Workshop Epistemic Diversity in Knowledge Production Practices

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"Promises and challenges of epistemic diversity in knowledge production practices: A view from history and philosophy of science."


The epistemic value of diversity in scientific communities has been a matter of discussion in the philosophy of science and social epistemology. Some have argued that cognitive diversity (when members have different skills, research heuristics, and perspectives on the subject of inquiry) is necessary for an efficient division of cognitive labor. Others have pointed out that social/demographic diversity (when members have different non-epistemic values or social locations) can prompt criticism, provide the means for identifying biases and non-epistemic values in the research process, make room for new lines of research, and repair epistemic injustices.

In sum, diversity could be a promising tool for increasing the objectivity, justice, and efficiency of scientific communities and the knowledge they produce. With this in mind, several questions remain open. When and why is diversity epistemically beneficial, and how much is it desirable in scientific inquiry? In which situations could diversity be epistemically detrimental to the production of knowledge? What is the relation between social and epistemic diversity? What are the relevant dimensions (such as race, gender, class, or ethnicity) of social diversity? Under what institutional conditions does social diversity result in cognitive diversity? Finally, how should we encourage diversity and make use of its benefits in scientific research? The workshop aims to explore some of these issues and discuss diversity's role in current scientific research.

Invited speakers and talks

  • On the Limits of Dissent: Attacks against Scientists and the Cancel Culture Strategy, by Manuela Fernández Pinto, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.

  • The Need for a Geographically Situated Approach to Diversity in Science, by Juliana Gutierrez Valderrama, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.

  • Epistemic Diversity and Epistemic Injustice in Multi-Professional Decision-Making, by Saana Jukola, University of Twente.

Practical information

More information can be found in this document.

Please secure your spot by registering at this link
As slots are limited, we encourage you to register as soon as possible. If you choose online participation, we will send you a link some days before the workshop.

Abigail Nieves Delgado, Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University
Juliana Gutiérrez Valderrama, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Start date and time
End date and time
Janskerkhof 13, room 0.06 (Utrecht) and online
Entrance fee
Registration necessary.

See above.