Recent achievements in equity and diversity may be threatened by an emerging political climate that may be more tolerant of stereotyping based on race, gender, or belief, according to UWA Professor of Psychology Stephan Lewandowsky.
A new series of free public lectures at The University Western Australia, which starts next week, will examine the role that science can play in shaping the emerging public discussion about equity and diversity.
Professor Lewandowsky, who is series convenor, said although equity and diversity had been part of the Australian political and cultural landscape for several decades, the concepts appeared to have lost some of their initial impetus and gloss.
“As a society we may have become less resistant to judging people on the basis of their race, gender, or religion and there’s now a current of argument and discourse in the political landscape that never used to be there,” Professor Lewandowsky said.
“What we’re hoping to do through this lecture series is to find out whether science can shed any light on these issues. For example, is racial stereotyping a good idea? Does evolution necessarily imply that the fittest members of society will survive and anyone who is disabled should fall by the wayside? Does race determine IQ? If we do not accept others as equal, what are the consequences for us and society at large?”
The series opens with Professor Linc Schmitt, Head of UWA’s School of Anatomy and Human Biology, presenting his lecture, The Fallacy of Race on Tuesday, October 23, 2007.
Lectures will be held every Tuesday evening at 6pm in UWA’s Geography Lecture Theatre 1 and the series is hosted and sponsored by the Institute of Advanced Studies at UWA.
Speakers include distinguished scholars from The University of Western Australia and Murdoch University.
Audrey Barton (Institute of Advanced Studies) 61 8 6488 1340