Boston University Graduate Student Philosophy Conference 2024: Valuing Research and Researching Values: How to Bridge the Gaps Between Ethics & Science

March 29, 2024 - March 31, 2024
Department of Philosophy, Boston University

United States

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Boston University
Boston University
Boston University

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The philosophy graduate students at Boston University are soliciting papers and abstracts from graduate students in any area of philosophy for the Boston University Annual Graduate Student Conference on “Valuing Research and Researching Values: How to Bridge the Gaps Between Ethics and Science.” This year’s conference will feature a keynote address by Professor Kevin Elliott of Michigan State University. Professor Elliott has published extensively on the responsible management of ethical and social values in scientific research.

In recent years, ethicists and philosophers of science have thoroughly investigated the social context of scientific knowledge production, highlighting the extent to which non-epistemic values, such as ethical, cultural, and aesthetic values, are entangled in each stage of scientific practice, from measurement and data collection to the allocation of funds. This acknowledgment has caused many to question the value-free ideal of science and the notion of scientific objectivity, urging us to reconsider our normative understanding of what scientific knowledge is and how it should be achieved.

This new understanding of science has many implications for society: making the value-ladenness of science explicit allows us to enhance public trust in science, to negotiate values and goals among stakeholders and policymakers, and to critically engage with the discriminatory and colonial practices of western science towards indigenous knowledge. We wish to emphasize how values such as transparency, fairness, openness, and equity play a crucial role in determining the goals of various domains of inquiry. This conference provides a space to appraise such values and their role as guides to scientific inquiry.
We believe that focusing on the values that inform scientific practice across different domains and discussing the aims and goals of scientific research, from healthcare to conservation efforts, is key to developing a socially engaged philosophy of science. By laying bare the extent to which values play a crucial role in identifying research topics, choosing research questions, determining the aims of inquiry, responding to uncertainty, and deciding how to communicate information, philosophers can make meaningful contributions towards a more responsible and equitable science.

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#Research Ethics, #Applied Ethics, #Philosophy of science, #Values in science, #Science and public policy