On Wednesday, Mar. 4, the Pell Center will host a panel of speakers to address questions about the role of science in public decision-making in the United States. The panel discussion will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Bazarsky Lecture Hall in O’Hare Academic Center.
Historically, the U.S. has been on the cutting edge of science – a practical society that leads the world in innovation and technology development. But while science is still relevant to many of the most important questions we face as a nation – from combatting disease to providing for our energy needs to figuring out how to grow enough food to feed a rising population – there are always other factors, such as political or economic calculations, that figure in our decision-making in these areas. Furthermore, it is not clear how Americans today feel about science and scientists. A recent article in the New York Review of Books argues that while we tend to trust and value scientific findings in principle, we’re willing to throw out scientific perspectives if they clash with economic interests, or with religious views, or simply if they make imperfect predictions and therefore seem unreliable. As controversy about global warming shows, many Americans may even wonder whether scientists can be trusted.
- Suzanne Shaw, Director of Communications, Union of Concerned Scientists
- Todd Bianco, Principal Policy Associate, Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission
The discussion moderated by Pell Center Senior Fellow Joseph Grady, who will contribute additional perspectives on public dialog about the issue. Audience members will be encouraged to contribute questions and opinions. To register for this event, please visit the Pell Center’s Eventbrite page.