Interdisciplinary conference focuses on humanities and science

Leaders in broadcasting, journalism and museology will join scientists and scholars from the social sciences and humanities who are engaged in the study of science and technology, for the Trust In Science Conference, Oct. 15 & 16, at the CBC Conference Centre in downtown Toronto.

The event will feature presentations by a number of professors from universities across Canada and the United States. York faculty involved in the Trust in Science Conference include Joel Lexchin, School of Health Policy & Management in York’s Faculty of Health, who will participate in a panel looking at clinical trials and the pharmaceutical industry; York science Professor Kenton Kroker, who will moderate a panel titled, "Publicizing Science, and its Effects"; and York sociology Professor Aryn Martin, who will moderate a presentation titled, "Corps Trust: How Long is Short Sheeting".

A presentation on the modern political role of social science, delivered by University of California history Professor Theodore Porter, will receive commentary by York science Professor Ernst Hamm, while Darrin Durant, professor of science in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, will chair a discussion focused on public controversies and the distribution of expertise. York humanities Professor Katharine Anderson will chair a panel discussion titled, "Who to Trust on Climate Change", and Professor Bernard Lightman, director of York’s graduate program in humanities, will chair a panel presentation on museums and the public trust.

Highlights of the conference include two keynote public lectures on science and citizenship, featuring Professor Sheila Jasanoff from Harvard University and Professor Natalie Jeremijenko from New York University and the University of California, San Diego. Both will speak in the CBC Broadcast Centre’s Glenn Gould Studio (250 Front Street West) at 8pm on Monday, Oct. 15 and Tuesday, Oct. 16, respectively. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.

Jasanoff, the Pforzheimer Professor of Science & Technology Studies at Harvard University, will speak on, "Science and Citizenship in a Global Society". Much of  Jasanoff’s research focuses on the role of science and technology in the law, politics and public policy of modern democracies, with a particular focus on the challenges of globalization.

The second event, "An introduction to the xdesign Environmental Health Clinic," will be presented by Jeremijenko, professor of art, computer science and environmental studies at New York University and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology at the University of California, San Diego. Jeremijenko works on experimental design (xDesign), exploring the opportunities new technologies present for non-violent social change.

This conference will also serve as an introduction to Situating Science: Cluster for the Humanist and Social Studies of Science, a seven-year, $2.1 Million Strategic Knowledge Cluster Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This co-operative project through nine leading Canadian universities, including York, relates to the study of the history and philosophy of science, a burgeoning field of academic research that links humanities, social sciences and sciences. For more information, visit

The Trust In Science Conference is co-sponsored by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada; Canadian Science & Technology Museum, Division of Humanities in York’s Faculty of Arts and York’s Science & Technology Studies Program; the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s University; and the Institute for History and Philosophy of Science & Technology at the University of Toronto.

For more information on the Trust In Science Conference Web site, or contact Bessie Goldberg at