Archive for May, 2012

Week 12/13: ‘Nutshelling’ Advanced Media Issues

Wrapping the ARTS3091 Advanced Media Issues up in a nice little box and tying the ribbon or shoving all the content into the proverbial nutshell is virtually impossible without avoiding making generalisations and unsupported statements. However, what I am able to do is make a conclusive determination as to what I have learnt, how my knowledge has been extended as to the relationship between new media, culture and social change and my perception of the impact that issues in media have in our everyday lives.

From Ecologies, Embodiment to what is real? Our data-driven society and media, Organisation and Micropolitics to Transversals and Openess; it is clear that issues influencing media and its future manifestation are ever-changing and omnipresent. This has been made evident in looking particularly at the existence of ecologies in media that govern how we receive the news and how these are embodied through our cognitive thought process, highlighted in the following excerpts:

“…cognitivism’s increasing ability to micro-manage cultural activities (education is one major example) creates a self-fulfilling prophecy in which “cognition” as a concept is almost indispensable.” [1]

And:

“It is the study of media environments, the idea that technology and techniques, modes of information and codes of communication play a leading role in human affairs. 

[Lance Strate, “Understanding MEA,” In Medias Res 1 (1), Fall 1999.]

In looking at the how new media has influenced cultural and social change the role of transversals in allowing aspects of life like music, journalism, politics, science and education to develop “new lines that cross between older disciplines, older fields, older cultural practices”[3] accounts for how the relationship between technological change and new media is shaping the future we will live in. Likewise, the data-driven society we live in that has been created by our ever-increasing usage of mobile media (Twitter and Facebook), online databases and access to openness in government data-sharing websites; is evidence of how new media is inspiring social and cultural change.

Thus, I am able to conclude that participating in the Arts3091 course has given me an awareness of just how much technogical advances, new media and issues within the media have shaped the society and culture we live in now; as well as our future existence.

 

 

[1] Murphie A. The Mutation of “Cognition” and the Fracturing of Modernity: cognitive technics, extended mind and cultural crisis,  Date of Production: Not Specified, Macquarie University Online, Date Accessed: 18th March, <http://scan.net.au/scan/journal/display.php?journal_id=58&gt;

 [2] What is Media Ecology? –  Author Not Stated, <http://www.media-ecology.org/media_ecology/>, Last Updated: 2009, Last Visited: 11/03/12
[3] Murphie, Andrew (2006) ‘Editorial’, [on transversality], the Fibreculture Journal, 9 <http://nine.fibreculturejournal.org/>
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Week 9: Prising Open Science with Media, Technology and Culture

What do you think about when your read the words: open science? It’s a funny term, sounds like a trick question doesn’t it? Open science is essentially where scientific information is easy accessible to citizens and is made relevant by the inherent links science has with culture and the media; particularly the manifestation created between these three elements of life.

In the 1950s and 60s one might argue the following video was an example of ‘open science’:

The television program ‘Why is it so?’ was a new way for science to be made available to children, through a new past-time based on the biggest thing in media at the time; television. Children were exposed to a scientific education in the comfort of the homes, in an interesting manner and different to what they had experienced this before. Thus, this was ‘open science’ in its origin as science combined with the media and culture to evolve into a more accessible form of its former self; like a tadpole to a frog or caterpillar into a butterfly.

In looking at how science could be increased in the level of ‘openness’ that exists Elizabeth Pisani discusses the January 2011 announcement by Wellcome Trust, a UK research charity, that public health research scientists would begin sharing data. An announcement that would be followed by another 15 funders “…including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and the national research councils of the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, wanting to do the same for any research they pay for that involves collecting data from people specifically for research (samples collected during provision of health services are excluded)”[1]. So that not only would taxpayers and charities get a sense of how well the money was being spent but allow scientists to collaborate, by comparing results, where previously this wasn’t possible. Interestingly though Pisani notes that a previous obstruction to this level of openness being established lies in the “visceral feelings of ownership that come with months of research”[2] and the occurrence of “mistakes that are inevitable but rarely admitted to.”[3]

Finally, examples of how science is ‘opening’ up through media/technological advances that are impacting on society and culture is the presence of online and open-access archives and journals like ..arXiv and thePublic Library of Science (PLoS) and GalaxyZoo; a citizen-science site.” Lin details that even blogging has provided a mechanism for science to become more ‘open’ where “On the collaborative blog MathOverflow, mathematicians earn reputation points for contributing to solutions”[4] and on the “social networking site called ResearchGate — scientists can answer one another’s questions, share papers and find collaborators — which is rapidly gaining popularity”[5]. In Lin’s article he finishes with a quote from Dr Nielsen a successful scientist who has written a paper titled “Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science[6] who concludes that while scientists have previously been “…scientists have been ‘very inhibited and slow to adopt a lot of online tools’, open science was coalescing into “a bit of a movement.”[7]


[1] Pisani, Elizabeth (2011) Medical science will benefit from the research of crowds.<http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/11/medical-research-data-sharing&gt;

[2] Pisani, Elizabeth (2011) Medical science will benefit from the research of crowds.<http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/11/medical-research-data-sharing&gt;

[3] Pisani, Elizabeth (2011) Medical science will benefit from the research of crowds.<http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/11/medical-research-data-sharing&gt;