Philosopher to Wrestle With Science Policy Questions

Center for Values Lecture to Continue Look at Uses and Abuses of Knowledge

Mar. 21, 2012

The Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology at UT Dallas is winding down its 2011-2012 lecture series, Funded and Forbidden Knowledge: Science, Policy and Cultural Values with a presentation from an internationally known science philosopher.

Nancy Cartwright

Dr. Nancy Cartwright

On Wednesday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall, Dr. Nancy Cartwright will discuss connections among science, values and politics with her talk Wiser Use of Science, Wiser Wishes, Wiser Policies.

 “We are very pleased to have Nancy Cartwright giving the wrap-up lecture for this year’s series. Dr. Cartwright is one of the foremost philosophers of science working today. In recent years, she has turned her attention to the much-needed topic of the uses of scientific evidence for policy-making, where she has made some very important contributions, both at a practical and a philosophical level,” said Dr. Matthew Brown, director of the Center for Values.

Cartwright works on the philosophy and history of physics and economics, and evidence and objectivity in science and policy. Cartwright is currently engaged in a project on evaluating and predicting effectiveness of interventions to lessen the effects of climate change. A Fellow of the British Academy, and a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Cartwright has the forthcoming book, Evidence-Based Policy: Doing It Better. A Practical Guide to Predicting if a Policy Will Work For You.

Matthew Brown

Dr. Matthew Brown, director of the Center for Values

“We may want value-free measures but then end up measuring all the wrong things. We may want only policies that ‘work,’ but this does not mean they will work for us, and supposing it does leads to damaging program failures. A partnership of a more realistic reliance on social science and wiser wishes can produce far more beneficial policies,” Cartwright said.

Cartwright is professor of philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method in the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is also professor of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. 

After the lecture, the Center will host one last symposium to end this academic year’s series. The symposium April 13 – 14 will engage scholars in exploring the interactions between science and policy from historical, ethical, sociological and philosophical perspectives. The focus will be also on the role of ethical and social values in the use of research for policy-making.

Visit the Center for Values website for more information.


Media Contact: Chaz Lilly, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4461, charles.lilly@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu.

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Center for Values
in Medicine, Science and Technology

The Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology promotes public understanding of the complex, crucial role that technological innovations and scientific discoveries play in shaping the values of contemporary culture.

The theme for this academic year has been: Funded and Forbidden Knowledge: Science, Policy and Cultural Values

The series concludes April 13-14 with an event titled, "Science-Policy Interactions and Social Values: A Symposium."

 


UT Dallas Arts Schedule

Other arts events this week include:

When a Man Stands Alone: The Life of the Louisville Lip Muhammad Ali
John Houston creates a 30 minute One-Man show on the life of Muhammad Ali.
Wednesday, March 21, 4 p.m.
University Theatre

Music of the Spheres
The UT Dallas Chamber Singers present a concert based on musical works about the universe, space, the moon and the stars.
March 23-24, 8 p.m.
Jonsson Performance Hall

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