The University of Nottingham is proud to host the 8th Annual Science in Public Conference, 22-23 July 2013: “Critical Perspectives on Making Science Public”

We warmly invite panel proposals that will theoretically, empirically or through practice address the tensions, dynamics and normative implications linked to the changing field of making science public.

Background to theme

Relations between science, publics, politics and commerce are in flux. Participatory activities bringing government, business, science and publics together in cooperative research partnerships are multiplying while activist publics are increasingly contesting certain forms of scientific research. In certain areas science is being ‘defended’, while in others scientists are calling for a new wave of ‘citizen scientists’ to shape research and policy agendas. Occasionally, scientists themselves are becoming activists uniting in protest against the privatisation and commercialisation of their work or highlighting their lack of representation in government. Meanwhile, it appears that the dissemination of and access to research results has never been easier, enabling the rapid mobilisation of a variety of interest groups through new social media.

The theme of the 2013 Science in Public conference aims to engage with these trends. It is linked to the five-year Leverhulme Programme on ‘Making Science Public – Challenges and Opportunities’ directed by the University of Nottingham.

Keynote and discussions

The conference will be opened with a keynote by Professor Harry Collins of the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, whose work on the nature of scientific knowledge and expertise has provoked considerable discussion and debate.

Later in the day Dr. Sujatha Raman, Deputy Director of the Leverhulme programme, will lead a roundtable discussion on different notions of the public, models of democracy and the implications of Professor Collins’ work on expertise, to which Professor Collins is invited to respond. Professor Brigitte Nerlich, Director of the Leverhulme Programme will chair the discussion.

Panel proposals

Science in Public provides an excellent opportunity for postgraduate
students, researchers, academics, policy makers, artists, NGOs, and
others working in public and private organisations to discuss issues
around ‘science in public’ and share their work.

We are looking for panel proposals in traditional academic and innovative formats, including visual/performing arts and other practice-based approaches that address the conference theme.

Proposals for panels should include a panel title, nominated convenor and a 300 word description of your panel’s format and theme. Panels are expected to last for 90 minutes.

Proposals (and any informal enquiries) should be sent to Dr. Adam
Spencer, Department of Geography, University of Nottingham: by 31 January 2013.

Panel themes and the call for papers will be announced on 15 February 2013.


Registration costs will be minimised as far as possible; we anticipate that they will be in the order of £45 – £60.

Posted on behalf of Warren Pearce, Leverhulme Research Fellow, Making Science Public School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham