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Knowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities

The UC Arts Digital Lab is pleased to present a talk by Professor Eric Meyer of the Oxford Internet Institute:

Knowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities
Thursday 24 November, 2-3pm, Karl Popper 612

In this talk, Eric Meyer will discuss his 2015 book Knowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities, in which he and his co-author Ralph Schroeder argue that digital technologies have fundamentally changed research practices in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Meyer and Schroeder show that digital tools and data, used collectively and in distributed mode—which they term e-research—have transformed not just the consumption of knowledge but also the production of knowledge.

Digital technologies for research are reshaping how knowledge advances in disciplines that range from physics to literary analysis. This book considers the transformations of research from a number of perspectives, drawing especially on the sociology of science and technology and social informatics. It shows that the use of digital tools and data is not just a technical issue; it affects research practices, collaboration models, publishing choices, and even the kinds of research and research questions scholars choose to pursue. Knowledge Machines examines the nature and implications of these transformations for scholarly research.

Eric Meyer is Professor of Social Informatics and Director of Graduate Studies at the Oxford Internet Institute, a multidisciplinary department at the University of Oxford which undertakes teaching and research focused on understanding life online. Eric’s work focuses on shifts in work, knowledge creation, and human interactions when digital technologies replace previously non-digital counterparts. His research in this area has included studies of the impacts of digital collections in libraries and museums, digital practices in the arts, the use of digital images in biology, and digital information practices in the sciences and humanities.