Seminar series on democracy

Circle U. kickstarts a series of seminars on "Evidence in Times of Crises". The overall ambition of the seminar series is to introduce innovative ways of addressing real-life solutions to pressing global challenges. The first seminar, "Evidence and Democracy in Times of Crises", will be a webinar in September 2021.

Photo by Fred Moon/Unsplash.

The systematic use of knowledge in the public sphere is usually discussed under the label of evidence-based or evidence-informed policymaking. These concepts build on a linear logic where the “evidence-base” is established before a political decision about a particular course of action is taken. This linear logic relies on a harmonious understanding of the relation between (scientific) evidence and public policy according to which decision-makers receive reliable information on the optimal way to address a given societal problem.

Rethinking relations

The current climate crisis and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic expose the limits of linear and harmonious understanding of the relation between evidence and democratic policymaking, and force us to rethink the relation between evidence and democratic decision-making.

We ask: What is the role of evidence – and what should be its role – when urgent decisions must be taken? How do political and administrative decision-makers balance “hard” scientific evidence with other types of evidence and other legitimate concerns? How can scientific evidence be communicated to the wider public without unduly antagonizing significant parts of the population?

Open to the public

The seminar is organized by WP5 – Socially-engaged Education and Research – and is part of Circle U. Democracy Hub.

The seminars will include all members of Circle U.’s community, including students, academics and partners. They will be organized as panel discussions with very short introductions representing different perspectives on a given topic, followed by discussion. They will be open to a wider audience, who will be actively involved and encouraged to engage with the panel through questions and moderated discussions.

More information on registration and panelists is coming soon.


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Published May 12, 2021 11:07 AM - Last modified May 12, 2021 11:09 AM