Science for the People, the 1970s and today, then and now

Intersecting Processes

One shift since the 1970s, interestingly not remarked much on during the conference just ended, “Science for the People, the 1970s and today,” is the rise of more self-conscious participatory processes.  This early morning youtube provides my reflection on the conference through the lens of being more self-conscious about participatory processes.  The document I am using to prompt my unscripted talk can be seen at

To be clear: The document was prepared by me, a participant, after a post-Occupy “disconference,” not by the organizing committee.  I did send the committee a copy, but my primary motivation was not to diss the disconference, but rather to put any dissatisfaction behind me by using my experience to learn, to clarify what I think about better engaging participants’ interests and energies.  The same “Plus-Delta” spirit of learning (or “refractive practice“) motivates the youtube.

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor teaches and directs programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He studies the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context as well as innovation in teaching, group process, and interdisciplinary collaboration (see He is especially interested in conversations with others who are, in diverse ways, "troubled by heterogeneity" (

One Response to Science for the People, the 1970s and today, then and now

  1. Rhoda Maurer says:

    Peter – Thank you so much for sharing this today. I too after the conference have been trying to gather thoughts and took the day off work today to do this in a written format and to catch up with my preparations for my Action Research WIP this week. As you suggested, a reflection and time given to be with the things that came up for each of us during the conference (ideas and processes) helps to develop what we learned and are bringing home from the experience. Interestingly, I had not originally planned to take the day off for this purpose, but found myself needing the time since it wasn’t planned into the format of the conference itself.

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