Tara Roberson: 'Sensationalised science', first PhD seminar; Ed White, 'Environmental Discourse in the Anthropocene: A Betrayal of Science and Reason?', MPhil seminar; and Dr Fabien Medvecky, 'Science communication and epistemic justice'

Date & time

4–6.30pm 13 October 2016

Event series

Tonight it's the Queensland invasion at CPAS! Professor Joan Leach's University of Queensland colleagues past and present will present their research in the CPAS Green Couch Room.

First up, two postgraduate sci com students will tell us about their research.

  • PhD candidate Tara Roberson, now based at CPAS, will present her first seminar on her research investigating the use of hype in science communication.
  • University of Queensland MPhil candidate Ed White will give an update on his research on the topic 'Environmental Discourse in the Anthropocene: A Betrayal of Science and Reason?', which examines the rhetoric and ethics of two competing scientific responses to the Anthropocene: ecosystem services and ecomodernism.

Next, Dr Fabien Medvecky, now a lecturer in science communication at the University of Otago, will present a research seminar on the topic:

Science communication and epistemic justice

Science communication, as a field and as a practice, is fundamentally about knowledge distribution; it is about the access to, and the sharing of knowledge. All distribution (science communication including) brings with it issues of ethics and justice. Indeed, whether science communicators acknowledge it or not, they get to decide both which knowledge is shared (by choosing which topic they communicate), and who gets access to this knowledge (by choosing which audience they engage with). As a result, the decisions of science communicators have important implications for epistemic justice: how knowledge is distributed fairly and equitably. In this paper, I present an overview of issues related to epistemic justice for science communication, and argue that there are two quite distinct ways in which we can be just (or unjust) in the way we distribute knowledge as science communicators. I consider both these paths and conclude that, at least on one of these accounts, science communication as a field and as a practice is fundamentally epistemically unjust. This leads me to consider suggestions to redress this injustice.

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