Reading (author, page#)
AGENDA ITEM (questions, comments, ideas, screeds, manifestos, etc.)
citizenscience page 172...

The paper says that all parties in consensus conference will alter their views over the deliberations, and that does not mean reaching to a unanimous judgment, my question is that if as the author belives" local knowledge does not mean it is authoritative in political settings" so why do we call such conferences consensus?and what is the objective of such conferences?

As some opposite ideas have to be altered! Are they forced? Will they being persuaded to alter?

How they alter their positions? And on the other hand, why do we name it as a consensus conference while there is no unanimous judgment?

page 6 second parageraph rebuttal of dover 
i did not get the meaning of religion:
religion are defined in terms of what they are not!!
religion is for complex systems of belief and social relations that do not require state? for their origin

3. Keith
Citizen Science

p.159 "Aristotle famously remarked at the start of his Metaphysics that it was normal for citizens to turn to matters of universal import once they had provided for their material subsistence."


p.173 “People appear to trust scientists in general terms but begin to doubt their expertise when it bears on something they personally care about, such as genetically modified foods or animal experiments.”


p.171 "Moreover, because science has become integral to everyone's life, now more than ever it needs to be incorporated into the ordinary mechanisms of government.”


I find this topic extremely interesting and at the core of what I believe should define the STS agenda.  If the public only cares to discuss science when they are personally engaged, and science is now engaging the public through daily subsistence matters (such as food), i.e. mandatorily, how can this ‘forced engagement’ exist as a two-way discussion?


I would be interested as to where religion fits into this discussion.  How does religion act in many cases as ‘subsistence’ item, or would it only be considered once food, water and shelter are taken care of?


This is a long article but worth reading (even at a later date) – interesting theory of how religion might be linked to evolution of the human mind as pertaining to survival.


4. Ross
Fuller Expert Witness Report

First, there are two issues here…one, the “study” of intelligent design and two the teaching of intelligent design in schools. They must be separated as I see it…I think Fuller confuses them a bit…he really does seem to think he is an expert on everything…

As far as the first, I see no problem with people being intelligent design researchers and I think if we tried to claim that they should not be, we would be serious hypocrites.

As far as the second, a few things…we use our unmasking tools to reveal insidious corporate intentions behind science…what is so different about using these tools to unmask insidious religious intentions? Second, because we in STS are always expanding what counts as worthy knowledge, I think it would be hypocritical to say intelligent design should be banned because it is not a science (I really do not know if that argument is that effective)…we need some sort of “what should count as ‘teachable’ argument”…I do not have it at the moment…but we’re definitely in a rut if we stick to the “it’s not a science” argument…

page 12 Rebuttal
are irreducible complexity of Behe and Specified complexity of Dembski supporting intelligent design? if yes how? I did not undrestand their argument on ID
6. Jon
Fuller is correct in his structural analysis of the mistrust of science, but I think his institutional solution is misguided. Because scientific agendas are decided in DC and scientific funding comes from government and business, the only tool Fuller thinks we have for democratizing science is the public school curriculum (Citizen Science, p.175). Unfortunately, the high school science classroom seems an odd place for this renaissance of critical public engagement in science, since these classrooms tend to be neither critical nor engaging. Further, it is hard to believe that a somber sounding paragraph which students cannot discuss will do much to change this.

This is the essential problem of our current scientific and educational institutions. We take 5 year old children, who while often annoying, are full of heterodox questions about the universe, "why is the sky blue? Why can't cats talk? Why can't we breathe underwater?" and turns out 18 year olds who've been trained, on the whole, to think in this way only when it is of instrumental value. It makes them useful workers and easy to govern, but less able to engage in criticism (scientific, political, social, etc.).

Interestingly, Fuller seems to imply that the consensus conference is a forum where peoples worlds can be reopened, and they can reapply their critical faculties in contexts which are not purely instrumental, even if they're in the minority on the committee or if policy makers ignore their decisions. I don't know if that's true, but I do know we need institutions which accomplish this kind of reopening. Fuller is fond of reminding us that of the celebrated "scientific revolutionaries" (Galileo, Copernicus, Boyle, etc.) only one was a professor (Newton). This suggests to me that new institutions are necessary for a serious restructuring of science, so using the public school seems fairly absurd.
7. Nicole If there's a war....
I generally agree with Fuller's critique of Mooney in the first half -- Mooney's approach abdicates the responsibility for a journalist to understand what he/she is covering, in a way that would not be acceptable in covering most other fields.  Without that understanding, there's no choice but to fall back on institutional or personal confidence. (Though science reporters are generally expected to cover a wider range of knowledge, I suppose, outside of specialist publications.)

