Sally Jackson, University of Illinois, Champaign-UrbanaMassimo Pigliucci, Lehman College, CUNY
We are increasingly dependent on advice from experts in making decisions in our personal, professional, and civic lives. But as our dependence on experts has grown, new media have broken down the institutional barriers between the technical, personal and civic realms, and we are inundated with purported science from all sides. Many share a sense that science has lost its "rightful place" in our deliberations. Grappling with this cluster of problems will require collaboration across disciplines: among rhetorical and communication theorists studying the practices and norms of public discourse, philosophers interested in the informal logic of everyday reasoning and in the theory of deliberative democracy, and science studies scholars examining the intersections between the social worlds of scientists and citizens.
For this conference, we invite work from across the disciplines focused on argumentation, reasoning, communication and deliberation, with special emphasis on:
• lay assessment of expertise and expert testimony
• detection of and response to distorted science and "manufactured controversy"
• pedagogies for developing critical thinking about science in controversies
• roles scientists and scientific information play in civic deliberations and policy-making
• transformation of arguments as they travel between technical, personal and civic spheres
• expert testimony as a source of knowledge
• roles of traditional journalism, new media, "boundary organizations" and "trading zones" in constructing public knowledge of science
• design of institutions for providing trustworthy advice on controversial issues
• special problems of communicating scientific information in health, organizational, legal, crisis, risk and other contexts