A new social contract for science?
- 26th June 2007, 04:00PM
- Institute of Physics
In these final days of Tony Blair’s premiership, there is widespread speculation about the changes in policy that his successor will introduce. Science is one area being tipped for a shakeup, perhaps through the creation of a new ministry, or a merger with education and skills. Tinkering with the machinery of government is one way of signaling a fresh start, but will such changes be accompanied by any more fundamental reappraisal of the changing social and political context for science?
There is now a growing recognition that knowledge societies demand knowing citizens, with a voice in decisions about science. At the same time, boundaries are blurring between public and private interests in research. And the traditional dominance of Europe and the US is being challenged by the rise of new centres of innovation. How successfully are policymakers in the UK and elsewhere grappling with these challenges? Are relations between science and society improving or getting worse? How might things change under a new PM, a new science minister and – potentially – a new department? Our panel of leading thinkers will debate whether we need a new social contract for science.
Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard University
David Edgerton, Professor of History of Science and Technology, Imperial College London and author The Shock of the Old
Ben Goldacre, Doctor, writer and ‘Bad science’ columnist for The Guardian
Hilary Rose, Emerita Professor of Social Policy, University of Bradford
Andy Stirling, Professor of Science and Technology Policy, University of Sussex
Chair: James Wilsdon, Demos
This session is co-hosted with the Science and Democracy Network (www.ksg.harvard.edu/sts/about/sdn.htm), and marks the start of the 2007 SDN meeting, which takes place from 27-29 June in Cambridge.
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