030101 Science and Values (Baedke, Fischer)

Event Timeslots (1)

Seminar takes place November 14, 16-18 (introduction), February 5-8, 10-16
Do values play a role in the creation of scientific knowledge? If so, what moral, personal, social, political and cultural values influence science? Do they harm science, by limiting scientific objectivity and rationality? Or do they instead propel science in fruitful ways? Debates about the value-free ideal of science have become widespread in philosophy of science over the last two decades. In these discussions, the distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic values has become a key framework to understand the involvement of values in science. It also highlights that a substantial part of these values is always implicit to scientific practices. What is more, values contribute to how we draw disciplinary boundaries and address complex issues of societal relevance. This ‘block seminar’, first, aims at providing an overview of the classical theories of value judgements in science, such as the Mertonian norms. Second, it focuses on more recent discussions and positions, including feminist epistemology, debates about commercialization in science, epistemic injustice (someone is unfairly judged to not have the knowledge they have), and epistemic diversity (epistemic judgments vary due to different cultural backgrounds) as well as issues like trust and accountability in publishing practices, and the reliability of peer review. Third, participants will develop a critical understanding of the various roles values play in science through the lens of different case studies, like Covid-19 research, climate science, pharmacological research, or race-based science (and scientific racism). The block seminar is open to advanced B.A. students and M.A. students. Depending on the attendees the language of the course will be German and/or English.