STEPS Symposium 6 & 7 February 2013 University of Sussex Conference Centre
'Credibility across cultures:
expertise, uncertainty and the global politics of scientific advice'
Registration includes: audience participation in Symposium Sessions on 6 & 7 February 2013 and lunch and refreshments. It does NOT include accommodation or local transportation costs. Once you have registered, you will be sent an email with suggestions and advice re. accommodation and local transportation.
Symposium Dinner includes: a 3-course meal on at 19.30 on 6 February 2013 at the Bramber House 1st floor Dine Central Restaurant. Your Dinner ticket price includes one drink (wine, beer or soft drink) and covers VAT and service charges.
Student discounts: we have offered 20 student places at a 50% discount. Please note that you will need to provide proof of student status at registration at the start of the Symposium. Failure to provide student status proof may result in exclusion from the Symposium.
Please contact Harriet Dudley, STEPS Coordinator, with any queries on the above: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Symposium
Full programme and speakers (pdf 735kf)
Scientific advice has never been in greater demand; nor has it been more contested. From climate change to cyber-security, poverty to pandemics, food technologies to fracking, the questions being asked of experts by policy makers, the media and the public continue to multiply. At the same time, in the wake of the global financial crisis and controversies such as ‘Climategate’, the authority and legitimacy of experts is under greater scrutiny. And the explosion of social media opens up new channels for debate, enabling, and at times forcing, experts to engage directly with more diverse audiences.
Worldwide, we see novel structures for scientific advice being put in place: both through new institutions like the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); and the appointment of a UK-style ‘chief scientific adviser’ at the European Commission. These issues were also magnified in the run-up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012, and in debates over what should succeed the Millennium Development Goals. Following Rio+20, there has also been a renewed push to ensure that the latest research and evidence informs international policy discussions, with new initiatives such as Future Earth and the UNESCO science advisory board.
Tackling the sustainability and development challenges of the 21st century will undoubtedly require the ‘best available’ scientific advice: to measure progress; to predict impacts; to identify solutions; and to evaluate options and pathways for decision-making. But what is ‘best advice’ – and how might this idea need to be re-thought – amidst the inherent complexities, uncertainties and contestations of knowledge and value that pervade so many of today’s challenges? Many questions persist about how to build and maintain robust, open and accountable processes of expert advice that can operate effectively across disciplines, sectors, social contexts and national boundaries. This critical task – of maintaining credibility across cultures – will be the focus of the 2013 STEPS Annual Symposium.