Monday, December 4th, 2017


2:30PM - 4PM

UNU-CSMacau SAR China

Talk: Toward Open Knowledge Environments

Paul Uhlir, a consultant in information policy and management, will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to deliver a talk on the communication processes in the context of open knowledge environments.

Technological progress always outstrips the ability of social systems to adapt and manage it effectively. That is certainly true of digital networks, which were developed globally in the early 1990s. Many of the legacy institutions and practices were transferred from the print medium to the network and new approaches have not yet been fully formed. What is needed is to step back to deconstruct the print paradigm and reconstruct it in a way that is optimal in the digitally networked environment.

This presentation focuses on scholarly communication processes in that context. It presents the case for a default rule of openness; discusses the principles and benefits of open communication; explores the limits of such openness, both legitimate and spurious; identifies the models that have arisen; and argues in favor of an integrated, academic approach that I refer to as an open knowledge environment.

PAUL F. UHLIR, J.D., is a consultant in information policy and management. He was Scholar at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, DC in 2015-2016, and Director of the Board on Research Data and Information at the NAS, 2008-2015. Paul was employed at the NAS from 1985-2016, first as a senior staff officer for the Space Studies Board, where he worked on solar system exploration and environmental remote sensing studies for NASA, and then as associate executive director of the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications. He directed the Office of International S&T Information for eight years after that, where he organized projects and meetings on scientific data throughout the world, and from 1992 to 2015 he also was director of the US CODATA at the NAS. Before joining the NAS, he worked in the general counsel’s office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC, working on Earth observation programs and related policies.

Paul has written or edited 27 books and over 70 articles, mostly in scientific data law, policy, and management. He speaks worldwide on these topics and consults to governments, professional organizations, and universities. In 1997 he won the National Research Council’s Special Achievement Award and in 2010 the CODATA International Prize, both in the field of data policy. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011.

Paul has a B.A. degree in world history from the University of Oregon (1977), and a Master’s degree in foreign relations and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego (1983, 1984).

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