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Bridging the gap between science and society

Never have the scope and limits of scientific freedom been more important or more under attack. New science, from artificial intelligence to genomic manipulation, creates unique opportunities to make the world a better place. But it also presents unprecedented dangers, which many believe threaten the survival of humanity and the planet. This collection, by an international and multidisciplinary group of leading thinkers, addresses three vital questions: (1) How are scientific developments impacting on human life and on the structure of societies? (2) How is science regulated, and how should it be regulated? (3) Are there ethical boundaries to scientific developments in some sensitive areas (e.g. robotic intelligence, biosecurity)? The contributors are drawn from many disciplines, and approach the issues in diverse ways to secure the widest representation of the many interests engaged. They include some of the most distinguished academics working in this field, as well as young scholars.

Science shops and policy development
Eileen Martin, Emma McKenna, Henk Mulder and Norbert Steinhaus

links between their work, which aimed to democratize science with the wider European Commission Science and Society agenda. Dutch science shops in particular took every chance to lobby public policymakers at national and international levels. Early stage discussions provided the foundation for a successful EC-funded project known as SCIPAS (Study and Conference on Improving Public Access to Science through Science Shops). A project officer at the Commission who had read about science shops contacted Dutch staff to make an application and strongly encouraged and helped

in Knowledge, democracy and action
UK and Swiss initiatives to open up animal laboratory research
Carmen M. McLeod

experimentation on animals is a monstrous activity,1 asking: ‘What kind of person would do such an experiment?’ (Merriam, 2012: 127). Two recent policy initiatives – the UK Concordat on Openness on Animal Research (UKC) and the Swiss Basel Declaration (BD) – seek to open up science–society relations and AR in order to build more trust and assuage fears of monstrousness within this space. These initiatives illustrate the challenges of negotiating or restoring trust in the relationship between science and society (see Dierkes and von Grote, 2000; Jasanoff, 2004; Wynne, 2006) and

in Science and the politics of openness
Open Access (free)
Brigitte Nerlich, Sarah Hartley, Sujatha Raman and Alexander Thomas T. Smith

Introduction Brigitte Nerlich, Sujatha Raman, Sarah Hartley, Alexander Thomas T. Smith In recent years the relation between science and society has become strained. In some parts of the world, mainly in the United States, science is said to be ‘at war’ with society (Otto, 2016). In others, particularly the United Kingdom, scientists have been dragged into debates over suspicion and contempt of experts, primarily economists (Mance, 2016). These developments play out against a series of crises in science, technology, politics and the economy, which are all

in Science and the politics of openness
Catherine Rhodes

concluded that ‘restricting the free flow of information about new scientific and technological advances is highly unlikely to prevent potential misuse and might even encourage misuse’. Reciprocal responsibilities of science and society In general, the relationship between science and society can be described as reciprocal, and there are responsibilities for both sides that are associated with this. Scientists have responsibilities towards society inter alia because science contributes to a range of social goods, because it has significant social and economic impacts

in The freedom of scientific research
Duncan Wilson

control and abuses of science’, and opposing the use of CS gas in Northern Ireland, they also explored the possibility of a ‘socialist science’ in which laypeople would play a major role in developing scientific policies and guidelines.34 In their 1969 book Science and Society, which Bernard Dixon cited extensively, Steven and Hilary Rose claimed that public suspicion of ‘the men in white coats’ could only be overcome by ensuring that ‘decision-making processes [were] opened at all levels’.35 Arguing that public involvement had become as important as ‘the fostering of

in The making of British bioethics
Open Access (free)
Simona Giordano, John Harris and Lucio Piccirillo

happened since 2014. The focus of this collection is on the relationship between science and society, and its mediation through law, ethics and social, political and economic norms. The authors have the most diverse backgrounds, and therefore their style is diverse, and this comes across clearly; some of the contributors are scientists, others are philosophers, others are politicians or humanitarian activists; their nationalities are also different – some are European, some are not. So the way they convey their message and their writing style differ significantly, and it

in The freedom of scientific research
Open Access (free)
Publics, hybrids, transparency, monsters and the changing landscape around science
Stephen Turner

notes, this is one of the longest running and most intense of all conflicts between science and society, marked by anti-vivisectionist legislation and occasional violence. Here, an organised effort by scientists to open up research has been made, with the aim of reducing opposition and increasing public trust. But cherry-picked information and the kinds of rationalistic utilitarian arguments presented with this information may, as she shows, have no effect on trust itself. Evidence-based policy is one of the mechanisms by which so-called expert practices suspected of

in Science and the politics of openness
Future Earth, co-production and the experimental life of a global institution
Eleanor Hadley Kershaw

particular, it focuses on the reconfiguration of several existing international GEC research programmes into one initiative: Future Earth (henceforth FE), an international research initiative on GEC and sustainability that was launched in 2012 and became fully operational in 2015. This reorganisation is accompanied (and in part motivated) by ambitions for a ‘new type of science’ (FE, 2014: 2) and ‘a new “social contract” between science and society’ (FE, 2013: 11). To achieve these aims, FE is unique in explicitly adopting co-design and co-production of knowledge as a

in Science and the politics of openness
Open Access (free)
Philosophical and ethical challenges
David Lawrence

fortunate enough to enjoy it – and it is a great argument in favour of having the freedom to do so. However, the influence of these systems, this irreversible interweaving of science and society, leaves us at a crossroads. Further integration of weak AI into our lives, or the pursuit of ‘strong’ (Kurzweil 2005) or ‘general’ (Newell and Simon 1976) AI (that can go beyond problem solving into human-level cognition) through the free practice of science, is likely to cause more direct changes to who and what we are. Our place in the hierarchy of beings, even our relative

in The freedom of scientific research