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Democracy - Themester

This is a Library Guide to coincide with Indiana University's 2020 Themester. The Theme this fall is Democracy.

Science & State Institutions

This section of sources addresses the relationship between scientists and state institutions. As an introduction, watch the video below, in which a former Google employee explains the importance of collaborations between scientists and technologists and the civil service.

Science-Based Policy

Resources in this section show how empiricism and evidence-based decisions are used to shape public policy. As an introduction, watch this video from TEDxVirginiaTech, in which Siddhartha Roy discusses the importance of science in policy making and the way that empirical policy was critical to unraveling the Flint water crisis.

Science & the Democratic Process

Sources contained in this section deal with how science and technology affect the actual performance and functioning of democracy (e.g., voting, polling, and protesting).

As an introduction to this topic consider viewing the <i>Wired</i> magazine video below, in which Larry Norden of NYU's Brennan Center for Justice explains how voting technology will affect citizens' voting experience in the 2020 primary and presidential elections.

Science Contra Democracy

Sources featured in this portion of the LibGuide address how science sometimes supports tyrannical rule or otherwise weakens democracy. As an introduction, consider viewing this video from the Washington Post which discusses how the People's Republic of China is using the latest technologies to enhance its surveillance of citizens.

Science & Reform

This portion of the LibGuide features sources that address how science can be implemented to support democratic reform. The video below serves as an introduction to this theme: Lee Smolin identifies parallels between the ethics of scientific research and democratic research and relates the evolution of democracy to paradigm shifts in physicists' understanding of the universe.

Public Engagement with Science

This section of the LibGuide is dedicated to information about how science and scientists engage with the general public. As an introduction to this topic, you can view this video from British Council in which renowned science communicator Wendy Sadler MBE offers basic tips for how a scientist can better communicate their ideas to general audiences.