Monitoring The Progress of Science In The Digital Age

Katy Borner

On April 13, 2006, SLIS faculty member Katy Börner was a guest on the radio talk program Focus 580 with David Inge, which features interviews with newsmakers and experts on international affairs and daily life.

In their discussion "Monitoring The Progress of Science In The Digital Age," David Inge opened the conversation by stating that we have "access to more information than anyone ever has had before in human history … our ability of our brains to absorb information has not changed very much over time." He then poised the question: "Given that we have all this information that we have access to, how do we go about organizing that in a way that we can even know what we know?"

In her reply, Dr. Börner pointed out the limitation of search engines that keep us on the ground of naked facts and do not provide an 'up' button. While efficient for finding facts, search engines provide little support for the identification of global patterns. Maps of science provide a means to "see how big this growing sea of knowledge actually is" and guide in the search for relevant scholarly information. After discussing knowledge mapping with Inge, she responded to listener questions about a reference system for scholarly knowledge, science maps for kids, and the incorporation of scholarly work in music and art into maps of science.

Focus 580 is a program on the NPR-affiliated radio station WILL-AM in Urbana, Illinois. You can listen to the entire program via RealAudio or MP3 Download.

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Posted April 27, 2006

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