Spring Events Preview

Professor Mann

Professor Mann

As our work on the Production of Public Understanding of Science project has progressed, we have gravitated more and more to the climate change case study as both one of the most important and also one of the most illuminating for conceptual and pragmatic goals. Thus, our events for the Spring 2015 term will take on this thematic unity. We’re very pleased to announce two of our public lectures (more to come!).

On March 4th, Professor Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, and indefatigable climate change communicator will give an evening lecture (precise time/location TBA). Professor Mann was a Lead Author in key chapters of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report and the author of Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming and The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.

Professor Leiserowitz

Then on April 8th, we will continue the climate change theme with Professor Anthony Leiserowitz, Research Scientist in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. One of the very important early contributions is the identification of the “Six Americas” concerning climate change — well worth a read. You will find much else of interest on the YPCCC page, including reports, quizzes, academic papers, and videos. Consider signing up for their excellent email updates, following them on Twitter, or listening to some of their 90-second radio series spots. Your understanding of climate change will only improve; indeed, your understanding of others‘ understanding stands to gain, too! Professor Leiserowitz’s lecture will also take place in the evening (details TBA).

We hope you’ll be able to join us for what promise to be interesting and important discussions.

Recap of Gary Hardcastle’s Talk

Gary Hardcastle, Associate Professor of philosophy at Bloomsburg University, came to Bucknell University on November 20th to give a talk entitled “(Really) Recovering Understanding: James B. Conant’s Theory of Understanding and its Contemporary Relevance.” Professor Hardcastle’s talk focused on Conant’s theory of understanding, as well as the social, political, and pedagogical projects he associated with it. At the center […]

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Recap of Stephen Grimm’s Visit

Grimm Visit 6

Stephen Grimm, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University and Project Leader for the Varieties of Understanding Project (the main funder of the PoPUS Project), paid a visit to Bucknell earlier this month. His first stop was Professor Leddington’s Theory of Knowledge seminar on Monday evening. Our discussion focused on the nature of understanding and […]

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Upcoming Talk: “How Understanding Human Beings Differs from Understanding the Natural World”

Stephen Grimm

Stephen Grimm, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University Tuesday, Nov. 4, 4:30pm  » Willard Smith Library, Vaughan Literature Building Abstract: When we try to understand the natural world, we often appeal to things like causes or mechanisms or laws. But what happens when we try to understand other people? Do we need to appeal to something […]

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Recap of Catherine Elgin’s Visit

Elgin Visit 1

[Our Research Assistants will be writing up profiles of visiting speakers’ visits. First up: Julia profiles Catherine Elgin’s visit. — M&J] On October 2nd and 3rd, philosopher and Harvard professor of education, Catherine Elgin came to speak about understanding and knowledge, explaining their relation to science and art. On her first afternoon, she held a public […]

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Research Team Formed

PoPUS Research Team for 2014–15

We were extremely lucky to have assembled a team of seven undergraduate researchers for our project, including three first-year Presidential Fellows, three talented sophomores, and one experienced senior. They are helping us with organization aspects of the project as well as pursuing basic research concerning focused aspects of our three major case studies. Look forward to much more from them in […]

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Fall Semester Colloquia Update

We’re planning three exciting colloquia in the fall semester. First, Catherine Elgin (Harvard) will speak on Thursday, Oct. 2. The title of her talk is “Making an Example of It” in Academic West 108. Here’s her abstract: I will argue that thinking with things often involves taking them to exemplify some of their features. Rather […]

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“Defanging Denialism” — Pacific APA update

We’ve drafted a paper entitled “Defanging Denialism by Seeing for Yourself” that captures some of our recent thinking on public understanding of science. It’s been submitted for consideration for a symposium at the 2015 APA. Here it is! Defanging Denialism Comments very welcome.

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Understanding the Fine Print

An interesting NPR story came on the other day about two researchers at Dartmouth trying to get more easily-digestible drug facts on pharmaceutical company’s packaging. Aside from their main message about the public’s ability to understand quantitative, statistical information about drug effectiveness, one thing that stood out for me was how they communicated a simple […]

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In the news…

Bucknell has posted a news item announcing and describing our project. Thanks to Matt Hughes for a fun interview and for his great work on the write-up!

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