After three days of intense work, the first edition of SCIECONS - Science and Conspiracy is over.
I must say that the outcome has exceeded our expectations: despite being at the first edition, the conference and the workshop have seen a really wide variety of innovative proposals and the emergence of a quite exciting debate, thanks especially to the exceptionally high competence and cleverness of our guests from all over Europe and Australasia and to their determination and eagerness to put their ideas to test and confront the opinion of the others, while continuing to remain open to new suggestions and proposals coming from different, at times unexpected, directions. The topic of the relationship between science and conspiracy has been analyzed under multiple, often innovative, points of view.
The two souls of the conference have fruitfully and repeatedly crossed each other: on one part the philosophical reflection on conspiracy theories per se, on the other part the problem of scientific denialism. The two problems have shown multiple sites of contact. During the debates following the talks, the shape of a possible unified area of study to come, which could lie at the intersection between philosophy of conspiracy theories proper and a reflection on scientific denialism (a reflection not only pertaining to philosophy of science but also to cognitive science, brought on empirically or even as a form of "experimental" or "computational" philosophy which puts to philosophical use scientific data and computational models) has began to show itself.
Awareness that the two questions of conspiracy theory and public trust in science are not disjoint has been increased by the SCIECONS event. Multiple metaphysical, biology and evolution-related, legal, political, social and ethical issues have also been highlighted in relation to these more general problems, some of these issues apparently bearing on the very bases of democracy and personal freedom, with possible political outcomes.
Our goal now is to prevent all those fruitful contents from getting lost in time. We will set up some devices (a mailing list, a forum, social media, this same blog) in order to keep the discussion and the proposals alive and to foster new ideas.
Thanks a lot to all the participants to SCIECONS 2016 and stay tuned for some news.