ESF Research Conferences

ESF-ZiF-Bielefeld Conference



Bielefeld UniversityInstitute for Science and Technology Studies (IWT)Department of philosophyBielefeldGermany
Bielefeld UniversityInstitute for Science and Technology Studies (IWT)BielefeldGermany


25-30 May 2009


Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), Bielefeld, Germany
The conference will be held at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) at Bielefeld University. The Center is an Institute for Advanced Study and is open to scientists from all disciplines and all countries to organize interdisciplinary projects, conferences or workshops.

Bielefeld is a town in northern Germany, located in the nice, hilly surroundings of the Teutoburg forest. As an economic and cultural centre of Eastern Westphalia and with its population of 330,000, Bielefeld is one of the twenty major cities in Germany. Bielefeld's excellent infrastructure and its central location puts it within easy reach of all parts of Europe.

Practical Information Guide PDF (176 KB)

Final Programme

The ESF-Conference Series on “Science and Values” will be hosted by Bielefeld University and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), and is being organized by the Institute for Science and Technology Studies (IWT) of Bielefeld University in cooperation with the European Science Foundation. The series will encompass three conferences in a biennial schedule beginning in 2009, and again in 2011 and 2013. The topics of these conferences will be politicization, commercialization, and medialization of science, respectively.  

A general worry in this field is that the inclusion of sociopolitical values in the confirmation practice of science tends to undercut the objectivity of science. For instance, in the field of expertise, science-based advice for political decision-mak­­ing is in constant danger of becoming identified with one of the warring political factions. By tying its judgments too intimately to certain sociopolitical values, science runs the risk of losing its credibility. On the one hand, including such values in the assessment procedure is mandatory for a responsible science. On the other hand, a social bias of science tends to undercut the overarching authority of science which derives from its factual basis. A science tied too intimately with social values might lose the capacity of “speaking truth to power.” As a result, the increasing politicization of science might undermine its credibility. To the extent that science enters the social arena and becomes part of political power play, the scientific claims to objectivity and trustworthiness tend to be sapped.  

Each conference will bring together the knowledge and reflective competence of three disciplines, including the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. Such analyses of experts from science studies will be enriched with the experience and understanding of the practitioners, i.e., scientists working under value-related pressure (as it arises from practical challenges and social demands). In addition, representatives of relevant social groups (such as stakeholders) and the media will be included where appropriate.

Conferences will include short talks selected from the submitted abstracts.

Final Programme PDF (1.3 MB) Last Updated 19-May-2009
Invited Speakers - Background & Research Interests PDF (284 KB)

Abstracts, Posters & Short Oral Contributions

There will be no short talks other than those listed on the programme. All other abstracts have been accepted as posters.

Posters can be affixed with magnets or self-adhesive tape and should be approximately 1m wide x 1 m high.

List of Accepted Posters PDF (37 K)

Group Transportation & Practical Information Guide

Detailed information on all practical aspects of the conference (access to site, registration & fee payments, accommodation, travel reimbursements...) is available from the Practical Information Guide. Please read it fully and carefully...

Practical Information Guide PDF (176 KB)


Two buses will be arranged on arrival and departure day between Bielefeld railway station and Park Inn Bielefeld. The journey takes approximately 15 minutes.  

Bus departure times on Monday, 25 May: 16:00 and 18:00
Bus departure times on Saturday, 30 May: 8.00 and 9.00


All speakers and participants will be accommodated in single rooms.  

Registration Form

For accepted participants and invited speakers only

All participants - including speakers & session chairs - are kindly expected to confirm their attendance (and, when applicable, to pay the conference fee) by filling in a Registration Form.

Registration Form
Closing date for registration & fee payment: 26 April 2009

Financial Support

Some grants are available for young researchers to cover the conference fee and possibly part of the travel costs. Grant requests should be made by ticking appropriate field(s) in the paragraph "Grant application" of the application form.

What conference fee covers

Basic expenses comprise:

  • registration and meeting costs;
  • accommodation in twin room sharing with another participant;
  • all meals, coffee breaks and drinks included;
  • participation at the excursion and the conference dinner;
  • group transportation from/to the nearest train station.
To Pay
Conference fee will be covered by ESF and its partners0 €
AssistedConference Fee will be partially covered by ESF and its partners375 €
Early Bird
Registration and payment NO LATER THAN 12 April
700 €
Registration and payment between 13 April and 26 April
800 €
Conference participation without accommodation550 €

Extra costs:

To Pay
Industry Supplement
For participants working in industry, 100 € will automatically be added to the fee
Plus 100 €
Single Room SupplementSome single rooms may be available upon request. An additional cost of 150 € will be charged for an upgrade to a single room. The supplement is payable directly to the hotel.Plus 150 €
Late Registration SupplementAn additional 150 € will be charged if participants register after 26 April.Plus 150 €


Should you need to cancel your participation, please contact the Conference Officer immediately. If notice of cancellation is received more than two weeks before the conference, all but EUR 100 will be reimbursed. No refund is possible if notice of cancellation is received less than two weeks before the conference.

ESF Contact

Senior Conference Officer

Phone: +32 (0)2 533 2024
Fax: +32 (0)2 538 8486
Please quote 09-286 in any correspondence.


This conference is organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in partnership with Bielefeld University and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) of Bielefeld University.