Welcome to the 2nd Annual PIPR Conference

The Public Issues and Public Reason conference (PIPR) is a multidisciplinary conference at which graduate students from a variety of programs and disciplines will present papers analyzing current social and global challenges through the lenses of political theory, applied ethics, and critical social sciences.

A Conference of Applied Ethics and Critical Social Sciences
Carleton University, Nov 8-9, 2018

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Douglas MacKay, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Government Policy Experiments and the Ethics of Randomization”

Governments and international organizations are increasingly relying on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate public policy interventions in the areas of health, education, housing, and poverty alleviation. Unfortunately, ethical reflection on the use of RCTs in these contexts has not kept pace with their deployment. Investigators, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), and government agencies face a number of ethical questions regarding the design of these studies but have few resources to draw on. In this paper, I explore the conditions under which it is permissible for governments to distribute access to promising policy interventions by random allocation. While randomization is necessary if policy experiments are to yield high quality evidence regarding the interventions under study, it must also be fair if such experiments are to be ethical.

The Public Issues and Public Reason (PIPR) conference is a multidisciplinary conference at which graduate students from a variety of programmes and disciplines present work that addresses current social and global challenges through the lenses of applied ethics, political theory, and the critical social sciences. Submissions are welcome from graduate students in philosophy, law, social sciences, public policy, political theory, economics, and health policy on any topic related to applied ethics, critical social sciences, and social/global challenges.

The PIPR conference is sponsored by the Ethics and Public Affairs programme at Carleton University. The Ethics and Public Affairs programme combines ethical analysis with the social sciences to allow students to gain a comprehensive understanding of the options for solving particular public issues. The programme is a collaboration between philosophers who research public issues and social science and public policy specialists with interests and expertise in the values underlying those issues.


Guide for Authors

  • Abstracts (with title) must be a maximum of 500 words.
  • Applicants should remove any identifying information on the abstract page and include a second page with their name, email, and affiliation.
  • Abstracts should be sent to piprconference@gmail.com
  • The deadline to submit abstracts is Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 11:59pm.
  • Accepted abstracts will be allocated a total of 40 minutes for presentation and discussion.
  • Notification of acceptance: October 5, 2018