Crossing the Divides: Exploring Boundaries & Overlaps between Sociology & Philosophy in Science & Bioethics

Brunel University, London, is organizing a workshop (May 13th – 14th 2013) exploring the potential productive overlaps between the disciplines of Philosophy and Sociology. With a focus on two disputed domains, relations between the Philosophy of Science and the Sociology of Science and interactions between Bioethics and Sociological approaches to Ethics, the workshop aims at developing conceptual tools to reflect the fruitful interactions between these disciplines.

Both philosophy and sociology have a core set of intellectual traditions, background assumptions and methods, and the aim of the workshop is to make these explicit and to question to what degree these do and should make a difference to ‘crossing the divides’. Indeed, holding these cross-disciplinary conversations is crucial if we want to avoid one discipline rediscovering the wheels of others. Hopefully, such conversations will enable participants to identify the strengths of each discipline so that particular scientific or ethical problems are investigated in a more co-ordinated and synergistic manner with the disciplinary contributions building on each others’ insights.

Contributions to this workshop might for example reflect on:
– Sociological and/or philosophical perspectives on interdisciplinarity applied to philosophy and sociology of science and bioethics.
– Reflections from the history of philosophy and/or sociology on the relationship between sociology and philosophy of science.
– Reflections on the demarcation between sociological and philosophical approaches to science and bioethics.
– Reflections from adjacent interdisciplinary collaborations / fields of study such as History and Philosophy of Science and possible lessons learned from these.
– Reports of current work within philosophy or sociology of science and bioethics which cross the boundaries between philosophy and sociology.

The Workshop is funded by the Wellcome Trust Biomedical Ethics Strategic Award supporting LABTEC (London and Brighton Translational Ethics Centre).

Enquiries to: Hauke Riesch at

Please submit abstracts of no more than 500 words by 11th Jan 2013.


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