Montag, 14. Juli 2014

Honest Engagements: The Integrity of Policy-Relevant Science

Veranstaltung in der Reihe „Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft: bleibt alles anders?“
From the early years of the twentieth century, the growing ties between science and government have aroused two recurrent sets of concerns. The first is that, in the guise of producing facts, science will imperceptibly take over the tasks of policymaking, leading to democratically unacceptable decisions. The second is that, in the effort to be answerable to policy demands, science will become politicized and lose its claims to neutrality and objectivity. The first concern is reflected, for example, in the IPCC‘s stated goal of being policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive. The second is evident in worries about science selling itself for money, whether in university research or in regulatory contexts or for purposes of advocacy in courtroom settings. In this talk, Sheila Jasanoff reviews the range of mechanisms developed over several decades to manage the tensions between relevance and integrity in science for policy. She argues that, on the whole, accountability is of greater importance than neutrality when science seeks to engage with politics.

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and director of the Program on Science, Technology and Society. A pioneer in her field, she is author or editor of a dozen books, including Controlling Chemicals, The Fifth Branch, Science at the Bar, and Designs on Nature. Her work explores the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and policy of modern democracies, with particular attention to the nature of public reason. She was founding chair of the STS Department at Cornell University and has held numerous distinguished visiting appointments in the US, Europe, and Japan. Jasanoff served on the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as President of the Society for Social Studies of Science. In July 2014 she is a guest Professor of the Science Policy Studies Research Group at WZB.

The presentation is part of the lecture series „Science and Society: will all remain different?“, organized by the International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER) of the University of Kassel and the WZB Research Group Science Policy Studies. The event series aims at discussing currently hot issues of the science system, which are of interest for both, science studies and science policy.

Mehr Informationen zur Veranstaltungsreihe