General Information

UW - CrestWelcome to the Information Ethics Roundtable 2015.

Date: April 9-10, 2015
Location: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Union South (Varsity 1)
Theme: Transparency and Secrecy

Keynote Speakers

  • Louise Amoore, Professor of Geography, Durham University (UK), author of The Politics of Possibility: Risk and Security Beyond Probability (Duke University Press, 2013).
  • Christopher Kutz, C. William Maxeiner Distinguished Professor of Law; Director, Kadish Center for Morality, Law and Public Affairs, University of California, Berkeley.

Theme Description

Transparency is important in a variety of ways, and disputes about transparency and secrecy permeate much of our public discourse. This year’s meeting of the IER will discuss the theme from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, for example:

  • What is transparency? What does it mean for something to be kept secret or made transparent?
  • What justifies transparency in different domains?
  • When is transparency bad, or unjustifiable? When is secrecy good, or justifiable?
  • Lots of organizations seek to make government and corporate actions transparent (e.g., fact-checking organizations, open records advocacy organizations, market watchdog groups). Do they succeed? What criteria should we use to determine whether they succeed? Do they introduce other questions of information flow?
  • What policies in scientific research and publishing, in journalism, in government, and in commerce best promote transparency?
  • Is secret law really law?
  • Is it possible to maintain and build trust within a climate of secrecy?

The goal of the 2015 Roundtable is to bring together scholars and professionals to examine these and related issues pertaining to transparency and secrecy, broadly construed.

The call for proposals is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract and will participate this coming April.


For specific questions and inquiries, please contact organizer Alan Rubel at