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Science in Democracy Talk: T.Y. Branch

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - 5:00pm to 6:15pm

Cohen Hall, Room 337

Please join the Philosophy Department on Tuesday, September 19th for the first talk in our Science in Democracy series with T.Y. Branch.
The event will start at 5:00pm with a reception in the Philosophy Lounge (4th floor) to follow.
T.Y. Branch is a postdoctoral fellow at University of Cologne who works on the role of values in science communication, among other topics.
Title: Science Education under the Social Contract for Science
Abstract: Science education has played a crucial role in fostering public understanding of science. Substantial investment by the United States government in science education, particularly during the early years of the Cold War, set expectations for what the next generation of scientists needed to know and shaped public perceptions of science. This era marked the inception of a broader conceptual relationship between science and society known as the social contract for science. Within this framework, a demarcation between pure and applied science, and funding for basic science from the public purse, enabled scientists to pursue research without bearing direct responsibility for the potential consequences it might entail. Instead, industry and policy-makers were tasked with considering the ramifications of applying basic research. While a full embrace of the social contract for science remained elusive, the symbiotic relationship it describes between science and society has left a lasting impact on science education. This influence is evident in the selection of instructional models and the transmission of values encapsulated within those models.
This speaker series was kindly funded by UPenn's SNF Paideia Program.