Civic Science: Re-framing the Role of Science in Society
Dr. John Spencer (Psychology, CLAS) will talk about a recent National Science Foundation workshop of the same title. The workshop, held October 2-3 in Washington, DC, brings together leading theorists and practitioners of "civic science" to refine and enrich this concept through the lens of civic agency. Civic agency highlights the political (not partisan) nature of science - science as a powerful source of knowledge for action in the world that negotiates a shared democratic way of life. It also emphasizes the collective capacities of scientists and non-scientists to come together to solve real-world problems in a democratic society. Civic science is of particular importance in the current environment of increasing civic and political polarization. Spencer directed the 2012 Obermann Summer Seminar, "Get Ready Iowa! Partnering to Enhance the School Readiness of Iowa's Children," a project based on the principles of civic science.