Joint Sydney-Tilburg conference on "Evidence, Science and Public Policy," 26-28 March 2009

The Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science in conjunction with the Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science.

The relationship between science and public policy is complex. Good public policy on matters such as the environment, climate change, health, the economy, and justice must be informed by good science. But this science needs to be conducted in ways amenable to the needs of the policy makers and the results communicated in ways accessible to both the policy makers and the public at large. Public policy issues might even impinge on the science itself. For example, acceptable levels of error might be thought to be determined by the consequences of the decisions to be made using the scientific findings. This raises many interesting philosophical questions about the relationship between science, evidence and public policy. Should science remain independent of policy decisions and concern itself only with evidence? Is this possible? What is evidence-based medicine and does it live up to its advertising? What is evidence-based public policy and what does it offer above standard policy making? Our goal in this conference is to bring together philosophers of science, political philosophers, policy makers, and other researchers interested in the science-policy interface. We welcome papers on any of the above questions as well as papers on broader issues concerning evidence, especially in applied contexts (e.g. legal, medical, and environmental).

Keynote speakers

John Quiggin, University of Queensland
John Worrall, London School of Economics