Basser Seminar Series

e-Research: Social Challenges in Developing Tools for Distributed Knowledge Production

Ralph Schroeder
James Martin Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute

Wednesday 20 February 2008, 4-5 pm

School of IT Building, Lecture Theatre, Room 123, Level 1


This talk will focus on the social issues surrounding e-Research tools.

e-Research is developing rapidly, but ethical, legal and institutional issues often pose greater challenges than technical ones. A range of e-Research projects will be presented, ranging from astronomy and bio-medicine to literature and social science; and from large-scale sharing of high-performance computing to simple Wikis. An overview of key social issues - intellectual property, trust in collaborations, privacy in datasharing, and open access - will be given. Despite hurdles, there is considerable impetus behind a range of e-Research efforts, and this can be attributed to the role of research technologies in innovation, and the talk will conclude with an outlook on the future of this innovation process.

Speaker's biography

Ralph Schroeder is James Martin Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. Before coming to Oxford University he was Professor in the School of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University in Gothenburg (Sweden). His publications include Possible Worlds: The Social Dynamic of Virtual Reality Technology (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996), and Rethinking Science, Technology and Social Change (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007). He has published many articles about social interaction in virtual environments and about the social aspects of e-science. He is currently working on various projects about e-Research.
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