Challenging Society Sessions
UvA academics challenged international experts to put a social issue into perspective and jointly adopt a bird’s-eye view to look beyond the limits of their own field.
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What's it about?
In the academic year 2017-2018, the UvA organised the Challenging Society Sessions, inspired by the theme of the UvA's 385th anniversary celebrations: ‘Inspiring Generations’. The series consisted of a total of five evenings with special international guests that were challenged by UvA scholars.
Speakers included Helen Nissenbaum (philosopher and information scientist), Ronald Skeldon (geographer), Barbara Sahakian (neuroscientist and neuroethicist), Jacques Rupnik (historian and politicologist) and Sheila Jasanoff (Science & Technology, Harvard). Topical issues such as Privacy, Global Migration and Human Enhancement were covered.
If you would like to see the videoregistrations of the evenings on 'Global Migration' , 'Human Enhancement', 'Challenging Europe', and 'Remaking Nature' click on the button below. Unfortunately due to technical reasons the first evening on 'Privacy & Data' was not recorded.
Recurring theme of Challenging Society Sessions
History has shown that we are not always acutely aware of the consequences of innovations and scientific discoveries. All the same, the impact of science on society is creating a field of tension: our world is increasingly shaped by technological inventions and new scientific insights. These inventions and insights then lead to new policies and new legislation, or even form the breeding ground for new values and standards.
We are increasingly figuring out what we and the universe are made of. But what are the consequences of this knowledge? What kind of world do these inventions create? What kind of society do we want to live in? Can't progress be stopped? Should we be more aware of the consequences of our desire for more, taller or faster? How can this be tackled?
Below an overview of all the themes of the Challenging Society Sessions. Click on them for more info on keynote speakers, and UvA challengers.
The discussions were led by Tracy Metz, and the interaction with the public was prepared by a panel of students. Surrounding the Challenging Society Session evenings, there were discussion meetings, working groups, masterclasses and other content-related activities which examined the theme in greater depth.
Each theme was introduced by a keynote speaker after which a UvA scientist challenged the perspective of the keynote with his/her own expertise. The moderator confronted them both with critical questions to discuss the issues surrounding the theme in-depth.
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For this academic year the Challenging Society Sessions have been finalised. If you would like to stay updated on upcoming sessions or activities like these of the UvA. Please sign up below.