ESOF 2018: Is science a humanism?

Le 11 juillet de 17h à 18h15: Session « Is Science a Humanism? » avec la participation de membres du M.U.R.S.

With the help of a few gurus planted in the audience, we present a dialogue around the following theme. We are in a railway carriage on the way to Toulouse. An invited speaker of ESOF2018 is preparing his presentation. He must treat various aspects connected with the general title. He is pretty sure that he will be able to prove the proposition that science is a humanism. Yes, science reached Europe with Humanism and brought with it certainties to replace vague opinions coming from religions.
Yes, science is able to answer questions philosophers have been asking themselves since a long time about the place of man in the universe, etc. On the way, the ‘invited speaker’ also ponders about some burning issues: should science be directed and if so, by who? Does one have to be an able writer in order to become a good scientist? Are scientists allowed to study useless subjects or must there always, at least implicitly, be some kind of application? Must one understand everything completely before publishing? What is the difference between a large collaborative exercise (CERN, for example) and a religious sect? Does science necessarily imply social responsibility? Are there ghost writers in science as there are in literature? etc., etc.

To each of these questions, he believes he can provide a valid reply but, every time, somebody else in the train rises to contradict him and destroys his assertions. In the end, the conference speaker no longer knows how to make his presentation. So, he decides to turn to the audience for help. The conclusion is intended to be: yes, science is indeed a humanism, but probably for none of the reasons originally advanced by the ‘invited speaker’…

Speakers :
Anne-Sophie GODFROY – University Paris-Est-Créteil & CNRS, Anne CAMBON-THOMSEN – Universite de Toulouse, Jean-Patrick CONNERADE – European Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters, Liliane GORRICHON – CNRS (based in Toulouse), Baudouin JURDANT – Université de Paris, Jeannot MEDINGER – Ministère de l’Education, Uli ROTHFUSS – Faber-Castell Academy, Nürnberg, Raymond SELTZ – EuroScience

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