The academic world is crucial in elaborating various societal issues, ranging from politics, sciences, education, and technology to employment. These issues require collective discussions among stakeholders and across disciplines and countries.
Thus, the 12th International Graduate Students and Scholars’ Conference in Indonesia (IGSSCI) 2023, organized by the UGM Graduate School, addressed the theme “Ethics and Accountability in Politics, Sciences, and Professions” on Tuesday (November 7).
“The conference theme is related to various disciplines, especially with the upcoming 2024 elections in Indonesia, where we must address ethical-political issues,” said Dr. Dicky Sofjan, the organizer chair and a member of the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies.
“Additionally, the advancements in scientific technology that bring changes in defense sectors and biomedical development require different ethical applications. Similarly, the development of AI makes us think about the future from all aspects.”
Industry 4.0 fundamentally challenges humans to confront the rapid developments in technology, sciences, and even ideologies. While technology is created to simplify human life, it often accommodates the interests of certain parties, causing harm to others.
This is evident in various issues such as the sophistication of AI narrowing job opportunities, scientific research used for weapons, and politics creating disparities. These sectors require ethical guidance and accountability to prioritize humanity.
“I am pleased with this collaboration between Singapore, Malaysia, the US, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the Philippines, Germany, India, and other countries,” said the Dean of the Graduate School, Professor Siti Malkhamah.
“We hope this academic discussion can benefit Indonesia, which will face a political year, and other countries.”
The conference was held in three sessions: the primary session, parallel sessions, and special panels. Each panel featured academics and experts from various countries.
Moreover, special panels were attended by Focolare, the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), and the Institute for Indonesian Academic Partnership (IIAP).
One of the topics discussed in this conference was that Indonesia’s political style often utilizes societal control for political support alone, not to build democracy itself.
Professor Purwo Santoso, a lecturer at the Department of Politics and Government, UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, stated that Indonesia’s democracy is transitioning through various conflicts and emerging consolidations.
“The current political contestation, including democracy, is often interpreted only as who the election’s winner is. The media also tends to focus on discussing the election winner rather than the voice or articulation of the people’s sovereignty,” he expressed.
According to Professor Santoso, the diversity of components in society is only used as a political tool to gain the most votes for specific interests. However, every individual recognized as a citizen has interests, authority, and obligations to participate in politics in various ways.
“We still have a political system that needs evaluation. For example, political parties that need electability usually assist the community in gaining votes. They may not even discuss the policies that will be prioritized,” Professor Santoso added.
“This problem needs to be addressed so that the people are seen as a sovereign people, not a political tool.”