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CSS, CSEC & CESAGen Conference:- Getting Underneath the Fact

Date: 28 August - 29 August 2006 Time: 09.50 pm

Getting Underneath the Fact:natural categories & biological facts as historical and emergent objects


A conference organised by the Centre for Science Studies in conjunction with the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change, at Lancaster University.

To be held at the Institute of Advanced Studied from the 28th to 29th August 2006.





The initial project of science studies, it seems, is becoming ever more compromised by demands for science studies scholars to learn the language and the nominations of science before they can critique. This is highlighted by the recent Report on Wellcome Trust Biomedical Ethics Summer School at St Annes College, Oxford on the 26-29 Sep 2005. The report suggests that while the debate between scientists and social scientists and other humanities scholars may be fruitful the latter are:

'intimidated by the complexity of the science,……This suggests a training need: To find ways to familiarise social scientists and humanities researchers with neuroscience, and to equip them to liase with neuroscientists in a competent manner.'

This conference would be an opportunity to explore how STS research and the debates in which we engage are compliant with this vision, relying upon assumed foundations of knowledge. In the passage above the ontological assumptions of the neuroscientist may be read as fact, hence not open for debate or contestation. The task for the social science/humanities researcher becomes, it seems, someone who adds a bit of construction after the fact. This conference will provide a forum to think about assumed foundations in knowledge, their performative nature, and the way in which debates are framed around biological and natural facts. These issues will be explored in different research domains including genetics, brain sciences, classifications and number systems.

Please see attached PDFs for full conference abstract, conference programme, and conference registration form.

Please registerby 30th July 2006.

Returningtheregistration formto Ruth Love, Department of Sociology, B53a County South, Lancaster University. LA1 4YD

Tel - 01524 593148 / E-mail -

Conference Abstract


Registration Form


Who can attend:


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Sociology


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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