CU-Boulder: How Different Understandings of Science Influence Expectations

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Engineering Leadership Program: “Between Certainty and Disbelief: How Different Understandings of Science Influence Expectations”


On March 22, 2021, the Engineering Leadership Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder, a new JMC partner program, will host fellow Erin Dolgoy for a lecture on how differing understandings of science affect society. The lecture is a part the program’s virtual series, “The New STEM Enlightenment: Political Promises and Perils of Science and Technology.”

How do different understandings of science influence our expectations for scientific experimentation, technological innovation, and the possibility of establishing scientific laws and enduring truths about the universe, the natural world, and human beings? As the complexity of scientific information increases and the rate and scope of information dissemination also increase, scientists and non-scientists are often asked to evaluate scientific information in real-time with significant and immediate social and political effects, not only for us as individuals, but also for our families, communities, and countries.

In many instances, evaluating the legitimacy, credibility, and applicability of scientific information has become a political question, not simply a question of experimental veracity and consistent replicability. The Covid-19 Global Pandemic has brought these concerns to the forefront of public discussions.

This talk examines different approaches to and understandings of modern science, what science means, what it promises, how it is practiced, and what it can reasonably prove.

Monday, March 22, 2021 • 12:00 PM MDT
A virtual event

Free and open to the public, registration required.

Click here to register and learn more >>



Erin DolgoyErin A. Dolgoy is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. She teaches in the Political Science Department, the Search Program, and has contributed to the Program in Political Economy. This past semester she taught in Rhodes’ Liberal Arts in Prison Program. Her research in political theory and the politics of the United States examines questions that concern knowledge, science, government, and society. Professor Dolgoy holds a PHD and MA from Michigan State University in Political Science, an MA from the University of Alberta, and an HBA from the University of Toronto. 

Professor Dolgoy is a JMC fellow.

Learn more about Erin A. Dolgoy >>



The Engineering Leadership Program explores leadership challenges in applied science using liberal arts pedagogy. The program aims to cultivate leaders of curiosity and character, whose technical expertise is enriched through the study of the political, moral, and philosophic dilemmas posed by the perpetual advancement of science and technology. Students in ENLP are encouraged to see engineering leadership as a humane discipline that requires lifelong reflection on questions that arise within the purview of science, but which science alone cannot answer.

The Engineering Program maintains that leadership education is liberal education, or education in intellectual freedom. Liberal education provides effective preparation for engineering leadership because engineering education alone does not train engineers to reflect freely and deeply on the moral, political, and natural aspects of the engineering technologies they create.

Because liberal education poses the question of what the human good is, it supplements technical education by providing moral direction and purpose to the technical mind. Liberal education is valuable for future engineering leaders because it is education in, and exploration of, the manifold complexities and nuances of the human good. Reading widely, reasoning thoroughly, and thinking freely broaden the intellectual range of future engineering leaders, making them more competent to lead engineering enterprises whose missions are to produce technology that accords with the best interests of humanity.

Learn more about the Engineering Leadership Program >>



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