27 September 2009

Communication and Human Development: The Freedom Connection

Professors Michael Spence and Amartya Sen join leading ICT (Information-Communication Technology) experts Yochai Benkler and Clotilde Fonseca in a public discussion of the role of communication and ICTs in human development, growth and poverty reduction. Michael Best will moderate the discussion. What has changed, been learned, not been learned, needs to be learned, needs to be done most urgently?

This talk was organized by the International Development Research Center, and hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University on September 23, 2009. See notes from Ethan Zuckerman's liveblog here: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/20


Lee Dirks on Transforming Scholarly Communication

Lee Dirks, Director of Education & Scholarly Communications in Microsofts External Research division proposes a vision for the future of research and the need for semantic-oriented computing by exploring eResearch projects that have successfully applied relevant technologies. He suggests that a software + service model with scientific services delivered from the cloud will become an increasingly accepted model for research.

This event was co-sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Harvard Business School Knowledge and Library Services, Harvard Law School Library, and the Office for Scholarly Communication.


End the University as We Know It

Published: April 26, 2009 New York Times

GRADUATE education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).

Widespread hiring freezes and layoffs have brought these problems into sharp relief now. But our graduate system has been in crisis for decades, and the seeds of this crisis go as far back as the formation of modern universities. Kant, in his 1798 work “The Conflict of the Faculties,” wrote that universities should “handle the entire content of learning by mass production, so to speak, by a division of labor, so that for every branch of the sciences there would be a public teacher or professor appointed as its trustee.”