Public Writing to Influence Policy

One of the many tasks of public philosophy is to clarify philosophical issues that affect the decisions of experts and professionals. Issues in Science and Technology is a forum for the discussion of public policy issues. It is similar to a journal in that the pieces are written by academic researchers and other experts rather than by journalists, but it is also similar to a magazine because pieces are written for a general audience. IST influences both policymakers and academic researchers and is accessible online to the general public.

Robert Frodeman, a founding member of PPN, curates a regular column called “Philosopher’s Corner” in which philosophers show how judgments of ethics and values are woven into specific public policy decisions pertaining to science and technology. Demonstrating the philosophical assumptions that guide how issues are framed pierces the assumption that scientific knowledge or technical know-how is all that’s needed to resolve our most pressing social problems.

Recent examples of this column by members of PPN include:

J. Britt Holbrook, Open Science, Open Access, and the Democratization of Knowledge

Robert Frodeman, The Hidden Life of Science & Technology

Adam Briggle, Make Science Great Again

Evelyn Brister, Genome Fidelity and the American Chestnut