5

Knowledge Driving Education Driving Knowledge:
Unifying and Divisive Forces in Communities

and

Publicizing Truth and Retracing Falsehood: Public Trust and the Media

Saturday, September 29 9:00-10:15 AM

Moderator: William Dirienzo, Astronomy Fellow

Speakers:

Chrissie Monaghan; EDLF, Social Foundations, University of Virginia
Transformation or Transmission: A Critical Examination of the History of Refugee  Education Programs in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps

Nicole Gugliucci; Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Citizen Science with CosmoQuest: Explore the Universe

Rick Kenney; Department of Communication & Philosophy, FGCU
These American Lies: A Semantic Analysis of Retractions, Corrections, and Clarifications

Robert Spicer; Media Studies, Rutgers University and Humanities Department, DeSales University
When more speech is not enough: An argument for the regulation of political falsehoods


Abstracts:

Chrissie Monaghan; EDLF, Social Foundations, University of Virginia
Transformation or Transmission: A Critical Examination of the History of Refugee  Education Programs in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps

Colonialism and imperialism are not over. The coercive capabilities of brute force most associated with periodized colonization and empire have been supplanted through far more subtle processes of governmentality and order that a number of International Relations scholars are attempting to capture. Their preliminary studies compel careful consideration of assumptions regarding the provision of educational services in the name of Development and Peace Education projects in conflict and post-conflict settings. My paper critically engages with the conceptual and theoretical frameworks that shape and inform the curricular and pedagogic practices of Peace Education programs. I briefly examine, the history of Peace Education Programs in Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya between their establishment in 1992 to the present, before comparatively analyzing these programs with the standard formal education programs in which the same refugee students are also enrolled. I show that not only do both programs fail to transformatively act upon the root causes of conflict, but rather give rise to new animosities, tensions, and rivalries amongst refugee students by amplifying issues of resource scarcity and assymetrical opportunities for achieving increased quality of life through education. Through an examination of both program’s curricular content, the paper addresses a number the possible topics outlined in the call for proposals, including Imaginary Knowledge and Fiction/truth and memory. More broadly, critically engaging with the ways in which education acts, often at the same time, as cause, effect, problem, and possible solution in conflict settings challenges dominant assumptions of its inherent meliorative capabilities.


Nicole Gugliucci; Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Citizen Science with CosmoQuest: Explore the Universe

So much of our modern world is shaped by science, yet few are truly familiar with the workings of the scientific method in research or in our every day lives. Though many people have an interest in the results of science, they are given the impression that it is “too hard” to understand or that it is “too late” to do science once they have chosen another career. Citizen science projects give people an opportunity to participate in current research projects along with scientists from academic institutions and allow them to explore science in a way that is enjoyable and productive. CosmoQuest is one such project that seeks to bring people together to explore the  universe, ask questions, and think critically about the universe as a community of people learning and doing science all over the world. Science “Mappers” projects look at the surfaces of rocky worlds using the latest mission data from MESSENGER, Dawn, and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and “Investigators” projects look for new moons, asteroids, and Kuiper-Belt Objects in the spaces around and between the planets. Educational opportunities include virtual astronomy classes, video chats about space news, and online star parties that allow amateur observers to share their telescope views with the world. In this way, citizen scientists are not just learning knowledge, but creating new knowledge in a community setting that is welcoming to users from diverse backgrounds.


Rick Kenney; Department of Communication & Philosophy, Florida Gulf Coast University
These American Lies: A Semantic Analysis of Retractions, Corrections, and Clarifications

One prominent code of ethics implores journalists to ‘‘admit mistakes and correct them promptly.” A related study noted that setting the record straight is considered essential to restoring credibility. Although readers dispute whether most errors get corrected, they tend to respond favorably to published corrections. Policies vary across media platforms, but it is standard practice to correct errors quickly and prominently. Professional communicators of all stripes are expected to respond similarly. This paper, premised on normative media ethics, suggests that communicators ought to (1) be truthful and precise; (2) promptly correct the record when in error; (3) genuinely and clearly apologize for the error; (4) disclose who committed it and how; and (5) explain how such an error would be prevented in the future. Mike Daisey’s fabricated report for public radio’s This American Life on alleged labor violations at Foxconn factories in China and show host Ira Glass’s subsequent retraction of Daisey’s story provide a rich case for examining how media organizations should retract, correct, or clarify errors of monumental proportions. This semantic analysis of the transcript from Glass’s 57-minute retraction, which aired March 17, 2012, raises serious questions about his “journalism,” about the ethics of his effort to correct the record, and about the relative intellectual honesty of his discursive strategy in purporting to do so.


Robert Spicer; Media Studies, Rutgers University and Humanities Department, DeSales University
When more speech is not enough: An argument for the regulation of political falsehoods

In 1974 in the case Gertz v. Welch the U.S. Supreme Court declared “[u]nder the First Amendment there is no such thing as a false idea.” Writing for the majority Justice Powell proceeded to argue that, while false statements did not deserve constitutional protection, the solution to factually false speech was more speech setting the record straight rather than government regulation of that speech. This paper interrogates the idea that fact checking and debate are adequate solutions to the problem of lies in political campaigns. In the age of social media and the post-Citizens United power of super PACS the idea of the natural value of unfettered free speech is desperately in need of reevaluation. This paper proposes the best solution would be a “truth in political campaign ads” law. It examines past attempts to create such legislation at the state level and builds on those attempts by proposing a regulation that does not punish the speaker of a falsehood through prison or fines but instead requires a public retraction. The regulation would be written so that, instead of harshly punishing the speaker of a falsehood, it will raise public awareness of the falsity of a statement, vindicate the reputation of the person targeted by it, create an officially sanctioned correction and help to deter future potentially malicious falsehoods. Most importantly it attempts to rebuild public faith in the American political system and to demonstrate that those who disseminate falsehoods in a campaign can be held accountable for their wrongdoing.

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