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

Submission deadline: January 31, 2024

Conference date(s):
March 29, 2024 - March 31, 2024

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, Boston University
Boston, United States

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Submission Form:

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 welcome contributing papers that address the following questions and topics:

  • Investigating how society and the public perceive values in research
  • Understanding who sets research goals and values in specific areas of inquiry, such as medical research
  • Assessing who is affected by the values held in specific areas of inquiry
  • Elaborating how to ethically conduct research that is not value free
  • Proposing normative considerations regarding which values should guide scientific inquiry
  • Investigating the ethical use of data in research
  • Understanding the relationship between aggregations of “big data” and individual research subjects which the data are about
  • Considering how values in research might be informed by insights from feminist philosophies, indigenous philosophies, and/or social epistemologies

Information for Submission:

  • Submissions should be in the form of a short abstract (200-250 words) and a full-length paper (4,000-5,000 words). Please include a word count at the top of your submission.
  • Papers and abstracts should be prepared for anonymous review. Please omit any self-identifying marks within the body of the documents.
  • Please submit your abstract and paper by January 31st using the following Google Form:
  • Authors must be current graduate students in any related disciplines.
  • Selected presenters will be given 30 minutes to present and will be assigned a commentator.
  • Members of all underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • We are committed to disability justice and creating an access-centered conference. We encourage you to contact us if you have any access needs that require our awareness.
  • We hope to provide partial funding for students whose institutions cannot reimburse the expenses and who would otherwise be unable to attend the conference in person.

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Custom tags:

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