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Epistemology of Science Communication: New Directions

The second AEP workshop was on the epistemology of science communication. It was held on September 22-23, 2023 at UNC Chapel Hill, and featured talks by Nathan Ballantyne & Jared Celniker (Philosophy/Psychology, Arizona State), Justin Biddle (Public Policy, Georgia Tech), Carole Lee (Philosophy, University of Washington), Robin McKenna (Philosophy, Liverpool), Cailin O’Connor (LPS, UC Irvine), William Sandoval (School of Education, UCLA), and Dannagal Young (Communication/Political Science, Delaware).

The program is available here.

Workshop description: In an age of widespread narratives about public distrust of scientific experts, researchers across the social sciences and philosophy have investigated how to enhance public trust in science and how to communicate scientific findings more effectively. But there are a range of normative epistemological questions underlying these discussions on which the literature is still nascent. Are there conditions under which distrust of scientific experts is rational? What institutional processes (e.g., peer review, evaluation of research, and open access) would make scientific work more worthy of public trust? How, if at all, should laypeople without scientific training approach the consumption of scientific research? This workshop will aim to explore these and related questions with a group of scholars across disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, education, and communication), and to crystallize an agenda for the epistemology of science communication.