Integrity Lost, Integrity Gained: social conditions and institutional pressures

11-12 April 2014, Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Library

Martin Luther King JrJohn BrownAdolf VerlogHoward W. Campbell JrRosa ParksEdward_SnowdenTHUMBSimone_de_BeauvoirSMALLLev Nikolayevich TolstoyEmma Goldman

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This conference will look at the relation between integrity and social conditions, communicative contexts, public obligations, and institutional structures. It will explore the ways in which they create or undermine the conditions for integrity. With contributions from philosophers, historians, social theorists, health scientists, and sociologists.

Download the conference poster for printing here.

Friday 11th April

9.30-1oam: Coffee and Registration

10am-12.30pm: Integrity and the Reform of Public Life in the Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic World

Convened by Joseph Hardwick (Northumbria University)

This panel considers the ways in which integrity informed debates about the reform of institutions and public life during the transatlantic ‘age of reform’ of the early nineteenth century. The panel seeks to provide a space in which historians can consider the place of conscience and integrity in nineteenth-century reform debates – both in Jacksonian America and Reform Act Britain – and public life more generally. (further details)

  • Aashish Velkar (University of Manchester): ‘Integrity or caveat emptor? Reforming public measurements in the London Coal Trade c1830’
  • James Gregory (Plymouth University): ‘Statesmanship and integrity in Britain in the Age of Reform, c. 1829 – c.1850’
  • Heath Bowen (St Thomas Aquinas College, New York): ‘Government Labor, Political Reform, and the Limits of Integrity in the United States,  c. 1828 – c.1860’

2pm–6pm: Integrity, Recognition and Institutional Structures

Convened by James Clarke (University of York) and Owen Hulatt (University of York)

This panel will examine the social and institutional preconditions for the development and exercise of personal integrity. It will consider the relationship between interpersonal recognition and personal integrity and explore the ways in which social and institutional structures both facilitate and undermine personal integrity. Contributors are asked to present a paper (reading time: 30 minutes) on a topic relating to the theme of the panel. It is hoped that the resulting discussion will open up new avenues for research both within critical social theory and the humanities in general.

  • Danielle Petherbridge (University College Dublin): ‘A Life Without Qualities: Rethinking Integrity from Subjectivism to Recognition
  • Robin Celikates (Universiteit van Amsterdam): ‘Are
    Dirty Hands Inevitable? Social Structures as Threats to Integrity’
  • Tom O’Shea (University of York): ‘Personal Integrity and Social Conceptions of Conscience
  • Hans Bernhard Schmid (Universität Wien): ‘Moral Integrity – A Critical View on a Construct

Saturday 12th April

10.30am–12.45pm: Integrity, Knowledge, and Institutions

Convened by Wendy Parker (Durham University)

This panel explores issues of integrity that arise in connection with institutions that are charged with producing, evaluating and/or conveying knowledge. The Academy is a primary site of knowledge production; expert panels like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are charged with synthesizing, evaluating and communicating the state of today’s knowledge; museums have many functions, including the preservation of artifacts and education. What does integrity amount to for these institutions? Is a notion of epistemic integrity especially important here? What challenges to integrity are faced?

  • Ian James Kidd (Durham University): ‘Academic Integrity Up in Smoke? The Case of Robert Proctor and The Golden Holocaust
  • Andreas Pantazatos (Durham University), ‘Integrity and Museums’
  • Laszlo Kosolosky (Ghent), ‘Appealing to (climate) science: The epistemic integrity of IPCC practices’

1.30pm–3pm: Integrity in the Life Sciences

Convened by Dr Simon Woods (Newcastle University)

In this interactive workshop Dr Woods will explore the concept of integrity as a virtue within the context of life sciences research. Drawing upon his 10 years of experience of working with researchers and clinicians engaged in cutting-edge research in fields such as genetics and stem-cell science Simon will explore the challenges of conducting experimental and boundary testing research in fields that are subject to close media and public scrutiny. The challenges to integrity within the life sciences come from many sources, personal ambition, public expectations, the hope and hype that are both necessary to secure funding and public support. Is integrity needed? Is it necessary? Is it even of value when there are more tangible goods to be pursued?

3.15pm–4.15pm: Policy based research – the corruption of evidence in the social sciences

Convened by Professor David Byrne (Durham University)

Professor Byrne will discuss audit culture and its meaning for academic integrity, both in terms of policy based research and policy based research agendas. He will draw on the positive insights of Actor Network Theory to push some of the blame for the erosion of integrity in academia right back at academics. His discussion will draw on examples from the use of Randomized Controlled Trials, the obsession with big data as examples, and disputes about data in relation to for example assessments of policy initiatives in relation to benefits.

All enquiries to

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This event is funded by the University of York and Mind Association


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