Art and religion for science policy?

A CSPO webcast entitled "New Tools for Science Policy" asks an interesting, if somewhat odd, question about science and art: "Can art and religion serve as methods for governing emerging science and technology?"

More details:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 5:30 p.m. EDT (webcast will be here)

Participants:

Dr. Greg Graffin, Recent author of Anarchy Evolution, professor of evolutionary biology at Cornell University, and lead singer of Bad Religion, one of the most successful punk rock bands in the world.

Steve Olson, Co-author with Dr. Graffin of Anarchy Evolution, freelance writer, and former Special Assistant for Communications in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

His Excellency, Monsignor Marcelo Sànchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Science, and science advisor to Pope Benedict XVI

This event is part of a series presented by Arizona State University to help policymakers and the public explore the societal implications of advanced technology, and the various ways we, as a society, can attempt to manage that technology. Very often, some of the best ways to manage science and technology do not derive from the governments, corporations, or associations, but rather arise organically from society itself.

Art and religion stem from the mores and needs of a society and, in turn, help to shape those same mores, desires, and needs. Art and religion aid in shaping the way the public perceives, experiences, and uses science and technology, and those ideas are conveyed to decision-makers. How powerful are these social forces in creating more tangible forms of governance like regulation and legislation? Our panelists will address this and other questions and engage with the audience for what promises to be an exciting and informative evening.

I don't know why "art and religion" are being lumped together as a dyad - I talk about art on this blog, but never about religion - nor do I fully understand whether the idea is to use art and religion to shape public perceptions of science, or to incorporate art and religion into the "manage"ment of public science policy.

It's all a bit cryptic, isn't it?

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