Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 348

Contemporary science and technology

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 2 marzo 2012

The Royal Society in London

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London, Ontario March 5, 2012 – 5:30pm Room 1145, Stevenson Hall at the University of Western Ontario 1151 Richmond Street, Free admission Whether the issue is genetically modified organisms, stem cells, or nuclear energy, public debate appears to be constricted within a consolidated pattern. On the one hand there are the advocates of the unbridled development of science and technology; on the other those who call for restraints on science’s encroachment into fields that have traditionally been the prerogatives of social, political, and religious choices and practices. Paradoxically, the two sides share the same prejudice: they both consider science and society to be internally compact entities, rigidly separate, and impervious to each other. On this view, science’s task is to supply a constant flow of new proposals which society then inspects and (often) rejects. But there are, in fact, frequent overlaps between scientific discourse and public opinion, and between research priorities and the expectations of citizens and consumers, which erode the boundaries between science and society and expose the divisions internal to each of them: suffice it to mention the debates on climate change or biomedicine. This tangled relationship between science and society fuels the conflict between advocates of scientism and anti-scientism: a deceptive case of role-playing that hinders fuller understanding of the challenges raised by contemporary science and technology.
Massimiano Bucchi (Ph.D. Social and Political Science, European University Institute) is Professor of Science and Technology in Society at the University of Trento, Italy. He has published several books, including Science and the media (London and New York, Routledge, 1998), Science in society. An Introduction to Social Studies of Science (London and New York, Routledge, 2004), Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology (with B. Trench, London and New York, Routledge, 2008), Beyond Technocracy. Citizens, Politics, Technoscience (New York, Springer, 2009) and essays in international journals such as History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Nature, New Genetics and Society, Science and Public Understanding of Science. He has served as advisor and evaluator for several research and policy bodies, including the US National Science Foundation, the Royal Society, the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority. He has carried out research and given seminars at several international institutions, such as the Royal Society, London School of Economics, University of California Berkeley, Royal Academy of Sciences Sweden, Science University Tokyo, Rikken Institute, American Association for the Advancement of Science and received several recognitions for his work, including the Mullins Prize awarded by the Society for Social Studies of Science (1997) and the Merck-Serono special jury award for science books (2007). He is a member of the editorial board of the journal Public Understanding of Science and chairs the international committee organizing the 2012 World Conference on Public Communication of Science in Technology in Florence.(bucchi)

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