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5-7 September 2016, 5th René Descartes Lectures & Workshop: Science, Values and Democracy, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Date: 5-7 September 2016
Location: Tilburg, The Netherlands
Deadline: 15 May 2016

Every other year, a distinguished philosopher visits Tilburg University and the Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics and Philosophy of Science to present the René Descartes Lectures. This year's René Descartes Lecturer is Professor Heather Douglas (University of Waterloo). Professor Douglas will deliver three lectures on the topic 'Science, Values and Democracy', each of which will be commented on by two renowned scholars. Parallel to the lectures, we host a workshop on the same topic.

The lectures will explore the relationships among science, values, and expertise in modern democratic societies. Science, although the best way to gain rich empirical knowledge, cannot be considered value-free. As such, scientists' role in public discourse and in advisory roles is more complex than simply giving us 'the facts.' In democratic societies, we must confront questions of how to make science advising appropriately accountable in our political systems, while protecting scientists from pressures which would damage the integrity of their advice. In the public discourse, citizens have more roles to play than simply being passive receivers of scientific information. This means we need to articulate these roles and create avenues for exercising them. Because of the need for values in science and because this opens science to new modes of engagement and criticism, we need to think through our institutional structures to ensure that the normative demands of good science and good governance can both be met.

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For this workshop, we invite submissions in the form of extended abstracts (up to 1000 words) by 15 May 2016.

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