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Promoting Knowledge in the Age of Unreason: Toward the Internet of the Mind

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Sir Roland Wilson Building

120 McCoy Circuit

Australian National University

Acton, ACT 2601

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ANU Emeritus Faculty Lecture in association with the National Scholary Communications Form and The Open Society Foundation.

Communication is the "essence of science," and thanks to the Internet, scholarly communication could be conceived as the distributed system of human intelligence. Now, with the rise of global computer networks, the next stage in the rise of distributed human intelligence is clearly in the offing. Open Access is an effective way to enhance the cross-fertilization of scholarship with new technologies to create the optimal communication system that society needs in what has been called, following recent global political events, 'the age of unreason'.

Researchers are obviously crucial to the scholarly communication process, but they largely communicate through a system that they do not control. In evaluating researchers for promotion, tenure and funding, research councils and universities tend to rely on metrics that are deemed to characterize a "good" or "not so good" career. As a result, researchers are forced to publish "where it counts". All this reinforces the warped manner in which symbolic capital, visibility and prestige are currently generated in scholarship.

If the control of its knowledge is no longer with the research communities themselves, to what extent does that threaten to corrupt the very nature of knowledge distribution? Who controls publicly funded knowledge and, in the era of fake news, who ensures its validation and reputation? Seen from the perspective of the developing or emerging countries, i.e. from the perspective of about 80% of humanity, the answer is clear. Unleashing the full power of the distributed system of human knowledge should become a fundamental objective of global scholarship.

About the speaker

Jean-Claude Guédon is Professor of littératures et de langues du monde at the Université de Montréal, Canada. His first degree was in chemistry before completing a PhD in the history of science at the University of Wisconsin. He has been a full Professor at the University of Montréal since 1987. Guédon's numerous publications reflect his interest in the global impact of the Internet on culture, law, language and society. He has been a particular champion of the open access movement, advising, in that capacity, governments, learned bodies and research councils around the world.

Jean-Claude is a globally renowned speaker with over 400 presentations to date including to the European Commission, the British Library, French Telecom and the US National Library of Medicine. He has been Chair of the Program Committee of the Internet Society three times, Board member of the Information Programme of the Open Society Foundations and Vice President of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Enquiries to Colin Steele
T: 02 6125 8983
E: colin.steele@anu.edu.au

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Location

Sir Roland Wilson Building

120 McCoy Circuit

Australian National University

Acton, ACT 2601

Australia

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