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Science and Democracy: Michael Ignatieff
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Science Center Lecture Hall D
1 Oxford StCambridge , MA
As a philosopher of science, Karl Popper was unique, among 20th century political thinkers, in the emphasis he placed upon scientific knowledge as a precondition for political freedom in a democratic society. Openness was, above all, a moral and intellectual commitment to falsification and to constant self-correction and self-criticism. The 21st century’s ‘new enemies’ of open society—ideological nationalism and authoritarian populism, empowered by new technologies—pose a challenge to Popper’s epistemological ideal of a free society and ask us to think again about ‘the marketplace of ideas’ model of democratic debate. The lecture responds to these challenges by exploring how to restore the authority of scientific knowledge in public debate.