As experts in philosophy of science—broadly construed to include history and philosophy of science and science and technology studies as well—we aim to bring attention to rich philosophical work on the public engagement and outreach of science, science education and pedagogy, and the interdisciplinary communication of increasingly hyper-specialized sciences.
Furthermore, as philosophers involved in a range of engagement and communication practices, we as a community are dedicated to providing support for philosophers to explore and grow “alternative” or “academic-adjacent” career opportunities in the areas of science outreach, communication, and pedagogy.
We have four central commitments:
1. Philosophy of science communication is an emerging field that expands the HPS-STS (History and Philosophy of Science – Science and Technology Studies) loci of concern to address ontological, epistemic, normative, and sociological roles played by stakeholders and activities beyond that of scientists in specific scientific disciplines. Philosophy of science communication is concerned with issues that arise at two types of interfaces: the interfaces between scholarly disciplines and the interfaces between scientists/scholars of science and the general public. Philosophy of Science Communication is thus inherently interdisciplinary and socially embedded.
2. Philosophy of Science Communication is not just the Philosophy of “Science Communication,” but also the Communication of “Philosophy of Science”. Philosophy of science is not well-known outside of the philosophical discipline. To productively promote awareness of philosophy of science and its usefulness for scientific understanding and practice, philosophers of science should be their own advocates and communicate to other disciplines and the public what we are.
3. Public engagement and science communication are great career opportunities for philosophers of science. Philosophers of science, trained for reflective proficiency in their target sciences, are adequately positioned to develop their careers in the direction of science communication. This network scaffolds professional development by facilitating networking events with practitioners, by organizing workshops, and by promoting positive awareness of philosophers as communicators of science.
4. Philosophy of (science in) practice is an excellent way forward for studying, and collaborations concerning, science communication/public engagement. We facilitate collaborations with practitioners of science communication, non-expert audiences as well as philosophers, science communication theorists, and practitioners.
Lynn Chiu, Sophie Veigl, Rebecca Hardesty (2019)