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Integrating Social Impacts Concerns into Peer Review: the US Context Robert Frodeman Dept of Philosophy and Religion Studies University of North Texas.

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Presentation on theme: "Integrating Social Impacts Concerns into Peer Review: the US Context Robert Frodeman Dept of Philosophy and Religion Studies University of North Texas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Integrating Social Impacts Concerns into Peer Review: the US Context Robert Frodeman Dept of Philosophy and Religion Studies University of North Texas Dallas Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008

2 “Humanities” in the US: even more marginalized than in Europe… Three trends or ‘modes’:  Aestheticism  New Media  ‘Field’ Humanities Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008 A Rough Introduction

3 1. The New Aestheticism: Stanley Fish “To the question ‘of what use are the humanities?’, the only honest answer is none whatsoever. And it is an answer that brings honor to its subject. Justification, after all, confers value on an activity from a perspective outside its performance. An activity that cannot be justified is an activity that refuses to regard itself as instrumental to some larger good. The humanities are their own good.” “Will the Humanities Save Us?” The New York Times 6 Jan 2008 Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008

4 2. Humanities and the New Media Examples:  HASTAC: ‘Digital Humanities’ (analysis, manipulation, and interpretation of humanistic knowledge using computational media)  Rutgers English Dept: New Media Studies (treating blogging, Youtube, Facebook, RSS feeds, texting, etc, as the site of ‘literary’ analysis) Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008

5 Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008

6 Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008

7 3. ‘Field’ Humanities  Not ‘applied’ ethics; rather topical, iterative, and timely (real time philosophic assessment)  Directed outward rather than inward  The 3% solution: ELSI  Philosopher Kings and Bureaucrats Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008

8 Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008 UNT Field Station in Philosophy—Cape Horn, Chile

9 Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008 UNT Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity

10  Oxford UP Handbook of Interdisciplinarity (2009)  Philosophical Dimensions of Climate Change (NASA)  NSF’s Broader Impacts Criterion (BIC)  CAPR—Comparative Assessment of Peer Review (NSF) Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008 CSID Projects

11 BIC Research 30 attendees from academia, public science agencies, and policy centers  expanding ‘broader impacts’ beyond EPO (education and public outreach) to include ROSTS—’researchers of science and technology studies’ Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008 Forthcoming, 2009: Science and Engineering Ethics, ‘NSF’s Broader Impacts Criterion: Philosophical Perspectives’

12 CAPR: Comparative Assessment of Peer Review Sept Aug 2011 NSF-funded How do we best incorporate societal impacts considerations into the grant proposal peer review process?  CAPR assesses five different models of peer review:  NSF  NIH  NOAA  Dutch Technology Foundation (STW; Netherlands)  NSERC (Canada)  Seeking a 6 th model to research Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008

13 Relevance and Impact of the Humanities University of Vienna December 15 & 16, 2008 Conclusion Mode 3 Humanities Research (Field Humanities) likely to grow in prominence External and Internal Drivers:  External: increasingly portentous effects of science and technology on society  Internal: limits of disciplinary humanities; growing critique of expertise; practice as setting the finer points of our thinking (cf. social epistemology)

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