S. Choudhury, L. Kirmayer, S. Veissière & Guest Faculty
Co-sponsored by the Foundation for Psychocultural Research (www.thefpr.org) and the McGill Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives Program (www.mcgill.ca/hbhl). This workshop will provide an overview of core topics and recent developments in social, and cultural neuroscience research in order to promote cross-disciplinary collaboration in global mental health. After an introduction to cognitive, social, and cultural neuroscience, the workshop will focus on the potential and limits of methods that can be used to measure epigenetic, neuroendocrine, and neurocognitive processes in laboratory and field settings. We will discuss the inter-relationships of these processes and how to map them onto phenomenological, ethnographic, and ecological variables to capture health-relevant aspects of sociocultural contexts in situ. Participants will have the opportunity to present their own research projects for discussion with faculty.
Text: Kirmayer, L.J., Worthman, C., Kitayama, S., Lemelson, R. & Cummings, C. (Eds.) (2020). Culture, Mind and Brain: Emerging Concepts, Methods & Applications. Cambridge University Press.
Date: June 20-23, 2022 (24 hours) M•T·W·Th10:00 -17:00 + Video lectures.
McGill Advanced Study Institute
The Fragility of Truth: Social Epistemology in a Time of Polarization and Pandemic
June 28-30, 2022
Institute of Community & Family Psychiatry
4333 Chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine, Montréal, QC, H3T 1E4
The COVID pandemic, political polarization, and the climate crisis and have all revealed that large segments of the population do not trust the best available knowledge and expertise in making vital decisions regarding their health, the governance of society, and the fate of the planet. What guides information-seeking, trust in authority, and decision-making in each of these domains? Finding reliable information to make decisions presents enormous challenges in a world in which the internet increases access to information, accelerates the viral spread of images and ideas, and creates loops that amplify extreme positions. Many people seem to be captured by an array of increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories and ill-informed interpretations of events. Are we facing a new level of self-destructive irrationality in human behaviour, or has the age of pandemics and the digital niche simply revealed the fragility of human knowledge-seeking? Is conflict over meaning along tribal lines intrinsic to human thought and sociality? How do people make sense of complex events and chart a course in a sea of information, misinformation and deliberate disinformation? How have social media changed the dynamics of information seeking, certainty and authority? What role do scientific and technocratic communication play in these dynamics? This Advanced Study Institute will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars from psychiatry, psychology, anthropology, philosophy and public health to consider the challenges posed by the new information ecology. Sessions will address: (1) theories of social epistemology, rationality and irrationality, science and pseudoscience; (2) case studies of the dynamics of misinformation; (3) pathologies of information seeking and belief, paranoia, delusion; and (4) strategies for healthy knowledge ecologies.
The ASI will have two components: a workshop for researchers working in these areas and a public conference for mental health practitioners, students and social scientists. Selected papers will be published in a thematic issue of Transcultural Psychiatry.
Harry Collins, Igor Grossman, Laurence Monnais, Barbara Stiegler
Kimiz Dalkir, G. Eric Jarvis, Laurence J. Kirmayer, Vincent Laliberté, Cécile Rousseau, Samuel Veissière