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SSSHARC launch

Expanding the circle of regard for truth

Do we need cultural change in our relation to truth?
Join us for the launch of the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC). Our expert panel will discuss the role of humanities in addressing the 'post truth' crisis.

Event details

Event type: Panel
Date: Wednesday 21 November 2018
Time: 6 – 7.30pm (the panel will be followed by a reception)
Venue: SSB (Social Sciences Building) Lecture Theatre 200, University of Sydney, Camperdown, Building code: A02 (close to Parramatta Rd / Western Ave entrance). Please note: while there is some street parking available in front of the Sydney School of Veterinary Science, spaces are limited so we suggest using public transport whenever possible.
 Free and open to all with online registrations required
Register for this event

Today’s 'post truth' crisis is causing alarm. One might assume that people say things in order to convey true information. However, language is increasingly being used in public conversations to signal stance or identity, irrespective of whether the claims made are true. This is a problem because we need to be able to trust what we hear if we are going to make good decisions.
Social science and humanities disciplines are central to the global debate around this problem, for numerous reasons. On the one hand they have been accused of exacerbating or even creating the problem, by developing the idea that truth is relative to historical and cultural context. On the other hand these fields provide important critical correctives to simple assumptions about truth and reality. How do we reconcile this tension?
To celebrate the official launch of the new Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC), we will explore these questions and more. Professor Nick Enfield will open the discussion by making the case for cultural change in our relation to truth. Fellow panellists – Associate Professor Rebecca Scott Bray, Professor Duncan Ivison and Dr Dalia Nassar – will respond and take up the issues from a range of perspectives, bringing in questions of truth in beauty, rights to know, and the search for justice in exposing the truth about death.

The speakers: 

  • Professor Nick Enfield - Inaugural SSSHARC Director and Professor of Linguistics, University of Sydney
  • Dr Dalia Nassar – Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Rebecca Scott Bray – Associate Professor of Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies, University of Sydney
  • Professor Duncan Ivison – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Professor of Political Philosophy, University of Sydney
The panel will be followed by a reception and launch celebration in the ground floor of the RD Watt Building (Science Rd, opposite Wallace Lecture Theatre).

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