The world-wide Covid-19 crisis presents us all with ‘Facts uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high, decisions urgent’ with stark clarity.  The past weeks have brought major changes in public health, political, financial and societal preoccupations in most parts of the world.  These changes mean immediate disruptions to many normal routines, and bring new challenges at all levels, day-by-day and in the longer term.

In this context, we have received several requests to postpone the deadline to submit abstracts for #PNS_5, and also questions about the planning for the event, scheduled for the 21-23 September this year. The organizers wish to advise the following decisions:

  1. Planning is, as of now, being maintained for the 21-23 September meeting in Florence;
  2. There is an extension to 31st March 2020 for oral and poster presentation proposals;
  3. The deadlines for Registration and Payment are now ALL set at the 15th June 2020. (Note that this was previously the late registrations deadline);
  4. In the current post normal circumstances, all aspects of planning will be reassessed periodically. We will post updates on the PNS_5 website, on about the 10th of each month (or as required in exceptional circumstances);
  5. Confirmation or modification of the current plans will take into account several Quality considerations including (but not limited to): responsible conduct in relation to health risks, the integrity of the meeting, constraints and opportunities for invited speakers, financial and other costs, travel feasibility and other logistics for all participants, and so on.

We invite you to visit the PNS_5 website regularly for updates or .

General view of the Sala d'Ercole

PNS 5 Symposium

Knowledge, Science Practices and Integrity: Quality through Post-Normal Science Lenses.

University of Florence (Florence, IT)
Palazzo Fenzi-Marucelli

21 -23 September 2020

As science's inter-penetration with technology, finance, politics and mass-media becomes ever more profound, new challenges arise.  Scientific practices are becoming increasingly diverse — for example, as citizen science, DIY and makers movements gain prominence, and traditional, local and indigenous knowledge are (re)valued.  Plurality in the forms of knowledge increases complexity.  In this context, the protection of integrity and quality of knowledge includes critical thinking about science itself.  New demarcations are needed, between science practices with qualities that are negotiated with society, and practices that are shoddy, entrepreneurial, opportunistic, reckless, vacuous, or outright dirty.  Confronting issues at the science-technology-policy interface with PNS lenses yields something more rigorously managed than politics, less precise than laboratory science, more challenging than either of them, and with the potential to restore integrity to science practice and prudence in policy advice.

Themes of interest

The list is not exhaustive and related themes may be considered.

  1. Quality. How has the conceptualisation of quality evolved in PNS research? Which qualities are needed in the post-normal age? If quality is defined as fitness for purpose, whose purposes are taken into account by science? How can qualities be negotiated and assessed with society?

  2. Demarcation. How is PNS positioning itself in the post-truth & post-facts debate? Can and should the boundary between science and technology be defined? How are the crisis of democracy and the crisis of science interconnected?

  3. Integrity. How can personal and collective integrity be preserved in the political economy of technoscience? Can PNS contribute to restore the integrity of science while fostering reflexivity about values?

  4. Extended peer communities. What are the conceptual developments, practical applications and lessons learned from extended peer communities? Can PNS-inspired work avoid the fallacies of naivety, opportunism and skepticism? Do and should PNS researchers act as “honest brokers”? Is there a role for the ethics of care?

  5. Scientific controversies. What is the role of scientific practices "less precise than laboratory science"? How have the analysis of uncertainty and complexity evolved in PNS?

  6. Post-truth & Uncomfortable knowledge. How to face the challenge of "post-truth"? How to make "uncomfortable knowledge" visible and usable?

  7. Other. Open for suggestions.

Road map towards PNS5


Jerry Ravetz Awards

Making use of royalties from the publication of the volume Science on the Verge, two grants of 500.00€ plus no registration fee to support the participation of young scholars (up to 35 years) at PNS5 will be offered.  These are known as Jerry Ravetz Awards.  Applications must be submitted via the this conference website (here the form).  Required documents are: a motivation letter and a CV.

Opening: December 2nd, 2019
Deadline: January 31st, 2020
Acceptance date: February 29th, 2020

Call for Invited Sessions

All those who wish to organize a session are requested to submit a proposal.  Sessions should consist of a minimum of three speakers, although otherwise the format is flexible.  The session organizer(s) must declare sponsorship if they have some, and they must secure the necessary funds for the speakers of their session.  The session organizer(s) may also be speaker(s) in the session. 

