The Fifth Estate: Not the Movie

A number of colleagues have brought my attention to the popular launch of a movie, entitled The Fifth Estate. It is not unrelated to my work on the Fifth Estate, as it focuses on WikiLeaks, and such whistle-blowing Web sites are one of many ways in which networked individuals can hold institutions more accountable. For those who like the movie or the idea of a Fifth Estate, I invite you to read more. It is actually used by me as a means to convey the significance of the Internet as a means for empowering networked individuals in ways comparable to the Fourth Estate, the press, of an earlier era. See, for example:

Dutton, W. H. (2007), ‘Through the Network (of Networks) – the Fifth Estate’, Inaugural lecture, Examination Schools, University of Oxford, 15 October. Available online at: http://webcast.oii.ox.ac.uk/?view=Webcast&ID=20071015_208

 

 Dutton, W. H. (2009), ‘Democracy on the Line: The Fifth Estate?’, Oxford Today, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 12-15.

 

 Dutton, W. H. (2009), ‘The Fifth Estate Emerging through the Network of Networks’, Prometheus, Vol. 27, No. 1, March: pp. 1-15.

 

Dutton, W. H. (2010), ‘Democratic Potential of the Fifth Estate’, PerAda Magazine, http://www.perada-magazine.eu/pdf/003003/003003.pdf

Dutton, W. H. (2010), ‘The Fifth Estate Emerging Through the Internet and Freedom of Expression’, pp. 22-25 in A News Future and the Future of the Journalism Profession: An IPI Report. International Press Institute and the Poytner Institute.

 

 Dutton, W. H. (2010), ‘The Fifth Estate: Democratic Social Accountability through the Emerging Network of Networks’, pp. 3-18 in Nixon, P. G., Koutrakou, V. N., and Rawal, R. (Eds), Understanding E-Government in Europe: Issues and Challenges. London: Routledge.

 

Dutton, W. H. (2011), ‘A Networked World Needs a Fifth Estate’, Wired Magazine, 22 October, http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2011/11/ideas-bank/william-dutton  

 

 Dutton, W. H. (2012), ‘The Fifth Estate: A New Governance Challenge’, pp. 584-98 in Levi-Faur, D. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Newman, N., Dutton, W. H., and Blank, G. (2012), ‘Social Media in the Changing Ecology of News: The Fourth and Fifth Estates in Britain’, International Journal of Internet Science, 7(1): 6-22.

 

 Dutton, W. H. (2013), ‘The Internet and Democratic Accountability: The Rise of the Fifth Estate’, pp. 39-55 in Lee, F.L.F., Leung, L., Qui, J. L., and Chu, D.S.C. (eds), Frontiers in New Media Research. Abbingdon: Informa, Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

 

 Dutton, W. H., and Dubois, E. (2013), ‘The Fifth Estate of the Digital World’, pp. 131-43 in Youngs, G. (ed.), Digital World: Connectivity, Creativity and Rights. London: Routledge.

 

 Dubois, E., and Dutton, W. H. (2013), ‘The Fifth Estate in Internet Governance: Collective Accountability of a Canadian Policy Initiative’, Revue française d’Etudes Américaines RFEA, forthcoming.

 

 

Scholarship in the Networked World, Professor Christine Borgman, 6 June 2013, 5pm at Balliol College

 Scholarship in the Networked World

Oliver Smithies Lecture

 6 June 2013, 5pm

 Lecture Room XXIII, Balliol College

Christine L. Borgman

 Professor & Presidential Chair in Information Studies

 University of California, Los Angeles

 and

 Oliver Smithies Visiting Fellow and Lecturer

 Balliol College, University of Oxford

Scholars are expected to publish the results of their work in journals, books, and other venues. Now they are being asked to publish their data as well, which marks a fundamental transition in scholarly communication. Data are not shiny objects that are easily exchanged. Rather, they are fuzzy and poorly bounded entities. The enthusiasm for “big data” is obscuring the complexity and diversity of data and of data practices across the disciplines. Data flows are uneven – abundant in some areas and sparse in others, easily or rarely shared. Open access and open data are contested concepts that are often conflated. Data are a lens to observe the rapidly changing landscape of scholarly practice. This talk is based on an Oxford-based book project to open up the black box of “data,” peering inside to explore behavior, technology, and policy issues.

Christine L. Borgman is Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at UCLA. Currently (2012-13) she is the Oliver Smithies Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at Balliol College, University of Oxford, where she also is affiliated with the Oxford Internet Institute and the eResearch Centre. Prof. Borgman is the author of more than 200 publications in information studies, computer science, and communication. Her monographs, Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet (MIT Press, 2007) and From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in a Networked World (MIT Press, 2000), each won the Best Information Science Book of the Year award from the American Society for Information Science and Technology. She conducts data practices research with funding from the National Science Foundation, Sloan Foundation, and Microsoft Research. Current collaborations include Monitoring, Modeling, and Memory, The Transformation of Knowledge, Culture, and Practice in Data-Driven Science, and Empowering Long Tail Research.

