Thursday, August 31, 2006

Day one of the Knowledge Based Economy conference. I am in the library where the web works ok but there is no coffee. Otherwise fine.

Conference has started well. the idea of knowledge is not limited to academic sources. Michael Hulme emphasised personal knowledge and collaborative knowledge creation through blogs and wikis. "The onus of critical judgement is thrown back to the individual."

John Urry commented that the role of the individual is balanced by a dependence on computers and electronic systems with 'a dark and dystopic side of systemic dependencies' liable to catastrophic failure. Not sure if systems will be seen with any encouraging potential but this is only day one.

Some discussion on whether the KBE is centred on London and the south east in the UK. One thing I notice is that the people attending are not from Oxford, Cambridge or London academic sites other than DEMOS. Not sure why this may be.

From the first workshop I discover that 'excellence' and quality are among the top issues in editorial coverage of higher education in the USA. Based on looking at 252 articles in the New York Times, LA Times and Washington Post. So quality could be a topic of interest for academics. The discussion suggested that most of the articles responding to journalists came from individual academics rather than any organised presentation by universities as a group.

No comments: