SRPoiSE 2020

Date: 07/07/2020 - 09/07/2020
All Day
Location: Michigan State University
Categories: No Categories

The 5th Meeting of SRPoiSE: The Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering

Conference Description

The mission of The Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering (SRPoiSE) is to support, advance, and conduct philosophical work that is related to science and engineering and that contributes to public welfare and collective wellbeing. We aim to improve the capacity of philosophers of all specializations to collaborate and engage with scientists, engineers, policy-makers, and a wide range of publics to foster epistemically and ethically responsible scientific and technological research.

We are particularly interested in addressing complex social and environmental problems and in fostering the ability of researchers in science and engineering to do so as well. We seek to understand and ameliorate conceptual and institutional barriers to collaborative research across these groups. We work to cultivate strategies for training graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty on how to effectively collaborate across a variety of domains. We promote joint efforts among institutions and individual researchers to conduct socially relevant research. We seek to partner with other groups from philosophy and allied science studies disciplines to fulfill our mission. We are a welcoming and diverse organization committed to respectful and fair treatment of all of our members.

Call for Papers

We seek proposals for presentations, panels, and discussions that further these aims for our 5th meeting, which will overlap with the 8th Biennial Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP). We are especially interested in work done in collaboration with and fostering reflection by scientists, engineers, medical researchers and professionals, policymakers, science communicators, or wider publics; and work that reflects on how to collaborate more effectively across these groups and overcome institutional and conceptual barriers to collaboration. Previous SRPoiSE presentation topics have included: local decarbonization policy development, smallholder farmers as agricultural innovators, and epistemic injustice in the handling of children’s medical and legal testimony. 

Submitting to SRPoiSE vs SPSP

SRPoiSE and SPSP will be held concurrently. You are welcome to submit to both conferences, but if you plan to do so, you should submit substantially different proposals. 

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Social justice issues in science, engineering, and medicine
  • The role of ethics and values in science, technology, and medicine
  • Ethics education in science and engineering; socially relevant STEM education
  • Public understanding of science and medicine; science communication
  • The role of science, engineering, and medicine in policy
  • Issues with and new models of science advising
  • Broader impacts and ethical, legal, and social implications of research
  • Rethinking responsible conduct of research
  • Coupled epistemic-ethical issues and analyses
  • Science and democracy; democratization of science; citizen science
  • Creating and cultivating cultures for ethical and socially responsible STEM
  • Involving stakeholders in research; participatory action research
  • Analyses of interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and engagement
  • Alt-ac careers for SRPoiSE scholars

Proposal Types

Traditional individual presentations

Proposals for twenty minute presentations of original research. These proposals will be organized into thematic sessions with discussion at the end. If possible, a discussant or commenter will be assigned for the session to synthesize the discussion. Please submit an abstract of 400-500 words. Submissions that are not accepted will be automatically considered for Lightning talks / open roundtables.

Panel discussions

Organized panel discussions on a specific theme, focused on original research. Proposals that include diverse disciplinary approaches and/or institutional locations (e.g., faculty/student/other affiliates, different universities, academics/industry/policy) will be given priority over more homogenous panels. We encourage innovations on panel format. Please submit an abstract of at least 500 words describing panel theme and abstract, as well as 300-500 word abstracts for each presentation/contribution. Panels without a discussant to synthesize the discussion may be assigned one.

Lightning talks / Ignite session / Open roundtables

Short presentations (5-10 minutes). Exact format to be determined by number of submissions and feedback. Lightning talks and Ignite presentations generally involve a series of rapid-fire presentations, perhaps with auto-advancing slides, of roughly five minutes. Open roundtables generally involve multiple simultaneous presentations of approximately 10 minutes with small groups, with plenty of time for discussion. These formats are especially good for early-career scholars, scholars exploring a new area of research, praxis-focused case studies and best practices recommendations. Please submit an abstract of 500 words describing the topic to be presented.

Roundtable discussions

Roundtable discussions of a focal topic or question. Roundtable discussions are more informal and dialogical. Roundtables should include a strong moderator, a focal topic, question, or series of questions, prepared remarks from participants, and plenty of time for cross-panel and audience discussion. Please submit a 250-word description of the roundtable theme or topic, a 250-word description of the moderator’s qualifications, and 250-word biographies of the roundtable panelists. Roundtable discussions will be evaluated in part based on the qualifications of the panelists, and will not be reviewed anonymously.

