Science and Technology in Society Day — LOTS of women

Science and Technology in Society Day             Friday March 23, 2012

Location:  Great Hall, Conrad Grebel University College

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Please join us for an examination of issues at the intersection of science, technology and society with new faculty Carla Fehr (Wolfe Chair in Science and Technology) and Heather Douglas (Waterloo Chair in Science and Society) and a variety of experts from the Waterloo area.  The event is free, but pre-registration, for individual events or the whole day, is requested.

Register here:


9:15  Coffee and Welcome

9:30  Café Scientifique I:  Scientists and the Burden of Responsibility

What are scientists’ responsibilities with respect to society?  While it is clear that scientists have responsibilities to not falsify data and to treat research subjects ethically, it is more controversial the extent to which scientists should consider the potential impact of their work on society.  This lecture and directed discussion will delve into the basis and nature of those responsibilities and how institutional structures might assist scientists.

  • Heather Douglas, Waterloo Chair in Science and Society, Department of Philosophy

10:45  Coffee Break

11:00  Panel Discussion I:  Structural Obstacles to Scientific Investigation

How do community-wide practices, technologies, and standards alter which scientific knowledge is developed?  This panel will examine cases of concern across a range of disciplines.

  • Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute
  • Trefford Simpson, School of Optometry
  • Richard Wells, Department of Kinesiology

12:15  Break for Lunch

1:45  Panel Discussion II:  Science and Technology: Who is in/Who is out?

What sorts of factors determine who gets to be a scientific expert? How does the distribution of expertise influence that way that science is conducted and the kinds of knowledge that science produces? This panel will examine patterns of inclusion and exclusion from philosophical, anthropological and psychological perspectives.

  • Kathryn Plaisance, Centre for Knowledge Integration
  • Christine Logel, Psychology, Renison University College
  • Jennifer Liu, Department of Anthropology

3:00  Coffee Break

3:15  Café Scientifique II:  If You Want Research Excellence, Fight for Diversity

Does a commitment to improving diversity in our science and engineering departments result in sacrificing research excellence?  Research in the social sciences and philosophy demonstrates that the answer is “No.”  This lecture and directed discussion explores ways that diversity improves the creativity and rigor of our research communities.

  • Carla Fehr, Wolfe Chair in Science and Technology, Department of Philosophy

4:30  Reception