SOCIAL IMPACT AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: THEORY AND PRACTICE IN THE ERA OF PROPAGANDA, FAKE NEWS AND MEDIA MANIPULATION

CALL FOR PAPERS – INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM  SOCIAL IMPACT AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: THEORY AND PRACTICE IN THE ERA OF PROPAGANDA, FAKE NEWS AND MEDIA MANIPULATION”

Venue: The University of Bucharest, Romania, 5 – 6 December 2019

Conference Summary

The impact that social science research has on society is attracting increasing attention in public debate. Academic researchers are called upon to make their investigations relevant to the everyday needs of citizens, the economy, and organisations in the corporate, public and non-profit sectors.

We live in difficult times for researchers and practitioners who seek to have an impact on the world. New technologies and socio-cultural and geopolitical developments have generated propaganda, fake news, disinformation and ideological manipulation. In many cases the very authority of science is used as a vehicle for fake news, information framing, perception management and manipulation.

What is the social impact of social science in such circumstances? How should we analyse and assesses impact? What are the best ways for the epistemic communities of social scientists to respond to current challenges? How can one avoid the abuses of scientific authority, which contribute to propaganda and mass manipulation? How should social science communities deal with the confusion and turmoil created by propaganda? How can communities of social scientists increase the positive social impact of their research and findings?

The conference organizers welcome submissions in one or more of the following categories:

  • theoretical or conceptual, exploring the role of social science in the broadest sense in producing impact at the global, regional, national and/or local levels;
  • focused on individual case studies of particular organisations and sectors, geographical spaces, with implications for particular populations;
  • exploring how the social sciences are employed or abused by the new propaganda and media manipulation;
  • considering ways in which the social sciences could respond to the challenges mentioned above by increasing the positive social impact of their methods, research and findings in the current circumstances.

Paper proposals from any discipline are welcome, as are proposals from practitioners working on specific impact projects.

The symposium is to be held in the centre of the Romanian capital city, on the grounds of the University of Bucharest.

Submissions are welcome for either individual paper presentations or whole panel sessions and workshops. Submissions from individuals or teams of researchers working with activists and/or practitioners are particularly encouraged, as are submissions from early career scholars. Attention will be paid to geographical diversity and diversity of theoretical perspective and methodology when compiling the program.

To submit an individual paper presentation for consideration, please email an abstract of no more than 200 words to socialsciences@icub.unibuc.ro by 4 October 2019. The abstract should be accompanied by:

  • Full contact information for all authors
  • Institutional affiliation (where available) for all authors
  • A biographical statement of no more than 5 lines for each author

To submit a proposal for a panel session, presentation or workshop, please email the following information to socialsciences@icub.unibuc.ro by 4 October 2019:

  • Panel/workshop title
  • Outline of the panel/workshop theme and details of planned activities or proposed presentations (as appropriate)
  • Full contact information for all authors and panel/workshop convenor(s)
  • Institutional affiliation (where available) for all authors and panel/workshop convenor(s)
  • A biographical statement of no more than 5 lines for each author and panel/workshop convenor(s)

Conference co-conveners:

  • Professor Marian Zulean – Professor habil. and Director of the Division of Social Sciences, Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (ICUB), Romania
  • Associate Professor Gaby Ramia, Public Policy Program, Department of Government and International Relations, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia; 2019 Visiting Professorial Fellow, ICUB, Romania
  • Dr Ioana Ramia, Lecturer and Research Fellow, Centre for Social Impact, UNSW Sydney; 2019 Visiting Fellow, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy, Romania
  • Professor Dragos Paul Aligica, Department of Economic and Administrative Sciences at the University of Bucharest and Senior Research Fellow at Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
  • Diana Dumitrescu, PhD Candidate and Secretary, Division of Social Sciences, Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (ICUB), Romania

Scientific Committee of ICUB Social Sciences Division, University of Bucharest:

  • Professor Claudiu Daniel Tufiș, Faculty of Political Science
  • Professor Cătălin Nedelcea, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
  • Professor Luminiţa Roşca, Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences
  • Professor Cosima Rughiniş, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work
  • Professor Elena-Simina Tănăsescu, Faculty of Law
  • Professor Marian Zulean, Faculty of Administration and Business

If you have any questions please contact the Symposium co-conveners at socialsciences@icub.unibuc.ro Registration information will be available in the coming weeks.

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