Public Philosophy Network

Encouraging and Supporting Publicly Engaged Philosophical Research and Practices

Press release

Release February 20, 2013




Focus of conference is on Advancing Public Philosophy


Atlanta, Ga, February 20, 2013--The Public Philosophy Network will be holding its second conference on March 14-16, 2013 at Emory University in Atlanta. The theme of this year’s conference is “Advancing Public Philosophy.”

The conference’s opening session on Thursday, March 14, will feature a fishbowl discussion entitled, “Opening Doors, Opening Windows:  Advancing Public Philosophy.”  The session will focus on how to encourage the diversification of the discipline of philosophy and advance publicly engaged philosophical work, examining the complex relationships between these two goals.

A second plenary session will feature Dr. Elizabeth Minnich, a publicly engaged philosopher and the author of the award winning book Transforming Knowledge.   Minnich is currently a Senior Scholar, Association of American Colleges & Universities: Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives.

The conference will feature participatory workshops on such diverse topics as Taking Philosophy into the Field of Science and Technology Policy: Toward a Paradigm for Publically Engaged Philosophy [here is the link; pick a diverse assortment of titles:].  Many workshops focus on sharing collaborative projects and strategies to encourage partnerships among philosophers and various public and community-based partners. 

Public Philosophy Network Co-director Sharon Meagher noted that a key difference between the Public Philosophy Conference and other academic conferences is the involvement of non-academics. “Community partners involved in the conference include staff from the Center for Disease Control, hip hop musicians, Kettering Institute researchers, and community organizers,” commented Meagher.

Conference organizer and PPN Co-director Noëlle McAfee commented, “While the conference does have the usual panel and paper sessions, the focus is on publicly engaged philosophical research, practice, and teaching. All presenters are encouraged to experiment with participatory presentation models.”

The Public Philosophy Network conference is funded with generous support from the Public Philosophy Network’s Institutional Members:  Emory University, Penn State University’s Rock Ethics Institute, Michigan State’s Philosophy Department and Kellogg Chair for Agricultural Ethics, George Mason University, and the University of Scranton as well as by a grant from the American Philosophical Association.

Additional information about the conference, including the draft conference program can be found here:

Founded in April 2010, the PPN currently has more than 750 individual members as well as institutional members.  Additional information about the Public Philosophy Network can be found at: or

For more information about the history and mission of PPN, contact Sharon Meagher at smmphd AT  For more information about the conference, contact conference organizer, Noëlle McAfee, noelle.c.mcafee AT


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