June 6, 2008

Science in the 21st Century

I've been remiss in blogging about this conference that's happening at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, ON this coming September 8-12.

However, Michael Nielson informs us that there are only a few spots left for registrants!

Well, I'm registered and it would be great if a few more librarians were there as well to fly the flags for our place in 21st Century Science!

Science in the 21st Century: Science, Society and Information Technology

Times are changing. In the earlier days, we used to go to the library, today we search and archive our papers online. We have collaborations per email, hold telephone seminars, organize virtual networks, write blogs, and make our seminars available on the internet. Without any doubt, these technological developments influence the way science is done, and they also redefine our relation to the society we live in. Information exchange and management, the scientific community, and the society as a whole can be thought of as a triangle of relationships, the mutual interactions in which are becoming increasingly important.

Here's the list of topics, most of which are naturals for librarians too:
  • Web/Web 2.0.
    Communication, Social and Information Networks, Wikis, Blogs, Information Overflow, and the Illusion of Knowledge

  • Globalization
    Collaboration and Competition in the scientific community, The Global Village, the Limits of Growth, Science and Democracy

  • Open Access
    Scientific Publishing, Science Journalism, Framing, and the 'Marketplace of Ideas'

  • Sociology
    Ethics, Morals, Trends, and their impact on scientific directions, organization of our communities, fragmentation, feedback, selection, and the ivory tower.

  • Miscellaneous and Other
    Teaching, Information storage, Resilience and the next Generation

There's also a skeletal program and list of participants.

Oh yeah, the Perimeter Institute has been in the news the last few days!


Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Hey John!

I just added you to the list of participants. Looking forward to seeing you here. Best,


Anonymous said...

This sounds average.

John Dupuis said...

Thanks, Bee.

And I don't think it'll be average -- it'll be great.

nuclear.kelly said...

What is your take on open access in scientific publishing? Do you think subscribers should pay fees to access journals, or should authors pay to allow access? Perhaps removing the cost of printing paper copies of the journals would help to make open access more feasible?

eeza said...


John Dupuis said...

Well, NK, I'm all for OA publishing. I support it 100%. However, I do recognize that there's no one business model that will work for all publishers in all disciplines. I also recognize that subscription, toll-access journals will be with us for quite a while yet.

Unfortunately, from what I've read, the cost of the print part of a journal isn't as big a percentage of the total costs as we'd all hoped.

RobertDobson the middle-class book reviewer said...

Do you think that maybe the internet has had a negative effect on our researching techniques? And what effect will this have on future scientific discoveries? I mean there's just no effort involved anymore. I remember when I had to go to a travel agent's office to book a holiday, and if I wanted to find out about astrophysics I just didn't know where to start. But now I can look at it immediately.

Erin Barney said...

Wow, this is pretty interesting stuff...I'm just a girl from Kentucky so I was wondering...could I ask you a few questions, things you could enlighten me on, if you got a minute? Thanks...