Philosopher to Lecture on Scientist’s Role in Shaping Public Policy

January 23rd, 2014 by 

Philip Kitcher, the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University will give a lecture on “The Scientist’s Role,” at the College of the Holy Cross on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 4:30 p.m. in Rehm Library. The lecture is part of the series “The Practice of Science in a World of Competing Values,” sponsored by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. It is free and open to the public.

In the lecture, Kitcher will use the examples of Darwinism and climate change to explore how the sciences have come to play a major part in shaping national and global policy. He also will discuss the ethical issues that have surfaced as a result: What responsibilities do scientists have to answer to the needs and aspirations of a broader public? How can scientific expertise be integrated with democratic ideals? Is the private funding of scientific research a threat to the proper functioning of science?

Kitcher is the author of several books including “Science in a Democratic Society” (Prometheus Books, 2011),” The Ethical Project” (Harvard University Press, 2011), and “Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith” (Oxford University Press, 2007). Kitcher is past president of the American Philosophical Association and the recipient of its inaugural Prometheus Prize for achievement in the philosophy of science.

For additional information, and to find video of lectures online, visit the McFarland Center website.

About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:

Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope.  The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.

For additional information, please contact Bridget Cass at 508-793-2419.

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