All Thayer Events

Improving Convergence Science Through Managing Values



12:00pm - 1:00pm ET

Svante Arrhenius Conf Rm (3rd fl), Irving Institute

Scientific research is full of subjective value judgments. This idea is commonplace in the philosophy and sociology of science but less accepted among STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) researchers themselves. While good practice in general, acknowledging, managing, and communicating these values may be particularly vital to the success of convergence research. NSF defines convergence research as:

  1. involving deep integration across disciplines, and
  2. driven by a specific and compelling problem—often a "real-world" problem of immediate societal importance.

Explicit and systematic attention to the motivating values of all parties can help lower barriers to disciplinary integration and align research capacity with real-world needs.

In this talk, Helgeson will provide a brief and accessible primer on the roles of values in science before presenting three examples of work managing such values to improve both scientific and societal project outcomes. The examples come from projects addressing potential responses to climate risks, though the approaches illustrated are generalizable to convergence research more broadly.

Open to Dartmouth faculty and researchers. Organized by Professor Klaus Keller.


About the Speaker(s)

Casey Helgeson
Professor of Earth & Environmental Systems, Penn State

Casey Helgeson is an assistant research professor in Penn State's Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. Previously, he held postdoc positions at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and London School of Economics. He holds a PhD in philosophy and a BS in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Casey's work addresses the place of human values within research design practices. He focuses on climate-risk research with the goal of ensuring such research can support inclusive and values-based decision making about climate adaptation.


For more information, contact Irving Institute for Energy & Society at