The second half I'm less comfortable with, and I'll try to distill that into a couple of questions -

Is Fuller's critique of "Neo-Darwinism" binding together a number of distinct aspects of science in the same way he criticizes Mooney for doing?  It's clear from the other pieces that he sees biology as having a more heterogeneos structure -- many biologists have little to do with evolutionary theory.  But he seems to collapse Darwin and Spenser, evolutionary biology with evolutionary psychology -- these are not the same things, even if they borrow rhetoric.

Is Fuller oversimplifying the political aspects?  He treats local school boards as much the same as the US Congress.  Idealistically, local school boards should be robustly democratic, but in practice that is rarely the case.  Elected school boards may discard particularly "bad politics" (as they did in Dover, where most of the school board was out, I think, even before this case came to trial).  But on the whole, I think it might be important to pay attention to the different implications of political structures -- typically, the school board election gets little attention unless the school board makes asses of themselves...
8. Bess The Evolution Wars, Revisited One of the ID arguments is that some biological phenomena are "such complex structures and processes" that they are too difficult to trace back through evolution.  This seems to be a question of the perspective, or lens, through which these phenomena are viewed, and how this information is aquired or translated.  It certainly requires experts to objectively reduce some of these processes down to the layperson's terms, but is it merely a question of access to this information?  To what scale or degree do the ID proponents give up on the traceability?  When do they stop looking through the more powerful microscope, and who do they chose to interpret this scientific information?
9. Bess

Citizen Science



Science is getting more and more distant and specialized due to technology and visualization tools that it seems to become increasingly difficult to step outside of a specialized scientific practice and understand the implications relative to other specialized scientific fields.  Bohme's propositions allude to the need to create a more transdisciplinary relationship between fields, even within science alone.  Are scientists themselves responsible for this communication within their own field, or is STS?  Last class we briefly discussed the responsibility of STS taking a critical stance in terms of translating scientific agendas to the public; what about translating agendas to other scientists?


p. 176
Public participation in science (the arguement for IDT) encourages a potential falsifiability of Darwinism which has also potentially jump-started deeper research into these areas in order to falsify IDT theories. Activating Darwin's theory may also lead to alterations to his theroy, creating the state for some sort of paradigm shift that is only possible through the public's participation in science.


10. Logan
Fuller on Mooney
ha!  Ross, Fuller agrees with us about the asymmetry of Mooney's account.
Fuller Expert Report pgs. 11-12

Fuller seems to make the argument that evolution theory has been deemed beyond reproach.  Can science truly close debate on the particulars of any theory as long term as evolution?  It seems that evolutionary theory is not put under the same close examination as other major fundamental scientific theories, in that science seals a lot of non-religious debate around evolutionary theory that it could potentially benefit from as a reaction to the criticism of religious ideas like ID.  Wouldn’t it better suit the ideals of science to give all competing ideas of evolutionary theory religious or not the same level of review that would normally be awarded less monumental theories in order to prevent religious concerns from altering how the science is essentially practiced?

12. Logan
Fuller Expert Report p 6
Fuller separates the science/religion binary from being conflated with the state/church binary.  Interesting approach.
ID Is ID just a placeholder for the unexplained portions of evolution until enough time passes for scientific discovery to fill those holes?
Fuller (If There's a War...)

So, while intelligent design theory may appeal to those who believe in divine creation, its knowledge claims, and their evaluation, are couched in terms of laboratory experiments and probability theory that do not make any theistic references. Of course, this does not make the theory true but (so I believe) it does make it scientific. - is this science vs. non-science or good science vs. bad science...or is there no difference between the two? 
15. jess
Fuller (If There's a War...) It would be interesting to know who some of the people are who are commenting on this blog. Or what fields they may be coming from.
Fuller (Rebuttal)
If ID is not anti-scientific or non-scientific, where is the evidence that ID is participating in the peer review process or creating robust scientific results?
Evolution vs. ID
Richard Dawkins heavily criticizes the "God in the Gaps" theory by pointing out how the ID & Creationist proponents claim that their theories fill in any holes not explained by evolution, without explaining why their theory is superior in explanation of the "irreducably complex" aspects of "gaps" in the evolutionary theory.
18. jess
So...I would that ID SHOULD be discussed, but can't it be discussed in schools without being espoused?  Or is it argued that the only way it should be taught is as a plausible alternative (as opposed to being critical).
19. jess
So...perhaps what this debate is really about (from the STS side) is who has the right to criticize science. If I understand correctly, there are questions surrounding the fossil record. However, we/society/scientists only believe that specific individuals have the right to point out these inconsistencies and offer alternative theories. So. I am ashamed to say I kind of agree with this even though it goes against against many of the arguments of expertise and laity that I use in my own work. What do I do??? Can these be reconciled???