Engaging the public in our research
Our academics and students are regularly involved in events and projects with the general public. The department has strong links with many schools and community groups across the city and has worked on various philosophy education outreach projects.
Our members of staff write public-facing articles and books, for example:
- It was right for Colston statue to fall but let's embrace friendship across our differences Joanna Burch-Brown, Bristol Post, 2020.
- Philosophy and Public Affairs Discussion: Chong-Ming Lim's 'Vandalizing tainted commemorations' Joanna Burch-Brown, Philosophy, Ethics, Academia, 2020
- Who are Universities For? By Tom Sperlinger, Josie McLellan and Richard Pettigrew, Bristol University Press, 2018.
- What is a university without philosophy? James Ladyman, Council for the Defence of Bristih Universities, 2020.
- Reflecting on experiences of social distancing Havi Carel, The Lancet, 2020
- Illness: Cry of the Flesh Havi Carel, Routledge, 2018
- Retweets, Endorsements, and Indirect Speech Acts Josh Habgood-Coote, The Prindle Post, 2020.
- What Love Island teaches us about 'himpathy' Rebecca Buxton and Josh Habgood-Coote, The Guardian, 2019.
- Interview with Havi Carel, The White Review, 2019
We regularly have public-facing events that we organise or talk at, for example in 2019-20:
- Catch Your Breath exhibition.
- Phenomenology of Social Distancing, Havi Carel
- It’s hard to think without your pants on’: patients as knowers, Havi Carel
- Public Lecture and Panel Discussion: Why Precision Medicine is not Very Precise (and why this should not surprise us)
- A Matter of Life and Breath
- Book discussion in Waterstones on "Materialism A Historical and Philosophical Inquiry"
- Staff-student discussion event open to the public on "Einstein, Bohr and the Quantum Heresy"
We also run various longer-term projects, for example:
Widening participation activities
In spring 2020, we ran a series of classes on "Thinking Philosophically" open to all adults at the Barton Hill Settlement as a collaboration between University of Bristol and Bristol Best Tuition. The aim was to provide people with an introduction to the sort of philosophy that you study at university.
Philosophy at IDEAL community action
From 2013 to 2019, the department worked closely with IDEAL community action, a charity that works with adults from backgrounds of addiction and chaos. Members of the department ram weekly sessions with adults at IDEAL, on courses entitled, “Introduction to Philosophy: Who are you and what do you believe?” “Being Human” and “The Art of Living”.
Engagement with Schools
Philosophy of Science in Science Education
This project has involved creating philosophy of science resources for science teachers, in collaboration with science teachers and educators in Bristol.
The ‘Thinking Science’ resources come in the form of questions designed to provoke thinking and discussion, to consolidate and extend core curriculum knowledge and understanding. The topics link to the KS3 National Curriculum and cover physics, chemistry, biology and working scientifically.
For more information and to download the resources see the Thinking Science webpage.
Bristol Philosophy Exchange
The Bristol Philosophy Exchange has been running since 2013, and in that time has worked with over one thousand pupils in local primary schools. Philosophy undergraduates are trained and work closely with class teacher to facilitate philosophical enquiries, using the Philosophy for Children (P4C) educational approach.
Philosophy in Secondary School
Throughout 2016 and in Spring 2017, the department ran a philosophy lunchtime club at St Katherine’s School, Pill. In Autumn 2017, the department worked with Fairfield High School, delivering a series of philosophy sessions for a small group of Year 8 and 9 pupils. The sessions culminated with a visit to the University, where pupils had the opportunity to meet a philosophy lecturer and undergraduates.
Thinking About AI
This projects promotes thinking about artificial intelligence, big data and robotics among the local community, particularly focusing on young people and schoolchildren to explore their understanding and views on the technology that will impact their lives in the future. The aim is to increase young people’s skills to understand and critically reflect on the impact of this technology, whilst also generating knowledge of how people think about technology that can be shared with the engineering community.