 

The Library of Congress and The John W. Kluge Center

I spent two stimulating days at the Library of Congress (LC) last week. The first involved meeting with staff of the LC who are involved in thinking through short and long-range plans for the Library’s future, everything from space to holdings that will help the LC take a leading position in the US and globally through its many initiatives and collaborations. All that I could imagine the library doing seemed already on-track in one or more of their many new and existing programs and planned initiatives, leaving me with a positive sense about their direction of change. Staff members are engaging their colleagues in wide-ranging discussions about shaping the LC for the digital age in ways that nevertheless respects what the Librarian defines as the ‘culture of the book’. All the many themes emerging from our Oxford lecture series on ‘innovation and digital scholarship‘ are coming into play in their discussions.

Library of Congress
Library of Congress

 

The second day of meetings shifted to whether and how The John W. Kluge Center of the LC might develop a new program around Digital Studies or Internet Studies – the exact nature of their prospective program has yet to be decided. The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies (OUP 2013) helped secure me a seat for a wonderful debate over what the Center might do that would be unique and have major global implications, but also help the Library shape its holdings and activities for 21st Century digital research and scholarship. With the support of the Librarian and the ability to bring in scholars on the forefront of the field, such as Professor Manuel Castells, who the was the LC’s Kluge Chair in Technology and Society, during the summer of 2012, and continues as a member of the Library’s Scholars Council. I am quite optimistic about their prospects. The Center is developing an innovative program that will help build the larger field of Internet Studies, as I would define it, as well as support the LC.

 

I left with the impression that the LC does not trumpet its own work as much as we might do in academia, but they are involved in major initiatives at a scale most universities could not match. Academics should be tracking the Kluge Center and the LC over the coming years as its initiatives around the digital age take shape.

 

 

 

Ada Lovelace Conference: A Call for Papers

While I have no involvement in this conference, I want to help draw attention to this CALL FOR PAPERS:
Celebrating the Achievements and Legacies of Ada Lovelace
18 October 2013
Stevens Institute of Technology, College of Arts and Letters

An interdisciplinary conference celebrating the achievements and legacies of the poet Lord Byron’s only known legitimate child, Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), will take place at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, New Jersey) on 18 October 2013.  This conference will coincide with the week celebrating Ada Lovelace Day, a global event for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  All aspects of the achievements and legacies of Ada Lovelace will be considered, including but not limited to:
-Lovelace as Translator and/or Collaborator
-Technology in the Long Nineteenth Century
-Women in Computing: Past/Present/Future
-Women in STEM
-Ada Lovelace and her Circle

-Please submit proposals or abstracts of 250-500 words by 14 May 2013 to: Robin Hammerman (rhammerm@stevens.edu).
-Visit the conference website: http://www.stevens.edu/calconference

Ada Lovelace

Tutorial on Mobile Painting Apps by Jeremy Sutton

We were very lucky to have a wonderful tutorial at the OII on mobile painting apps, given by Jeremy Sutton. Jeremy is a natural teacher and spent the hour plus overtime describing the tools he uses for mobile painting on a tablet computer, focusing on iPad apps, all the time demonstrating the use and functionality of different tools – from brushes to apps – by involving the audience in his various sketches. He created a very useful Web page for the talk which provides his recommendations of tools for mobile painting, see: http://www.paintboxtv.com/ipad-art-tools

Other URLs for painting on an iPad on Jeremy’s site include:

http://www.paintboxtv.com/ipad-art

http://www.paintboxtv.com/inspired-by-hockney

I met Jeremy when he was a physics student at Oxford, and I was a professor in LA in the early 1980s. After a career of over a decade at Oxford Instruments, he followed his love of sketching and painting after he sat down at a conference on computer painting and delighted the conference goers by demonstrating what could be done on a computer screen. He has been creating and selling his work, teaching classes and demonstrating the art and craft of painting with a computer ever since. He was off from our session to spend a day in the Apple Store in London. Now Jeremy is in California with a studio in San Francisco, and I’m in Oxford.

Take a look at his tips, and his Web site. He’ll either inspire you to try it, or provoke your thinking about the implications of computing in the production and access to art.

Jeremy demonstrating use of an app
Jeremy demonstrating use of an app
Bill and Jeremy at OII
Bill and Jeremy at OII

 

Innovation and Digital Scholarship Lecture Series

About this series

Scholars collaborate online. Data are collected, delivered, analysed, and distributed via the Internet. Communication, both formal publications and informal exchanges, have moved online. Yet face-to-face conversations are still valued, seminars and lectures retain prestige, conferences proliferate, and frequent flyer miles accumulate. This lecture series will provoke a rich discussion of innovations in digital scholarship with an international array of scholars, examining implications for the sciences, social sciences, and humanities and for libraries and publishing.

The series is co-convened by UCLA Professor Christine Borgman, Visiting Fellow and Oliver Smithies Lecturer at Balliol College; Professor William Dutton, Professor of Internet Studies at the OII and Fellow at Balliol College, and Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian and Fellow of Balliol College.

