Keynote Lectures in May 2017

As part of Brighton Doctoral College’s week-long Festival of Postgraduate Research, three eminent researchers visited the university to deliver keynote lectures. See below for videos.

Dr Patricia Fara, Monday 15 May, 11am, Checkland, Falmer

A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in World War One

At the end of World War One, women won the battle for the vote, but they lost the fight for equality. For four years, female scientists and doctors had proved they could succeed in careers traditionally reserved for men. But after the Armistice, conventional hierarchies were rapidly re-established. One hundred years later, they still have not been completely overturned.

Dr Patrica Fara is a historian of science at the University of Cambridge, president of The British Society for the History of Science, recipient of the Dingle prize for her book, Science: A Four Thousand Year History, and contributor to BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time.

Prof Steve Fuller, Wednesday 17 May, 2pm, Checkland, Falmer

Do we really need more academic research? A hundred year update on Max Weber’s ‘Science as a Vocation’

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the most famous lecture ever given on the nature of modern academic life, Max Weber’s ‘Science as a Vocation’, which was originally delivered to an audience of graduate students. Weber believed that the life of a researcher was lonely, thankless and never ending. While the first two qualities seem to be with us, there is now a genuine question as to whether we have not too little, but too much, research. Prof Fuller will argue that this may well be the case, which in turn places the very idea of ‘science as a vocation’ on a somewhat different footing from its standing in Weber’s day.

Prof Steve Fuller is founder of the journal Social Epistemology, author of over 20 books and holds the University of Warwick’s Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology.

Prof Matthew Weait, Friday 19 May, 2pm, Checkland, Falmer

Do you know who I am? Law, confession, and the ‘normal’ body

Should I tell someone I am living with HIV? That my gender is not the one I was assigned at birth? That I am not who you think I am, or who you would like me to be? In this lecture Prof Weait will explore law’s assumptions about the ‘normal’ body and its expectation that we should disclose any ‘abnormality’ to others. Focusing on recent cases in which people have been disciplined and punished for failing to conform to socially and culturally valorised physiological and gendered ideals – people whose bodies it has identified as dangerous, deceptive and risky – Matthew will suggest that the law, far from protecting us against threats or affirming our rights, serves rather to shore up hegemonic values, and that it does this at the expense of acknowledging and celebrating the lived experience and identities of real people.

Prof Matthew Weait is Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Portsmouth. His research centres on the impact of legislation on people living with HIV and AIDS.

Lecture introduced by Prof Tara Dean, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise