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Breakout Ia: "Expertise and Networked Public Knowedge"

Page history last edited by Leah Lievrouw 10 years, 5 months ago

Breakout I.a (Bren 1520):



One of the challenges, but also opportunities, for the academy is to participate in the reinvention of the institutions, standards, practices, technologies, and media that channel "expert" knowledge to the public, and vice versa. What will be the future of "expertise" in relation to socially-produced knowledge or information networks that celebrate the "wisdom of the crowd"? How can expertise inform the network in the age of Web 2.0? How can the Web 2.0 network inform expertise?


  • What are the top-ten research problems/opportunities in this area?  
  • And is there a recommendation for a particular issue for RoSe to pursue?


Summary of the Discussion


Participants contributed to a list of general agenda items, then group brainstormed about the items (or elaborated agenda items or added new points). Group concluded by condensing into a smaller set of top issues for future research.



  • Preserving multiplicity (rather than single authority)
  • Multiplicity of experise (not dichotomy)
  • Lowest common denominator problem (associated with crowdsourcing)
  • Need an account of the history of experts and amateurs (in humanities and the sciences)
  • Flows of value, profit
  • Professionalization and compensation
  • Questions vs. answers in public production
  • Who is a peer?
  • Mass v. selection/focus and how big is ‘scale’?



  • Editorial process – ‘I can choose my own experts’
  • Multiple expertise in audience and contributors – Have these same people initially
  • Is this aimed at those producing or looking for novel research?
  • Contestation and argument is value of wide view
  • Reifying argument primitives (e.g. warrant)
  • Delegated, absent, unwarranted authority discovered and exposed
    •  ‘topography of authority’ ‘and typology’ (authority profiles)
  • Reputation
  • If we create systems mapped onto a particular community, we’re reifying a static
  • Diverse models of authority and access (incommensurable?)
  • Social trustee expertise vs. applied knowledge expertise
    • Brint, Steven  In an Age of Experts
  • Is project aimed at producing new research?
  • Asking the first question, is that an act of expertise?
  • Getting seduced out of expertise zone
  • Gatekeeping – so far the designers and charrette participants don't seem comfortable with the system being open; pressure toward determining who makes decisions; why would users make time?
  • Giving consent / agreeing to accept others' assertions or knowledge
  • Identifying clusters of discussion as they emerge
  • Respect vis a vis contact zones (Haraway?)
  • Creating a structure w/enough fluidity to allow objective conditions to change
  • What should be allowed to die? How do we signal this to users when it happens?
  • What’s the system for? What motivates buy-in and participation?
  • Making as learning? For production or discovery?
  • What's being created are new forms of knowledge – not just pedagogy
  • [Why do digital humanities discussions always come down to teaching/pedagogy? What about new forms/models of knowledge? Not just providing services. Not all about 'you and your identity,' also the question of being able to inhabit other spaces and knowledges.]
  • Scholarship and/as platform



  • Understanding multiple expertise/knowledge and crossing expertise boundaries
  • Models of contestation and argument, making productively visible, not closing off argument
  • Fertile combinations of human and computational gatekeeping
  • Discovering and exposing models of authority over time
  • Translation among multiple (formal and informal) ontologies


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