2018 Women’s Caucus Prize Symposium

November 3, 2018, Seattle, WA

We are delighted to announce the second Women’s Caucus Prize Symposium, “Climate Science and Public Interests: Social Values and Climate Change,” which will take place at the 2018 PSA Meeting in Seattle. This symposium will be held Saturday morning adjacent to the PSA Women’s Caucus meeting, allowing PSA-WC membership to attend en masse. We hope you’ll be able to join us as we celebrate outstanding philosophy of science done with an eye to inclusivity.

The 2018 PSA Women’s Caucus Prize Symposium, organized by Anna Leuschner and Greg Lusk, was selected from a very competitive pool of applicants for its exceptional quality and relevance to our membership. “Climate Science and Public Interests” addresses the broad question of how the practice of science should be modified in the hopes of better engaging and reaching non-scientists. This symposium elucidates whether there are specific communicative strategies, political behaviors, or methodological choices that would help to ameliorate the current problems. The symposium features work by five women and responds to work by women philosophers of science and women scholars in cognate fields. Additionally, this symposium’s socially engaged topic area and pluralistic approach highlight methods held in high regard by the Women’s Caucus and championed by feminist philosophers of science.

Climate Science and Public Interests: Social Values and Climate Change

Central empirical findings of climate science are beyond reasonable doubt and many climate change impacts are increasingly being observed. Yet, significant proportions of the general public in many countries still resist accepting these findings, or appear to be unaware of their existence. The diagnosis from science studies is that this situation pertains to at least three kinds of problems: the complexity of the issue, a strategic manufacture of doubt, and climate information that is incompatible with decision-making processes. However, it is largely unclear how scientists should behave given the situation. The symposium addresses the broad question of how the practice of science should be modified in the hopes of better engaging and reaching non-scientists. It brings methodological, psychological, and epistemological perspectives together with the aim of elucidating whether there are specific communicative strategies, political behaviors, or methodological choices that would help to ameliorate the current problems. While each paper addresses this central theme differently and some are in disagreement on specific issues, the papers collectively speak to three areas upon which scientists could improve: how they address the spread of misinformation, how they handle dissent, and how they make scientific information more readily available and usable.

Participants and Titles (in speaking order):
• “The Dilemma of Climate Change Communication,” Anna Leuschner (Leibniz University Hannover)
• “For ‘Alternative Facts,’ There is No Alternative Logic,” Stephan Lewandowsky (University of Bristol)
• “The Probability Argument,” Erin J. Nash (Durham University)
• “Climate Change Attribution: When Is It Right To Accept a New Approach?” Elisabeth A. Lloyd (Indiana University) and Naomi Oreskes (Harvard University)
• “Making Climate Data Useful: The Role of Values in Climate Services,” Greg Lusk (University of Chicago) and Wendy Parker (Durham University)

Many thanks to our selection committee: Sharon Crasnow, Uljana Feest, Carrie Figdor, Cailin O’Connor (Chair), and Dana Tulodziecki


Julia Bursten and Anya Plutynski

Co-Chairs, PSA Women’s Caucus

For more info: https://mailchi.mp/umbc.edu/2018-psa-womens-caucus-prize-symposium?e=e025edbade

Posted: February 26, 2018