Problems of Scientific Freedom in Modern and Contemporary History
Frankfurt am Main
Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main, Campus Westend, in the building of the Excellence cluster „Normative Orders“.
02.11.2018 – 03.11.2018
Over the last few years, the public discourse has witnessed a renewed interest in the question of scientific freedom, triggered by several current occasions: educational institutions are bleeding especially in countries that were affected the most by the financial crisis of the last decade. Positions driven by hate, racism, and obscure worldviews are gaining ground within the political movements. Even in the states hitherto known as bastions of tolerance and liberalism, the broader scientific community is coming under pressure of legitimacy due to conservative electoral successes.
– The unequal distribution of knowledge potential (brain-drain und brain-gain) and thereby the redistribution of future chances between the expelling and receiving countries.
The purpose of the conference is thus to deal with varying phenomena, from the restricting of scientific freedom within the last 250 years with its impact on the working conditions of scientists, to the dismissal and expulsion of intellectuals with respect to the impact of these phenomena both on the intellectual environment of the respective countries in particular and on human societies in general.
For this purpose, we invite both contributions that take on these questions in the light of historical or current case examples of ideologically motivated interventions to science, as well as general thematic approaches to scientific freedom in specific regional contexts. Contributions from both the field of fundamental historical research and applied interdisciplinary research that grapple with current political issues are welcome.
The case examples can be drawn from the rich repertoire of the successfully implemented extension of scientific freedoms as well as from that of the restrictions imposed upon science and scientists across the globe. We welcome paper proposals on current phenomena in the Western and Eastern hemisphere as much as we welcome contributions that deal with repression and hostility to science in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The politically motivated granting of freedoms for the purpose of knowledge expansion in areas such as new technologies, medicine, and the not-so-nobly motivated weapons armament research, on the one hand, and the repression imposed upon the representatives of unpopular scientific positions as well as the long list of recent expulsions, on the other, are equally relevant.
The conference will be held in English (probably some partes in German depending to the composition of the panels). Deadline for the submission of proposals (in English, max. 1 page and a short bio) is April 1st, 2018.
We have applied for reimbursement of travel expenses and accommodation of the speakers and can presumably offer a grant for travel expenses, probably more. In the spirit of scientific freedom no conference fee will be charged.