Call for Papers: The Future of Knowledge: Conversations about Artificial Intelligence and Epistemic Insight
Science & Education
Special Issue Guest Editors
Berry Billingsley, Dana Zeidler and Marek Grzes
The realities of living and working in a world steeped in artificial intelligence are a lot more visible now that ChatGTP has burst into the public sphere. The AI we are seeing isn’t a robot butler with a tray of drinks that can also tidy your room (at least not yet) – it’s the tool in your phone, the editing service that corrects your referencing and new tools, regulations and reasons for monitoring plagiarism in students’ work. It turns out that scientists and educators and other knowledge-workers are among the first groups in society who are affected, afflicted and/or blessed. For those of us working in science and education there are conversations to scour, join and accelerate – to shape the future we want. This landmark edition of a landmark journal is intended to help our community and companion fields to seize the moment and surface some conversations that matter to us.
The themes for this edition aim to marry up conversations about how knowledge is and should be changing with discussions about what it means to be a scientist and the skills and insights that matter in a digital age. This special edition will explore some of the opportunities, problems and Big Questions raised by AI through the grounding framework of epistemic insight. Epistemic insight (EI) means ‘knowledge about knowledge’ and in particular knowledge about disciplines and how they interact. Workshops to develop epistemic insight discuss raising participants' curiosity and critical thinking about how knowledge is constructed, applied and communicated in real-world contexts. The attention that is being placed on how we think about and work with knowledge is evident in a plethora of vision statements and planning for the year 2030. In particular we note the increasing use of words like epistemic knowledge (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), epistemic agents (Universities Council for the Education of Teachers) and epistemic insight (Epistemic Insight initiative).
The editors of this edition include a science educator exploring ways that curiosity about science and knowledge become natural when students and scholars work with socioscientific issues, a specialist in artificial intelligence who is enthusiastic about new ideas and projects and an epistemologist and science journalist who hopes to support students in becoming wise and compassionate epistemic agents. Here are some examples of conversations we welcome; we are also excited and open to surprises:
Some in our community work in science and teach and some others are educators who specialise in science. Artificial intelligence seems to be dividing us into educators who worry about how we will mark and grade student work and scientists and students who are gleeful about the new questions and methods we can explore. Where do you sit or do you bring a different perspective? The views expressed by artificial intelligence are not its own (in a conventional sense) and biases such as gender are entrenched in the content that AI searches. Most of us have a trained eye and can spot gender bias in popular characterisations of scientists. Some educators want to see filters and corrections built into the algorithms and others insist that the best solution is for students to be selective when they interact with AI. Someone is going to need to road test searching for advice on careers or reasons to be a scientist. Is that you? Science laboratories and fields like astronomy and oceanography are engaging with the future of science and what it means to be scientists now that we have AI. The physical constraints of working with gravity can be scaled up and down in a virtual world. How should universities prepare future teachers and scientists for immersive ways of modelling? Scientists have traditionally worked in silos separated from other disciplines by organisational, pedagogical and social boundaries that include physical walls. The distances and barriers between us are less visible when we search online – are they still there? How are libraries and librarians helping their users to navigate the disciplines and/or find the best content online? Another lively conversation draws attention to the role of AI in helping or hindering educators in building the values and virtues we want for humanity. Can what we’ve learnt about trust in science and the harms caused by misinformation in different parts of the globe spur new tools for working with content that are socially inclusive, economically just, and environmentally sustainable?
For more ideas, emerging conversations and references see www.futureofknowledge.com
About the Journal
Science & Education publishes research using historical, philosophical, and sociological approaches in order to improve teaching, learning, and curricula in science and mathematics. In addition, the journal disseminates accounts of lessons, units of work, and programs at all levels of science and mathematics that have successfully utilized history and philosophy. The journal promotes the inclusion of history and philosophy of science and mathematics courses in science and mathematics teacher education programs. Moreover, it promotes the discussion of the philosophy and purpose of science and mathematics education and their place in and contribution to the intellectual and ethical development of individuals and cultures. To achieve its goals, Science & Education fosters collaboration among an interdisciplinary group of scholars including scientists, mathematicians, historians, philosophers, cognitive psychologists, sociologists, science and mathematics educators, and school and university teachers.
Deadline for submission of papers: April 30th, 2023
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