Sponsors and Partners

The Digital Scholarship Lecture Series is organized by Balliol College, the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), and The Bodleian Libraries with support from the ESRC’s Digital Research Programme, based at the Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford.

Agenda

21 February 2013, 17:00 – 18:30

Speaker: Professor Alyssa Goodman, Harvard University

Respondent: Dr Chris Lintott, Department of Physics, University of Oxford

Title: Seamless Astronomy, Sea Monsters, and the Milky Way

Abstract

Most astronomy researchers use online travel tools like Kayak and Expedia, yet they don’t expect such integrative services in their research.  Instead, they use “modernized” versions of old technologies, such as sending each other email in lieu of paper letters.  Some astronomers, however, are leading the way toward a future that has much less precedent in a pre-internet world.  In this talk, I will explain elements of what future-leaning astronomers mean by “Seamless Astronomy,” a term which effectively describes an ecosystem for scholarly research as smart and streamlined as Kayak is for travel.   I will also explain why more traditional astronomers are not always quick to appreciate or adopt “Seamless” principles–even though they use its products (including a wealth of well-organized, interconnected, literature and data) all the time.  To make the theoretical situation more real, I will organize my talk around an ongoing astronomical research project that concerns a long so-called “infrared dark cloud” named “Nessie” and how it can be used to map out the skeletal structure (“Bones”)  of our Milky Way.  The 10-person collaboration working on the Nessie/Bones project includes researchers whose preferences range from traditionalist to futurist, and so offers no end of anecdotes with which to illuminate the Seamless Astronomy story!

For previews of this talk’s content, see projects.iq.harvard.edu/seamlessastronomy/ and milkywaybones.org.

 

Biographical Sketch

Alyssa Goodman is Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University, and a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution.  Goodman’s research and teaching interests span astronomy, data visualization, and online systems for research and education.

In her astronomical pursuits, Goodman and her research group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA study the dense gas between the stars. They are particularly interested in how interstellar gas arranges itself into new stars.

In more computationally-oriented efforts, Goodman co-founded The Initiative in Innovative Computing (IIC) at Harvard, and she served as its Director from 2005-8. The initiative created an university-wide interdisciplinary center at Harvard fostering work at the boundary between computing and science.   More recently, Goodman organized a diverse group of researchers, librarians, and software developers into an ongoing effort known as “Seamless Astronomy,” aimed directly at developing, refining, and sharing tools that accelerate the pace of scientific research, especially in astronomy.  Current Seamless projects include Glue, Authorea, the ADS All Sky Survey, the Astronomy Dataverse, and the WorldWide Telescope Ambassadors Program.

Goodman’s personal research presently focuses primarily on new ways to visualize and analyze the tremendous data volumes created by large and/or diverse astronomical surveys, like COMPLETE. She is working closely with colleagues at Microsoft Research, helping to expand the use of the WorldWide Telescope program, in both research and in education.   In 2009, Goodman founded the WorldWide Telescope Ambassadors Program which pairs PhD-level researchers with educators and outreach professionals to improve STEM teaching.

At Harvard, Goodman teaches courses on astrophysics and on the display of data, including one called The Art of Numbers. 

__

28 February 2013, 17:30 – 18:30

Speaker: Professor Dieter Stein, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf

Respondent: Victoria Gardner, Taylor & Francis Group, UK

Respondent: Wolfram Horstmann, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

Title: Open Access Electronic Publishing: A View from the Frontier

Abstract

Most discussions of the cultural changes linked to the Internet are holistically focused – discussing the effect of technical changes on the characteristics of as a system as a whole. This talk will take a complementary perspective by focusing on how cultural change is being shaped from the bottom-up “makers” “, sufferers” or “perpetrators” of Open Access publishing.

The main part of the talk will give an insider’s perspective, as a case study, of the decisions, motivations and constraints of individuals and stakeholders at different points in the development of a major Open Access publishing project in linguistics.  The perspective will then be widened to situate this particular development in the larger development of a “publication” as one functional element in the concept of open science.

Biographical Sketch

Dieter Stein is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf (Germany). He obtained degrees (Staatsexamen) in Geography and English at Saarbrücken University (1972) and a Doctorate in English Linguistics at Saarbrücken (1975).

After being part of a Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Sonderforschungsbereich on electronic language research and computational linguistics, he taught Applied Linguistics and Translation at Heidelberg University (until 1982). After his Habilitation at Aachen (1982) he was appointed professor for English Linguistics (text- and discourse linguistics) at Justus-Liebig-University Gießen and transferred to Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf in 1990, where he has taught since then in courses for teacher training, as well as general Masters, BA and MA courses. He has served in most administrative capacities, including dean and several terms as chairman. He has also taught at various universities in the United States, Canada, Spain and Italy, was invited scholar at UCLA, Berkeley, UBC Vancouver and Stanford.

