Call for Papers: Science-Policy Interactions and Social Values, April 13-14, 2012

Dec 1, 2011 by Matthew J. Brown

Update:Deadline extended to February 15.

Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology conference on

Science-Policy Interactions and Social Values

at the University of Texas at Dallas
April 13-14th, 2012

Keynote Speaker: Kevin C. Elliott, University of South Carolina

The Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology seeks proposals for papers and symposia for a conference to wrap up our 2011-2012 public lecture series on Funded and Forbidden Knowledge: Science, Politics, and Cultural Values. The conference will be interdisciplinary, engaging the areas of science and technology studies, history and philosophy of science, science and technology policy studies, ethics and political philosophy, and science policy in exploring the interactions between science and policy-making, with special attention to the role of values in those interactions.

In these areas of scholarship, several categories of discussion concerning science and policy have emerged. Some focus on the role of science in the policy process, while others look at the inverse relationship of how politics influence scientific research. Some approach the topic in a very empirically grounded and particularistic fashion, while others take a normative approach and aim for general accounts. While there have been important interdisciplinary conferences in this area, the scholarship remains somewhat disjointed and piecemeal, whereas tackling the major issues in this area requires thinking across such boundaries. This conference will emphasize that the relationship between science and politics is mutually influential rather than unidirectional; it will emphasize the importance of normative or critical approaches that are also empirically grounded in the practice of science and realities of political institutions. We seek submissions that bring to the forefront issues of values in science-policy interactions.

Suggested topics (not an exhaustive list):

  • Democratization of science
  • Evidence-based policy
  • Policy and the value-free ideal of science
  • Forms of scientific and political representation
  • Theories of scientific expertise
  • Models of science advising
  • History of science policy
  • Lessons from environmental policy-making
  • Scientific expertise and political advocacy
  • Commercialization of science and the public good
  • The aims of science and choice of research priorities
  • Science and justice in political institutions
  • Science, non-scientific views, and public reason
  • Expertise and elitism in democratic deliberation
  • Science and democracy in comparative and international contexts
  • The influence of science on ethical values, and political ideals
  • The politics of science and technology education
  • Obstacles to socially or politically responsible science

We’re especially interested in proposals that cross the boundaries between already-established research programs.


We welcome submissions of both individual paper proposals and proposals for symposia and other multi-participant panel formats. For contributed papers, please submit a 250-500 word abstract. For symposia and other multi-participant panels, submit an abstract up to 250 words describing the panel and descriptions of up to 100 words describing each participant’s contribution.

Click to Submit Your Proposal

Submissions are due February 15.

Send any questions to

Organizing Committee

Matthew J. Brown, UT Dallas – Philosophy of Science
Richard Scotch, UT Dallas – Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences
Magdalena Grohman, UT-Dallas – Psychology
Sabrina Starnaman, UT-Dallas – Literary Studies

Program Committee

Heather Douglas, University of Waterloo – Philosophy of Science, Science Policy
Kevin Elliott, University of South Carolina – Philosophy of Science, Applied Ethics
Mark B. Brown, CSU Sacramento – Political Science
Jeremy Farris, Harvard Law School – Political Philosophy