Once I think about it, SftP actually combined a lot of different subjects into one seminar, even though I first thought it was extremely specialized. Now, of course Science for the People covered things like Science and Ethics within science, but just delving into the second one automatically brings out a whole new set of subjects that were covered at the conference. These things, such as history (especially that of the 1970s), political philosophy and theory, and even communication all play a role in what Science for the People did. This is why what Science for the People did was so much more than science, since they were able to effectively gather a community of scientists that were able to speak out against a variety of issues that plagued not only the world of science, but of politics. I think that this goes to show the importance of social theory and critical examination of society. When people usually think of science, they think of hard facts that cannot be debated or argued over. While many facts in science are non-negotiable, there are also problems that we face within the field of science that are actually highly political and cannot be ignored by the experts. It seems like this is a field that is quickly becoming interdisciplinary, with communication and a knowledge of past events being absolutely essential to the political landscape today, as our world turns to the world of science more and more for answers, the opinions of the experts already have great weight on how people think. This is a responsibility that I believe SftP explores, especially after this conference. However, another skill that will need to be bridged in this way is how the experts can COMMUNICATE with the people.
I guess that’s my question to discuss for everyone. A common criticism of this conference was the lack of understanding between the experts and the students, so how do we take complex problems and break them down into ways that can reach the common person? What skills or resources would we need?