Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere

This is an updated text of a keynote address given at the Fifteenth International ISKO Conference, Porto, 9th July 2018. A brief account of the conference is given in an earlier blog post. Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere David Bawden and Lyn Robinson Abstract This paper considers… Continue reading Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere

Can information be conserved, and why would it matter?

The idea that information may be conserved may strike many of us interested in recorded human information information as faintly ridiculous. By 'conserved', we mean that there is a fixed amount of information in the universe, and that, while it may be changed, it can neither be created nor destroyed. This does not seem to… Continue reading Can information be conserved, and why would it matter?

Still awaiting the quantum turn

Two years ago a paper by myself and my colleagues Lyn Robinson and Tyabba Siddiqui was published in JASIST, introducing and explaining the idea of an emerging 'quantum information science'. We argued that this could be seen in five respects: use of loose analogies and metaphors between concepts in quantum physics and library/information science; use… Continue reading Still awaiting the quantum turn

Library and information science in an age of messages: Rafael Capurro’s comments

In a previous post, I gave a slightly modified version of a chapter written by Lyn Robinson and myself for a Festschrift in honour of Rafael Capurro. Capurro subsequently wrote an insightful and generous commentary on all of the book's chapters. Below, I reproduce a shortened version of his perceptive comments on our chapter: Thanks… Continue reading Library and information science in an age of messages: Rafael Capurro’s comments

Invented and discovered: mathematics in Popper’s World 3

I have always had an interest in mathematics. This is despite, or perhaps because of, never being very good at the subject at school, and avoiding it to the maximum extent compatible with getting a science degree at university. Not that I have any fondness for what is called 'recreational mathematics', which has always seemed… Continue reading Invented and discovered: mathematics in Popper’s World 3

Super-science, fundamental dimension, way of being: Library and information science in an age of messages

This is a slightly modified version of a chapter by Lyn Robinson and myself, published in Information cultures in the digital age: a festschrift in honor of Rafael Capurro. M Kelly and J Bielby (eds). Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2016, pp 31-43. Introduction Rafael Capurro’s body of writings encompass a wide and diverse set of issues… Continue reading Super-science, fundamental dimension, way of being: Library and information science in an age of messages

CoLIS 9 Uppsala

The latest in the series of CoLIS (Conceptions of Library and Information Science) conferences was held at the University of Uppsala at the end of June, following on from CoLIS 7 in London in 2010, and CoLIS 8 in Copenhagen in 2013. This is, I think, my favourite conference from the viewpoint of getting new… Continue reading CoLIS 9 Uppsala

“A different kind of knowing”: speculations on understanding in light of the Philosophy of Information

This is a slightly updated and extended version of a paper by myself and Lyn Robinson, presented at the 9th Conceptions of Library and Information Science conference, Uppsala, 28 June 2016. It includes some additional points raised in discussion of the paper. Introduction This is a different kind of knowing… It’s like understanding, I suppose… Continue reading “A different kind of knowing”: speculations on understanding in light of the Philosophy of Information

Information, misinformation disinformation: Copenhagen interlude

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the Danish Royal School of Library and Information Science, now part of the University of Copenhagen's Faculty of Humanities, to act as part of the committee for the defence of the doctoral thesis of Sille Obelitz Søe. The thesis, entitled "The urge to detect, the… Continue reading Information, misinformation disinformation: Copenhagen interlude

The new dualism of information and data science

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear Luciano Floridi give a Turing Lecture at the British Library Conference Centre, on 'Ethics in the Age of Information'. The Alan Turing Institute is the UK's national institute for data science, and locates itself at the intersection of computer science, mathematics, statistics and systems engineering.… Continue reading The new dualism of information and data science