His publications are on a broad range of topics ranging from the theory of linguistic change, via applied linguistics, the linguistics of discourse, to language and communication in the Internet, the theory of genre and the language of law and the development of modern English. He was President of the International Society if Historical Linguistics, he is currently President of the International Language and Law Society, he is also editor-in-chief of the Linguistic Society of America’s digital Publication Portal “eLanguage”. He was the organizer and conference director of a number of major international conferences, including “Berlin 6”, the Max Planck Open Access conference at Duesseldorf. He was also involved in organizing “Berlin 9”, the Open Access conference at Howard-Hughes Medical Institution, Bethesda, Md, USA.  His current main research areas include: Language of the Law, Computer-Mediated Communication and language development.

_

21 March 2013, 17:00 – 18:30

Speaker: Professor James Evans, University of Chicago

Respondent: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Oxford Internet Institute

Respondent: Dr Eric Meyer, Oxford Internet Institute

Title: Choosing the Next Experiment: Tradition, Innovation, and Efficiency in the Selection of Scientific Ideas 

Abstract

Abstract: What factors affect a scientist’s choice of research problem? Qualitative research in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science suggests that the choice is shaped by an “essential tension” between a professional demand for productivity and a conflicting drive toward risky innovation. We examine this tension empirically in the context of biomedical chemistry. We use complex networks to represent the evolving state of scientific knowledge, as expressed in digital publications. We then build measurements and a model of scientific discovery informed by key properties of this network. Measuring such choices in aggregate, we find that the distribution of strategies remains remarkably stable, even as chemical knowledge grows dramatically. High-risk strategies, which explore new chemical relationships, are less prevalent in the literature, reflecting a growing focus on established knowledge at the expense of new opportunities. Research following a risky strategy is more likely to be ignored but also more likely to achieve high impact and recognition. While the outcome of a risky strategy has a higher expected reward than the outcome of a conservative strategy, the additional reward is insufficient to compensate for the additional risk. By studying the winners of major prizes, we show that the occasional “gamble” for extraordinary impact is the most plausible explanation for observed levels of risk-taking. To examine efficiency in scientific search, we build a model of scientific discovery informed by key properties of this network, namely node degree and inter-node distance. We infer the typical research strategy in biomedical chemistry from 30 years of publications and patents and compare its efficiency with thousands of alternatives. Strategies of chemical discovery are similar in articles and patents, conservative in their neglect of low-degree, distant or disconnected chemicals, and efficient only for initial exploration of the network of chemical relationships. We identify much more efficient strategies for maturing fields.

 Biographical Sketch

James Evans is Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute, Associate Professor of Sociology and member of the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science at the University of Chicago. Evans work explores how social and technical institutions shape knowledge—science, scholarship, law, news, religion—and how these understandings reshape the social and technical world. He has studied how the Internet and Open Access shapes knowledge in society.  He has also investigated the relation of markets to science by examining how industry collaboration shapes the ethos, secrecy and organization of academic science; the web of individuals and institutions that produce innovations; and markets for ideas and their creators.  Finally, Evans is interested in using digital scholarship to identify biases in research and discovery and then using these as statistical instruments to identify promising but under-appreciated hypotheses and unasked questions. He is currently working on related projects in biology, chemistry, and medicine that explore these possibilities. His work uses natural language processing, the analysis of social and semantic networks, statistical modeling, and field-based observation and interviews. Evans’ research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Mellon and John F. Templeton Foundations and has been published in Science, American Journal of SociologySocial Studies of ScienceAdministrative Science Quarterly and other journals. His work has been featured in the EconomistAtlantic MonthlyWired, NPR, BBC, El Pais, CNN and many other outlets.

__

25 April 2013, 17:00 – 18:30

Speaker: Dame Lynne Brindley, former CEO, British Library

Respondent: Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodleian Libraries

Respondent: Professor Christine Borgman, Balliol College and University of California, Los Angeles

Title: Future of Research Libraries in the 21st Century

Abstract

Great libraries are facing both major challenges and opportunities,  now and in the next decade. Research libraries operate in the context of global complexity in a digital information world that envelops scholars, researchers, consumers and citizens. The ‘data deluge’ and ‘always on’ digital culture combine to be awesome in global impact, unprecedented in terms of innovative possibilities, and yet inhuman in many dimensions. The speaker will consider core values of research libraries, whether those values continue to be relevant, and how they might be manifest in new ways. Questions to be addressed include what information should be preserved; whether the physical library still important; whether a new balance can be achieved between information as a public or private good; and how libraries can still be relevant to many disciplines.

Biographical Sketch

Lynne Brindley was Chief Executive of the British Library for some twelve years until Summer 2012 when she stepped down from the role. She was responsible for opening up the BL in its new flagship home, as one of the world’s greatest resources for scholarship, research and business, to a much wider global audience, through major digital programmes and cultural and educational activities. She had previously spent much of her career in UK higher education, as Pro-Vice Chancellor at Leeds University and at the

London School of Economics and Aston University. She had a spell in the private sector as a senior consultant with KPMG. She is now a non-executive Board member of Ofcom (UK Communications and Media Regulator), a member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council, a member of Council of City University, the Wolfson Trust Arts Panel, and the Court of the Goldsmiths’ Livery Company. She holds a BA in music from Reading University, an MA from UCL and was made a Dame in 2008 for services to the British Library and to education.