People proposing an invited session should apply through this form and specify:

  • the title and motivations of the session (max 1,000 words, indicating topic, originality and relevance to PNS, specific information about the application areas and methodological issues);
  • details on the sponsorship (if any);
  • a list of the speakers or discussants (including provisional titles and contact addresses, including e-mail).

Opening: December 2nd, 2019
Deadline : January 31st, 2020
Acceptance date: March 14th, 2020

In the case of acceptance, all speakers presenting must register for PNS5 no later than the 15th MayJune, 2020.  This is the Early registration deadline (as set out below).

Call for Scientific Contributions

People wishing to make an Oral or Poster presentation at the PNS5 Symposium are invited to send an Abstract of 500 words maximum through this submission form specifying their presentation preference, that is, oral or poster presentation.  Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by the Scientific Committee for acceptance.  The Scientific Committee will then indicate if the Abstract has been accepted as oral presentation or as poster.

Opening: December 2nd, 2019
Deadline: March 14th March 31st, 2020
Acceptance date: April 30th, 2020

In the case of acceptance, those presenting must register for PNS5 no later than the 15th May June, 2020.  This is the Early registration deadline (as set out below).


On-line registration and payment of the corresponding Fee are required in order to attend the PNS5 Symposium (here the registration form).

Opening of Registration: December 2nd, 2019
Early registration deadline: May 15th, 2020
Late Registration deadline: June 15th, 2020

Students/non academics:* 50.00€ (no distinction by date of registration).
Academics/non-profit organizations: 100.00€, early registrations, deadline May 15th, 2020; 300.00€, late registrations, deadline June 15th, 2020.
Businesses and other for-profit organizations: 300.00€ (no distinction for early/late registration).

* Non academics here refers to science practitioners working outside formal public and private sector R&D and science institutions, to DIY or other engaged/amateur scientists, and to other interested people.

Families with Children

PNS5 Symposium is a family-friendly conference.  We will do our best to accommodate family needs and, with this in mind, p arents or other caregivers are invited to register early on and to indicate any requirements on the registration form (nursing, childcare, accessibility, accompanying persons, dietary restrictions for those attending the social dinner, storage).  More information will be published.

Social Event

We will organize a social dinner on Tuesday, September 22nd. In the registration form each participant should indicate if she/he will attend the social dinner, specifying the number of accompanying persons and dietary restrictions.  The social dinner is free of charge for registered participants and for accompanying children under 12.  Accompanying adults and children above 12 will be charged 30.00€ each.

Call for Papers for special issue publication

A special issue of the journal Futures is planned.  Futures is an international, refereed, multidisciplinary journal concerned with medium and long-term futures of cultures and societies, science and technology, economics and politics, environment and the planet, individuals and humanity:  

Any person or group presenting at the PNS5 Symposium may indicate their interest in having their contribution considered for the Futures special issue, when submitting their Abstract.  Selected authors will be contacted by the special issue guest editors (Fiammetta Battaglia, Annibale Biggeri, Zora Kovacic), with an invitation to submit an article following the journal submission guidelines.  Articles will be peer-reviewed.  Articles must be submitted no later than 31th December 2020.

Event place Symposium 2020


Dates to keep in mind


Event local time

2nd Dec 2019

9:00 a.m. Registration opening!
Registration Form

9:00 a.m. Call for Scientific Contributions opening
Scientific Contributions Form

9:00 a.m. Call for Invited Sessions opening
Proposal for Invited Session Form

9:00 a.m. Jerry Ravetz Awards opening
Jerry Ravetz Awards Application Form

31st Jan 2020

11:59 p.m. Call for Invited Sessions closing

11:59 p.m. Jerry Ravetz Awards closing

29th Feb 2020
Acceptance date for Jerry Ravetz Awards
14th Mar 2020

11:59 p.m. Call for Scientific Contributions closing

Acceptance date for Invited Sessions

31th Mar 2020

11:59 p.m. Call for Scientific Contributions closing

30th Apr 2020
Acceptance date for Scientific Contributions
15th May 2020

11:59 p.m. Early registration deadline

15th Jun 2020
11:59 p.m. Late Registration deadline

21st Sept 2020

23rd Sept 2020


Where registered come from?

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