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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
Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

Open Access (free)
Postcolonial governance and the policing of family
Author: Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.

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