__

16 May 2013, 17:00 – 18:30

Dr Frances Pinter,www.pinter.org.uk

Respondent: Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodleian Libraries

Title: New Open Business Models for Academic Book Publishing in the Post-Finch Era

Abstract

The 150 page Finch Report has less than three pages on books. It takes the view that just as with journal articles any publication arising out of public funding of research should be made publicly available free to the end user. However, as the traditional book business models differ significantly from journals other types of solutions need to be considered.  Finch encourages experimentation. Open access book publishing is being tried in a very tentative way by a few publishers. So far there are only a handful of models all of which have their strengths and weaknesses. Dr Frances Pinter will provide a review of these approaches. She will also present an overview of her own new initiative Knowledge Unlatched.

Biographical Sketch

Dr Frances Pinter is the founder of Knowledge Unlatched, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) devising and implementing a new open access model for scholarly book length publications. (knowledgeunlatched.org). She was the founding Publisher of Bloomsbury Academic and ran the Churchill Archive digitisation project. Frances is a visiting fellow at both the Big Innovation Centre and the London School of Economics. Previously she was Publishing Director at the Soros Foundation (Open Society Foundations). In the late 90s she devised the business model for EIFL, one of the world’s largest library consortia. Earlier she founded Pinter Publishers that also owned Leicester University Press and established the imprint Belhaven Press.  She has been active on a number of publishing trade boards and committees. She holds a BA from New York University and a PhD from University College, London.

23 May, 17:00-18:30 TENTATIVE

 

Dr. Salvatore Mele

CERN – Head of Open Access – http://www.cern.ch/oa

SCOAP3 – Interim Project Manager – http://scoap3.org

INSPIRE – Strategic Director – http://inspirehep.net

 

5 th or 6th June
Prof. Christine Borgman, Oliver Smithies Lecture

Big data, little data, no data: Research data as a lens to view the evolution of digital scholarship

Innovations in University Outreach: Join the Competition across Europe

European Competition for Best Innovations in University Outreach and Public Engagement

As part of the EC-funded ULab project, the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford is organizing an online competition to identify the most innovative outreach and public engagement activities carried out by European Universities. Both individuals and groups may apply for awards.

Competition submissions must be for an activity that has been initiated and sustained at any university or higher education institution within the 27 EU member states, including projects that might have involved collaboration with institutions outside the EU. The entry can be from one or a number of cooperating universities.

The three winning entries will each receive a 5000 EUR prize for their institution as well as funding for a representative to attend the award ceremony at the University of Oxford on 8 June 2012.

Criteria

Entries will be judged on the following equally weighted criteria:

  • Clarity of purpose: Clear definition of the objectives of the initiative; awareness of, and strategies to meet, the needs of different target audiences (25%).
  • Impact: Reporting and evaluation of the impact of the initiative; making use of quantitative measures (such as attendance rates, web traffic, surveys) and / or qualitative ones (such as interviews, focus groups) (25%).
  • Originality: Evidence of creativity and originality, including innovative ways of measuring impact (25%).
  • Sustainability: Evidence of sustainability for future use of the initiative by your own institution or by others (e.g. through open access, open licencing) (25%).

Application Procedure

Entries should be submitted online at http://www.engageawards.org by 15 March 2012.

For each entry, please submit:

  • 1,000 word description and evaluation (in English) of your outreach and public engagement initiative, making sure you address all of the assessment criteria (listed above), including links to any relevant information (which can be in any European language).
  • 150 word abstract in English.
  • A letter from your host institution, indicating their agreement for the case to be submitted to the competition.

The three winning entries will be announced on the 23rd of April 2012.

The competition is open to anyone from any European university or higher education institution. Awards will be made to institutions (or units) rather than to individuals. All entries will be made public on the website, forming part of an online repository of good practice in outreach.

More information

For more information about the judges and the awards ceremony see www.engageawards.org. For specific enquiries please email engageawards@oii.ox.ac.uk.

ULab is an innovative think-tank of five leading Technical and Research-intensive European Universities: the Technical University of Madrid, the Polytechnic University of Turin, the Technical University of Munich, the Paris Institute of Technology and the University of Oxford. It is a two year project funded by the EC http://www.ulab-fp7.eu/

The Co-Production of Knowledge: iCS Symposium, University of York, 18-20 July 2012: Call for Papers and Participation

