Science vs. Politics: The Battle for Integrity
Heather Douglas (University of Waterloo)

January 26, 2012, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology, University of Texas at Dallas

Jonsson Performance Hall
800 W Campbell Road, JO31
Richardson 75080
United States


Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Topic areas


That politics has an influence on science is unavoidable. Political winds shape the amount and emphasis for research funding, on which science is dependent.  Political contexts determine the ethical boundaries for research.  Political debates draw upon scientific research (often selectively).  It light of these forces on science, it becomes imperative to have a clear understanding of scientific integrity, so that it can be both identified when present (or absent) and defended when threatened.  By delving into the roles for values in science (both acceptable and unacceptable), this talk will present a clear and defensible view of scientific integrity, develop its implications for the assessment of expertise, and show how defending scientific integrity is not sufficient to remove all of the influences of politics on science—it removes only the most pernicious.  To address the full range of politicization concerns, we need to consider both the social community of science and the reasons why we pursue science. 

Heather Douglas works on the use of science in policy-making, the role of values in science, the moral responsibilities of scientists, and the nature of scientific objectivity. These interests are summarized in her 2009 book, Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal. She has served on the Governing Board of the Philosophy of Science Association, the steering committee of the International Society for History of Philosophy of Science, and the Section L committee for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Douglas has just been named the Wolfe Chair in Science and Society at the University of Waterloo. She received her Ph.D. from the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Custom tags:

#values in science, #science policy, #scientific integrity