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Philip Kitcher: The Scientist's Role

Date of Lecture: January 30, 2014

Philip KitcherAbout the Speaker: Philip Kitcher is John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and the author of several books including “Science in a Democratic Society” (Prometheus Books, 2011), ”The Ethical Project” (Harvard University Press, 2011), and “Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith” (Oxford University Press, 2007). Kitcher is past president of the American Philosophical Association and the recipient of its inaugural Prometheus Prize for achievement in the philosophy of science.

About the Lecture: Kitcher draws on the examples of Darwinism and climate change to explore how the sciences have come to play a major part in shaping national and global policy. He considers four ethical questions that have surfaced as a result: What responsibilities do scientists have to answer to the needs and aspirations of a broader public? How can scientific expertise be integrated with democratic ideals? Are value judgments inescapable in science? And is the private funding of scientific research a threat to the proper functioning of science?

This lecture is part of the series "The Practice of Science in a World of Competing Values."

Watch the lecture below or download it free from iTunes U.