Symposium  to  be  held  at   University  of  York,  UK   18-20 July  2012

Call  for  Papers: http://www.york.ac.uk/satsu/news-events/ics/

The   ubiquitous   social   and   cultural   adoption   of   social   media,   such   as   Twitter,   Google,   Wikipedia,  YouTube  and  Facebook  can  be  seen  to  present  a  significant  example  of  scientific   and   technological   innovation   in   many   contemporary   societies.   While   some   studies   of   social   media   and,   more   specifically,   Web   2.0   platforms   built   around   user-­‐‑generated   content,   have   made   reference   to   the   importance   of   the   field   of   science   and   technology   studies   (STS)   for   understanding   their   development   and  diffusion,   scholars   working   within   this   academic   framework   have   yet   to   fully   turn   their   focus   on   this   area.   This   three-­‐‑day   symposium   is   intended   to   explore   the   intersection   between   STS   and   social   media  inquiry,  with  a  specific  focus  on  how  Web  2.0  is  both  generative  and  challenging  of  different  forms  of  knowledge  (co-­‐‑)production  and  the  authority  it  commands.
• The  user-­‐‑centred  and  mass-­‐‑collaboration  characteristics  of  social  media  platforms   have  a  clear  affinity  with  recent  STS  models  of  the  co-­‐‑construction  of   technologies.  Notions  such  as  ‘prosumerism’  have  been  used  to  describe  this   blurring  of  the  relationship  between  the  consumer  and  producer.  However,  we   need  to  ask  whether  this  is  to  be  seen  as  co-­‐‑construction  or  primarily  a  re-­‐‑ engineering  of  labour  relations  and  the  locus  of  production?  We  also  need  to  ask   whether  the  ubiquity  extends  across  all  social  media  for  all  types  of  content.  In   other  words,  are  new  forms  of  expertise  being  inscribed,  or  are  old  knowledge   hierarchies  being  reinforced?
• STS  challenges  the  traditional  perception  of  scientific  ‘discovery’  and   technological  advancement,  to  demonstrate  the  co-­‐‑production  of  claims  to   knowledge  and  the  different  forms  and  assemblages  of  knowledge  this  involves:   how  does  this  map  onto  commentaries  on  the  importance  of  lay  knowledge  and   ‘citizen  science’  found  in  Web  2.0  as  individuals  and  groups  distribute  ideas  and   information  across  their  social  networks?  Could  this  provide  a  new  impetus  for   ‘public  interest  science’?
• How  do  the  same  issues  relate  to  the  social  sciences  themselves:  how  might  Web   2.0  provide  opportunities  for  new  forms  of  data  and  data  analytics  (for  example,   as  ‘virtual  knowledge’  via  crowdsourcing,  real-­‐‑time  data  streaming,  by-­‐‑product
data  etc)  and  in  what  ways  do  these  challenge  conventional  social  science  by   opening  up  questions  about  what  data  itself  constitutes  and  what  order  of  being   it  represents?
• How  might  lay,  amateur  knowledge  be  mobilised  as  ‘citizen  science’  and  what   warrant,  authorisation  and  location  in  established  science  might  it  secure?  How   might  the  contribution  of  Web  2.0  science  platforms  differ  from  the  amateur   societies  of  the  19th  and  20th  centuries?
• It  has  been  claimed  that  algorithms  and  code  play  an  increasingly  powerful  part   in  shaping  and  constituting  everyday  life,  it  has  even  been  claimed  that   algorithms  are  creating  new  rules  and  power  structures  that  unknowingly  come   to  restructure  social  hierarchies  and  divisions.  How,  for  example,  do  algorithms   make  decisions  for  us?  How  do  algorithms  bypass  or  re-­‐‑craft  human  agency?   What  are  the  implications  of  this?  Exactly  how  do  algorithms,  code  and  metrics   shape  everyday  life  and  access  to  knowledge?
• Do  the  open  source  platforms  and  social  media  tools  of  Web  2.0  come  into   tension  with  the  international  standardisation  and  codification  of  global  ICT   infrastructures  and  local  and  global  knowledge  infrastructures?
• Finally,  the  more  celebratory  characterisations  of  social  media  emanating  from   the  marketing  world  typically  lack  a  critical  focus:  can  social  media  and  STS   analyses  build  a  political  economy  of  Web  2.0  to  provide  such  a  focus,  by   explicitly  addressing  issues  of  participatory  surveillance,  exclusion  and  control?
Papers  are  invited  that  explore  these  broad  questions  around  a  number  of  possible   themes,  including:

• The  boundaries  and  future  of  social  media  as  a  medium  of  knowledge  creation,   dissemination,  and  regulation
• The  co-­‐‑production  of  knowledge  via  Web  2.0  platforms   • Knowledge,  expertise  and  disruptive/disrupted  authority   • Capturing  social  media:  the  commercial/political  exploitation  by  or  empowering
of  Web  2.0   • Ownership,  dissemination  and  use  of  scientific  knowledge   • E-­‐‑governance  and  the  regulation  of  knowledge  within  social  media     • National  practices  and  global  opportunities   • Novel  forms  of  knowledge  creation  through  group  processes, archiving,  digitization  etc.   • Public  and  visible  science
Confirmed  plenary  speakers  include: Geof  Bowker,  University  of  Pittsburgh;  Leah  Lievrouw,  UCLA;   Adrian  MacKenzie,  Cesagen,  University  of  Lancaster;  Rob  Proctor,  e-­‐‑Research  Centre,  University  of  Manchester;  Robin  Williams,  ISSTI,  Edinburgh;  Sally  Wyatt,  e-­Humanities  Programme,  Royal  Netherlands  Academy  of  Arts  and   Sciences.

