the funding structure of research. Visitors will leave with new tools and resources for thinking about science and society and evaluating debates about science occurring around us today.
Right now it looks like we will have a booth in the Stata lobby and/or a classroom. This information is approximate and will be updated as it changes.
April 18, 11 am to 3 pm (approx.)