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Academic Events

The 89th On Tao Forum was Held in the School of Public Administration

On June 20, 2019, the 89th session of On Tao Forum was held in Room 601, School of Public Administration. Taking the theme of “Science and the Production of Ignorance”, Janet Kourany, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Notre Dame University and Director of Gender Research Center and Fellow of John J. Rayleigh Center for Science, Technology and Value, was invited as the keynote speaker. Dong Meizhen, associate professor of Department of Philosophy, presided over the lecture and several professors attended the lecture.

At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Janet Kourany made it clear to the students that science is based on certain facts. Countless scientists devote themselves to various fields in different ways. They can not explain all the scientific problems. Science is endless-- the more we know, the more confusion we have. Science can not be separated from the circumstance. Researchers should put forward meaningful questions based on the culture, history and other aspects of their country, and design a reasonable interpretation framework for analysis and research. History shows that science is a male-dominated career. That is to say, the research carried out and the questions raised, as well as the survey methods and conceptual framework adopted, have traditionally focused on men’s interests, needs and achievements. All these sciences reveal the facts about men, while the facts about women are in a state of ignorance. The fact that women are traditionally confined to reproduction (male interest) and psychological and physiological comparisons between men and women proves the superiority of men (men, of course, are regarded as the criteria for comparison). These facts support the conclusion that men should get better jobs, better wages, better educational opportunities and better treatment both inside and outside the family. So Professor Kourany believed that what we need to do is to change the mode of scientific knowledge and ignorance, which means that we must add new problems, methods and concepts to science, take care of the disadvantaged women everywhere, and call for equality, so as to achieve scientific fairness, which is the purpose of feminist science. Finally, Professor Kourany asked her classmates, “How can feminist science offset centuries of male centralism?” Dialogue and exchanges were held on this issue.

During the lecture, professor Kourany used many historical celebrities and living examples to explain the obscure and speculative philosophy of science. The students enthusiastically raised their own questions and opinions, and Professor Kourany patiently and carefully answered them. This lecture is helpful for students to understand the relevant ideas and research methods of feminist philosophy of science.The lecture ended with warm applause.