This  conference  is  intended  to  bring  together  some  of  the  leading  scholars  in  the  fields  of   STS,  Communication  and  Social  Media  analysis,  and  the  history  and  philosophy  of   science  to  critically  explore  these  issues.

Please  send  abstracts  of  proposed  papers  to  sarah-­‐‑shrive-­‐‑morriosn@york.ac.uk  by  29   February  2012      Registration  information  is  available  on  the  SATSU  site:   http://www.york.ac.uk/satsu

Conference  organising  committee:  David  Beer,  Darren  Reed,  Mike  Hardey,  Brian  Loader,   Sarah  Shrive-­Morrison,  Andrew  Webster,  Robin  Williams,  Sally  Wyatt

The  deadline  for  this  call  for  papers  is  29  February  2012.  If  you  are  interested  to  submit   an  individual  paper  or  panel  including  3  papers  please  go  to  web-­‐‑link  or  contact  email   satsu@york.ac.uk

Conference  Fees   The  ICS  conference  is  completely  funded  through  self-­finance.  iCS  therefore  needs  to   charge  a  conference  fee  applicable  to  all  participating  in  this  conference,  including   speakers.  However,  all  panel  organisers,  speakers  and  moderators  will  receive  a  £25   discount  on  the  conference  fee.  The  conference  fee  covers  the  administration  and   production  of  the  conference,  hire  of  venue  and  a/v  equipment,  and  the  catering  costs.   The  estimated  conference  fees  for  this  coming  year  are:  Full  fee  between  £100-­150;   Concessions  between  £75-­£125;  Day  fee  between  £75-‑125  (all  fees  to  include  lunch).

Digital Wales: A Segue into Wide-ranging Discussions of Policy Issues

The launch seminar of our ESRC Seminar Series, ‘Digital Policy: Connectivity, Creativity and Rights’, was held Friday, 1 April 2011. This first seminar was held at the Centre City Campus of the University of Wales in Newport and hosted by the School of Art, Media and Design. Professor Gillian Young, recently appointed at the University of Wales, and Principal Investigator of the ESRC Seminar Series, chaired the launch. The Web site for the series is at: http://idl.newport.ac.uk/digitalpolicy/

This first seminar was entitled ‘Digital Wales: Inclusive Creativity and Economy’ to take full advantage of key speakers and participants from Wales, including: Cardiff University Professor Ian Hargreaves, one of the founding members of the Ofcom Board; David Warrender, Director of Digital Wales for the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG); Alan Burge, Communities Directorate for the WAG; and Rhodri Williams, Director Ofcom Wales. This worked well, in part because Wales has placed a real priority on a set of initiatives around a ‘Digital Wales’, focused largely on the creative industries, but also on access to next generation Internet infrastructures. http://wales.gov.uk/topics/businessandeconomy/publications/heartofdigitalwales/?lang=en

The discussion was wide-ranging and engaging – too broad to be summarized here, but it will be summarized in due course on the series Web site. However, Professor Young has posted a short overview of the objectives of the series online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzKZF6Ff7JY

I came away from the launch seminar more fully convinced of the value of having a focus on specific local, regional and national initiatives, such as Digital Wales. It anchors the discussion in a specific setting and provides an impetus to discuss specific projects, such as initiatives in video production across Wales. My own contribution to the forum focused on providing one perspective on the agenda for the series as a whole. I argued that the series could make a contribution by focusing on the UK context and the particular issues raised for nations, and such issues as rural access, the vitality of small businesses, and emerging debate over the ‘big society’. In addition, I thought we should focus on clarifying distinctions between initiatives relevant to network individuals, as well as networked institutions. And of course we need to address key issues of infrastructure, content regulation and new policy, such as the drafting of a new communications act for the UK.

My other point was the there were several ways in which academic participation in this policy discussion could add value. One was the role we could play in assessing alternative policy initiatives from the perspective of connectivity, creativity and rights, among other criteria. We should be particularly well equipped to bring evidence and empirical research to bear on these issues, and be well positioned to question taken-for-granted assumptions about the impact of policy. Secondly, we should be well positioned to provide a neutral meeting ground for discussion among a full range of stakeholders. We may have interests and preferences ourselves, but our primary incentive is to be open, and accountable as academics. If we do not provide a neutral meeting ground, our reputation is at risk. Thirdly, we should have a special role in putting local developments, whether in Wales or Britain as a whole, in a broader context, whether that be global trends or the broader ecology of particular policy areas. I used my work on the ecology of choices shaping freedom of expression as an example. Finally, I hope that the participation by academics opens up discussion of the policy process in Britain. Is the policy process providing adequate opportunities for debate? Is it sufficiently transparent and publicly accountable? Is government tapping the expertise of citizens? My own sense is that progress could be made on all of these fronts.

