Emeritus Academy Lecture Series

Patti Lather
Department of Educational Studies

"Mea Culpa? Feminist Science Studies and the Politics of Scientific Authority in a Post-Truth Era"

March 4, 2020
4-5 p.m.
Grand Lounge, Faculty Club

My talk will explore how the long-running critique of scientific truth claims in feminist science studies is situated in “post-truth” times. How is the social construction of knowledge to be framed in such a time of “truth decay”? Are the critiques of procedural objectivity and the “cult of expertise” part of the problem or part of the solution? From the truth of the polls that said Hillary Clinton would win to the “alterna –facts,” “truthful hyperbole” and post-truth times of the daily headlines, we are post social consensus, post-trust in the media, post trust in experts. How do those of us who critique science in the name of varied advocacies and ideological commitments engage this new sensibility and configuration in getting on with our work? Is the concept of “generative undecidability” useful in developing a science more about responsibility than epistemology? Rather than apologizing for the feminist critiques of science thus far, how can such positions enable scholars to address the politics of scientific authority in a post-truth era?