Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A very simple suggestion for scientists to increase their interactions w/ people in the humanities

Well, I have been inspired recently by some of my interactions with people in the humanities. In general I think that there need to be more professional interactions between scientists and people in the humanities. So here is a simple suggestion, that could be taken up by scientists.

When you go to give a talk at another place, and your hosts ask who you want to meet with, include someone from outside the sciences. Either find someone yourself or asks your hosts to do it. I am going to do this for all my future visits to other campuses. Not only might it help in terms of interactions across fields, but I know my brain hurts after a full day of meeting with only scientists, so this has got to be better ...

4 comments:

  1. Hi, Jonathan. May I make a rather self-promoting suggestion here? I gave a talk last month at the annual meeting of the Oregon Public Health Association. My talk was entitled, “They Do Public Health Differently There: Opportunities for Publication and Networking in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” and it can be accessed here:

    http://www.oregonpublichealth.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=20:site-content&id=75:2010-opha-conference-presentations

    Here is the abstract:

    “Samaritan Health Services launched the free online service ResearchRaven http://www.researchraven.com/ in April 2010. It is a search platform that enables those in the health sciences to find calls for papers for periodicals and calls for presentations and papers at professional meetings and details of such meetings.

    As ResearchRaven has developed, we have been struck by how many of these calls either list public health as one of the topics of the conference or list public health professionals as possible presenters, attendees or authors, even those the sponsoring organization or journal is from a field that one does not typically immediately associate with public health (e.g., computer science or literary theory). Additionally, as the Web administrators of ResearchRaven we assign listings to the category Public Health even though public health is not explicitly mentioned in the announcement. We do so because we feel that the subject matter would interest those in public health. In this presentation, we will walk public health professionals through the Public Health categories of ResearchRaven and its sister site, ScanGrants, to generate discussion of the value of tracking what is being discussed about public health at conferences and journals OPHA members may not have heard of.”

    The same argument could be made for non-public health scientists and technologists and academics (e.g., neuroscientists, biomedical engineers, information scientists, computer scientists, historians of science). We really try on ResearchRaven to connect those who deal with the nuts and bolts of science to those who are approaching such matters as human enhancement, synthetic biology, bioengineering, gene therapy and so on from the standpoint of the popular culture, philosophy, bioethics, literary studies, media and communication studies, public policy and law and social science generally. As I work on ResearchRaven I get to look at call after call for papers and meeting announcements in such areas as immersive and assistive technology and social media studies and it is really amazing what commonalities there are. And you yourself are a great example of the synergies given that you do a lot of very valuable work that is of great help to people like me, a librarian type.

    Anyway, thanks for a great post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Jonathan. May I make a rather self-promoting suggestion here? I gave a talk last month at the annual meeting of the Oregon Public Health Association. My talk was entitled, “They Do Public Health Differently There: Opportunities for Publication and Networking in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” and it can be accessed here:

    http://www.oregonpublichealth.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=20:site-content&id=75:2010-opha-conference-presentations

    Here is the abstract:

    “Samaritan Health Services launched the free online service ResearchRaven http://www.researchraven.com/ in April 2010. It is a search platform that enables those in the health sciences to find calls for papers for periodicals and calls for presentations and papers at professional meetings and details of such meetings.

    As ResearchRaven has developed, we have been struck by how many of these calls either list public health as one of the topics of the conference or list public health professionals as possible presenters, attendees or authors, even those the sponsoring organization or journal is from a field that one does not typically immediately associate with public health (e.g., computer science or literary theory). Additionally, as the Web administrators of ResearchRaven we assign listings to the category Public Health even though public health is not explicitly mentioned in the announcement. We do so because we feel that the subject matter would interest those in public health. In this presentation, we will walk public health professionals through the Public Health categories of ResearchRaven and its sister site, ScanGrants, to generate discussion of the value of tracking what is being discussed about public health at conferences and journals OPHA members may not have heard of.”

    The same argument could be made for non-public health scientists and technologists and academics (e.g., neuroscientists, biomedical engineers, information scientists, computer scientists, historians of science). We really try on ResearchRaven to connect those who deal with the nuts and bolts of science to those who are approaching such matters as human enhancement, synthetic biology, bioengineering, gene therapy and so on from the standpoint of the popular culture, philosophy, bioethics, literary studies, media and communication studies, public policy and law and social science generally. As I work on ResearchRaven I get to look at call after call for papers and meeting announcements in such areas as immersive and assistive technology and social media studies and it is really amazing what commonalities there are. And you yourself are a great example of the synergies given that you do a lot of very valuable work that is of great help to people like me, a librarian type.

    Anyway, thanks for a great post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very good idea, mutual benefit, especially if it gets Philosophy to broaden it's outlook beyond formal logic!

    There is a movement in a similar vein in the UK lead by Nick Maxwell, philosopher of science, to get more emphasis on "wisdom" and not just knowledge: http://www.knowledgetowisdom.org/

    ReplyDelete