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K-State Today

March 26, 2018

Kansas Science Communication Initiative to host research colloquium March 27

Submitted by Sarah Hancock

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The Kansas Science Communication Initiative will host a research colloquium from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in 207 K-State Student Union. All are invited to attend. Two researchers will present then answer questions and engage in discussion. 

Jon Herington will present "Autonomy and Science Communication: The Case of Mandatory GMO Disclosures." Many argue that the public possess a "right to know" about the presence of GMO experiments/ingredients, on the grounds that disclosure would protect the public's autonomy. Herington will critically evaluate that claim. He will distinguish four approaches to autonomy and articulate the circumstances under which they would support active disclosure of an experiment/ingredients. Herington will argue that none of these conceptions would support active disclosure of GMO experiments/ingredients.

Scott Tanona will present "Expertise, Public Autonomy, and the Ethics of Communication." With expertise comes responsibility. Scientists have expertise, but there is disagreement about what responsibilities scientists have with respect to public communication. Ought scientists remain neutral in public debates, or rather engage in advocacy? If and when they do advocate, how ought they structure their advocacy? Tanona will provide a framework for thinking about questions such as these. Based on conceptions of expertise, autonomy, goals of science, and public good, Tanona will suggest some novel considerations both for restraint and for increased activism.

The Kansas Science Communication Initiative seeks to engage communities in understanding, enthusiastically promoting, and actively participating in science and research. Find more information on our website or follow us on Twitter or Facebook

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