Slides for my own presentation are posted on Slideshare at: http://www.slideshare.net/WHDutton/towards-an-agenda-on-digital-wales-2011

 

 

 

 

Digital Policy: Connectivity, Creativity and Rights

The ESRC has awarded my colleagues and I support for a seminar series on ‘Digital Policy: Connectivity, Creativity, and Rights’. This will involve: me and colleagues at the OII, University of Oxford; Dr Gillian Youngs, the principal applicant, recently appointed to a professorship at the Newport School of Art, Media and Design at University of Wales; Dr Tracy Simmons at the University of Leicester; and Professor Katherine Sarikakis at the University of Vienna (2011-13). [ESRC RES-451-26-0849] The project Web site is at: http://idl.newport.ac.uk/digitalpolicy/

Rationale

Digital policy is high on political, communications and commercial agendas currently with the Digital Economy Bill (BIS 2009-10) currently going through Parliament following on from the Digital Britain Final Report in June 2009 (BIS 2009).  While the digital revolution is already well underway in the UK in terms of business developments and changes in daily life, these transitions mark a major policy and legislative push towards Britain’s digital future. Controversial areas such as copyright infringement, the future and functions of public service content, and the role of Ofcom are core to these changes.  In broader terms the potential for economic transformations and growth through the digital economy, new skills, innovation and creativity, are key concerns.

The three core areas of focus of the seminar series offer an original synthesis bringing together consideration of connectivity, creativity and rights to encourage links between technical, political and economic issues. The series will consider connectivity from social and skills-based as well as infrastructural and technical perspectives. Creativity will be examined in a wide sense including creative and media industries, transitions in public service and other forms of content, new knowledge and networking and political and commercial innovations. Rights points not only to the importance of digital inclusivity but broader concerns of digital empowerment through access not only to digital technologies but to the knowledge, skills and motivations that are required to use in imaginative ways and to their full potential. The benefits to individuals and communities as well as to the economy at large are at stake here. Across the seminar series different aspects of the digital knowledge economy, knowledge work and skills and rights issues will be addressed including from critical perspectives.

An innovative approach of the series will be to examine these areas through multi-stakeholder engagement to identify the practical implications and challenges as well as critical debates about winners and losers in the digital game. It will bring policymakers and politicians at different levels together with academics, regulators, communications, media and creative industry representatives as well as members of NGOs, social and digital entrepreneurs and innovators.

The organizers of the series recognize that at this moment of profound digital change an inclusive debate of the kind that can only be stimulated by bringing actors with contrasting interests together is crucial. Not least to identify major tensions and concerns as well as opportunities, but also any areas requiring a particular policy focus, including in relation to complex issues of access and digital rights at collective and individual levels. What kind of digital future is envisaged in Britain? Who continues to be left out or at risk of being left out of this digital future? What can be done to overcome major technical, knowledge and skills barriers to this? How much control needs to be exerted to achieve a safe online environment including for the most vulnerable? What new kinds of creativity and innovation are being unleashed by digital change and how can these be expanded? How is the public service ethos being tested and enhanced in the digital environment? These are the kinds of questions that are central to this series.

Seminar Format

There will be at least five seminars, with additional seminars possible through support from other sources. The first will be held over two days to launch the series and explore the linking themes in some depth, and then four one-day seminars to focus in detail on separate areas. The aim will be to have some core participants who will attend a number of the seminars and then participants related to each theme for the individual seminars. All seminars will have a mix of stakeholders, ranging across policy, business and civil society, in addition to academics to generate theory/practice connections in fresh and productive ways. The aim will be to involve between 30 and 40 people in each seminar including core group participants (regular attendees) and guest speakers and participants.

Dr Sarikakis
 

 

Tracy Simmons
Gillian Youngs

The series is international. First it aims to examine digital Britain in its global context. Secondly, it aims to do that in part through the direct participation in the series of leading scholars from North America, Canada, Europe and East Asia. Finally, it aims to harness digital media in its own methodology in engagement and outreach terms, such as by using the Internet to extend cost effectively the number of international speakers who can be invovled in the series, and by using the web to enable worldwide access to the series. By experimenting with popular social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the series also aims to contribute to new models of academic practice.

The international contributions to the series are vital when digital communication and problems and challenges affecting it have national dimensions and characteristics but also go well beyond them in creating an era of everyday global communication for leisure as much as work, consumption as much as production. The international aspects of the series will stimulate interesting comparative questions for research, contrasting areas of good practice, varied perspectives on issues such as risk, and different sets of policy priorities and objectives. The international character of the series will also significantly enhance its outputs, both in terms of the text and audiovisual material to be mounted online, but also the academic publications from the series. It is also anticipated  that new international networks will develop out of the series which will give academics at all levels of experience and others involved access to knowledge outside of the UK context. The in-depth quality of the seminars will offer plenty of opportunity for new research collaborations to be generated.

The ESRC Research Seminar Series ‘Digital Policy: Connectivity, Creativity and Rights’ (RES-451-26-0849) runs from 2011 to 2013 led by Prof. Gillian Youngs, University of Wales, Newport, with Dr Tracy Simmons, University of Leicester, Prof. Bill Dutton, Oxford Internet Institute, and Prof. Katharine Sarikakis, University of Vienna.