CFP: 3rd Annual ‘Science & the Public’ Conference

Third Annual ‘Science & the Public’ Conference, University of Manchester, 21st and 22nd, June 2008

The past twenty years of scholarly study has demonstrated that science communication is a much more complex process than merely publishing in scientific journals and attending scientific meetings. Today the sciences are linked to society through many different channels of communication. The public interfaces with science during controversies that involve scientists as well as journalists, politicians and the citizenry as a whole. This intersection of science and the public raises many questions about the motivations of, and constraints on, actors involved in producing information about science for non-professional audiences. It also raises some fascinating questions about the nature, contexts and goals of the public communication of science from both a contemporary and historic perspective. This conference aims to bring together the wide ranging strands of academia that consider science as it intersects with non-scientific cultures.

Possible topics may include:

  • Patients and publics in health services
  • Notions of expertise in the public
  • Public science and science policy
  • Technological development and the public
  • Science communication theory in practice
  • News and entertainment media
  • Science on the internet
  • Science, technology and medicine in museums
  • Public interest and ‘the public interest’

We would particularly like to encourage those taking a critical approach to studying the public communication of technology and/or medicine to submit abstracts. The conference organizers also encourage full panel submissions and roundtable sessions on all topics related to the social, cultural, political, and ethical issues surrounding science & the public.

Panel proposals should include a panel abstract and individual abstracts for each of the papers on the panel as well as contact information (name, affiliation, email) of the presider (moderator) and all panel members. Individual paper proposals for a 20-minute presentation should submit an abstract (no longer than 300 words). Roundtable proposals should be a single abstract with names and contact information for all presenters.

All submissions should be emailed to by 14th March 2008. Please send enquires to this address as well.