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Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities
Annual SVT symposium

Sick society - Exploring the relation between knowledge and action in a pandemic

The SVT symposium 2021 will focus on the relation between knowledge and actions in Covid-19 times.

Murmuration of starlings
This picture of tail fluke murmurations illustrates choreographies of knowledge and action; new patterns, new purposes.
Photo:
Sue Cro/Flickr - Tail Fluke Murmuration November 2018

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UPDATE: Due to the covid-19 restrictions, this event, which was originally planned for 4 December 2020, is postponed until 3 December 2021.

About the symposium

The SVT symposium explores the relationship between knowledge and action in a pandemic. This relationship is fraught with complexity and uncertainty, and our societies have responded with a state of exception, which has reduced the conception of health to a single value, and the political actions to one plan – that of reducing contagion. This task has been heavily invested in science and technology, and it has revealed important features of science conducted in high-stakes social, political and economic arenas.

In this symposium, titled ‘sick society’, we want to critically discuss the enduring ‘state of exception’ we are experiencing, and explore the responsibility of science to inform action under complexity and uncertainty. How does science provide legitimacy for the far-reaching governance measures that reshape our everyday lives? How is science reorganising at speed in order to address the challenges of the current pandemic? And what kind of data and evidence are used (and which are not) in support of political decision-making?

The final session of the symposium is devoted to exploring the relationship between knowledge and action in practice, with a panel of actors who had to apprehend and implement the new regulations passed during the ‘semi-lockdown’, in order to keep their activities going, in schools, kindergartens, hospitals and newspapers.

Registration for the symposium

You can register for physical attendance at the symposium here. The event at Grand Hotel Terminus has room for 100 participants, and the registration will remain open until all the places are filled. The symposium will also be streamed live.

Programme

9:00

Doors open - coffee, tea, refreshments.

09:30 – 09:45

Welcome by the Dean at the Faculty of Humanities, Camilla Brautaset

09:45 – 10:00

Opening address by Rasmus Slaattelid, Head of the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (SVT, UiB)

10:00 – 11:30

Session 1: Setting the scene – biopolitics and state of exception

  • Thorvald Sirnes - Professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (SVT, UiB)
  • Silje Langvatn – Associate professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (SVT, UiB)

11:30 – 12:30

Lunch

12:30 – 13:45

Session 2: Organising science for pandemics

  • Esperanza Diaz – Professor at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care (UiB)
  • Ana Delgado - Associate professor at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK, UiO)

13:45 – 14:00

Coffee break

14:00 – 15:30

Session 3: Data as evidence for action

  • Kjetil Rommetveit – Associate professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (SVT, UiB)
  • Elling Ulvestad – Professor at the Department of Clinical Sciences (UiB) and Head of the Department of Microbiology, Haukeland University Hospital (UiB)

15:30 – 16:45

Panel: Which information was used to navigate the ‘semi-lockdown’?

  • Ida Sæbø Larsen, educational supervisor at the Sammen Fagertun kindergarten
  • Henrik Olsen, teacher at the private high school Sonans
  • Mille Stenmarck, Medical doctor at Ahus, Oslo
  • Tron Strand, journalist in Bergens Tidende

16:45 – 16:50

Closing the symposium