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COVID-19 heralds a new epistemology of science for the public good

COVID-19 has revealed that science needs to learn how to better deal with the irreducible uncertainty that comes with global systemic risks as well as with the social responsibility of science towards the public good. Further developing the epistemological principles of new theories and experimental practices, alternative investigative pathways and communication, and diverse voices can be an important contribution of history and philosophy of science and of science studies to ongoing transformations of the scientific enterprise. 

A new paper in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, led by the Scientific Director of the KLI Guido Caniglia, calls for change and action in the world of science and research from the privileged position of white academics working in wealthy western scientific institutions. "We want to leverage our privilege and invite science to embrace fundamental values of equity, justice, and inclusion," states Caniglia, "with the following overarching principles."
Principle 1: We need to elaborate new theoretical and experimental approaches to deal with and address irreducible uncertainty in action and decision-making processes. This will only be possible by improving and implementing inter and transdisciplinary methodologies. 
Principle 2: We need to foster alternative pathways in academia that enable scientists to contribute to the public discourse and to shape the science-society interface. This will be only possible if we foster science-society collaborations and invest more in training and programs on science communication.

Principle 3: We need to support diverse voices for equity, diversity, and inclusion in research and to increase quality and effectiveness of scientific knowledge. This will only be possible if we strive hard to to overcome systemic injustice in science and amplify marginalized voices.


For more details read the full text "COVID-19 heralds a new epistemology of science for the public good" in the topical collection "Seeing Clearly Through COVID-19."



Caniglia, G., Jaeger, C., Schernhammer, E. et al. COVID-19 heralds a new epistemology of science for the public good. HPLS 43, 59 (2021).