Birds-of-a-feather briefs

Birds-of-a-feather sessions are networking opportunities in which presenters will lead an informal, town-hall-style discussion about a chosen topic for fellow practitioners, with the bulk of the time reserved for audience participation and informal discussion. Proposals should be in the form of an abstract of 250 words describing the topic to be discussed, and 250-word biographies of the presenters. Birds-of-a-feather proposals will be evaluated in part based on the qualifications of the panelists, and will not be reviewed anonymously.


Those working on book manuscripts in some pertinent area of research are invited to discuss their idea with conference participants in a session focused on constructive feedback about such projects. This includes fresh ideas for books just underway as well as books nearing completion, but does not extend to author-critics sessions on recently-published books. Please submit a 500 word abstract describing your book manuscript and its state of completion, the content of your presentation, and questions for discussion / feedback sought.


Graduate students preparing dissertation proposals, in the dissertation-writing phase, or approaching their dissertation defense are invited to present their work at a special dissertations-in-progress session focused on constructive and supportive feedback. Instructions: Please submit a 500-word abstract describing the content of your dissertation. We will work with you in advance of the session on general guidelines for preparing the presentation and what to expect.


We invite presentations from those working on experimental research or teaching projects that don’t neatly fit under the headings of traditional research presentations, books, or dissertations in progress, including experiments in public philosophy, field philosophy, science-philosophy collaboration, and X-phi. Please submit a 500-word abstract describing your project, what stage it is in, , the content of your presentation, and questions for discussion / feedback sought.

Workshop sessions

These sessions should be working sessions, not just longer panel sessions for presenting research. As such, they should aim to have a hands-on or how to element, to focus on professionalization and (traditional or alt-ac) career success, to help students and scholars gain skills or knowledge necessary to work in SRPoiSE areas, or to make new connections between SRPoiSE scholars and thinkers in other fields or areas of philosophy not ordinarily associated with SRPoiSE. Please submit a 500-word abstract describing your workshop plan, including the role and contribution of each participant, and 250-word biographies of the organizer and each participant. Workshop proposals will be evaluated in part based on the qualifications of the panelists, and will not be reviewed anonymously. As many details as possible should be included, but we are willing to consider proposals that require some details to be filled in later. 

Plenary sessions, keynotes etc.

If you have suggestions for additional plenary sessions, binary session dialogues, keynote speakers, Rogerian arguments, etc., please email

Submission Instructions

Please submit your proposal using our EasyChair submission form: (submissions will open on September 17). 

Multiple submissions will be considered, but multiple appearances on the program will be limited. You will not be able to make multiple presentations of the same general kind, but you may be able to, e.g., present original research and in a more informal or praxis-focused session. Please see above regarding submissions at SRPoiSE vs SPSP.

Submissions are due by November 15, 2019. We aim to have a decision by March 1, 2019. 

SRPoiSE works to foster diversity and inclusiveness. In light of that aim, proposal authors and panel organizers will be asked to submit a 50-100 word diversity statement to explain their contributions and commitments to diversity, as relevant to their proposal and in general. You are encouraged to explain how you will contribute to and support the diversity of this conference. Conference proposals will be reviewed for quality, but final programming decisions will be made with professional and social diversity and inclusiveness in mind. 

If you have any questions about the submission process or other questions related to SRPoiSE programming, please email See below for questions related to facilities. 

Program committee

  • Matthew J. Brown (UT Dallas), Program Chair
  • Justin Biddle (Georgia Tech), SPSP Liaison
  • Dan Hicks (UC Merced) – Individual Member
  • Catherine Kendig (MSU) – Philosophy Department
  • Katie Plaisance (University of Waterloo) – Knowledge Integration
  • Sean Valles (MSU) – Lyman Briggs


Conference meetings rooms are ALD compatible and wheelchair accessible. Potential attendees should please feel free to contact Catherine Kendig ( or Sean Valles ( with questions about faciliites.