Event Title

Closing Session

Presenter Information

Robert Fox, University of Oxford

Streaming Media

Location

Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania

Event Website

http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/lectures/scienceinfo_program.html

Start Date

25-2-2017 3:45 PM

End Date

25-2-2017 4:30 PM

Document Type

Presentation

Description

Robert Fox, University of Oxford

Universal Knowledge as Utopia and Myth

The Baconian aphorism that knowledge is power has been amply vindicated since the seventeenth century, as political, economic, and cultural leaders have sought to control access to information, typically in opposition to advocates of openness. In the period treated in this conference, those who believed that knowledge should be open to all faced the challenge of an unprecedented acceleration in the pace of publication, followed by a distinct "national turn" after the Great War as nations appropriated science in pursuit of their various interests. Contrary voices, in the International Committee on International Co-operation and H. G. Wells's idea of a universally accessible "World Brain", were frail. But after the second world war they found new expression in UNESCO. The history of universalist sentiment in science and scholarship reflects both the travails and the resilience of a dream that has endured against the odds. In our own age of the Internet and the World Wide Web, might the dream now have another hope of realization?

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Feb 25th, 3:45 PM Feb 25th, 4:30 PM

Closing Session

Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania

Robert Fox, University of Oxford

Universal Knowledge as Utopia and Myth

The Baconian aphorism that knowledge is power has been amply vindicated since the seventeenth century, as political, economic, and cultural leaders have sought to control access to information, typically in opposition to advocates of openness. In the period treated in this conference, those who believed that knowledge should be open to all faced the challenge of an unprecedented acceleration in the pace of publication, followed by a distinct "national turn" after the Great War as nations appropriated science in pursuit of their various interests. Contrary voices, in the International Committee on International Co-operation and H. G. Wells's idea of a universally accessible "World Brain", were frail. But after the second world war they found new expression in UNESCO. The history of universalist sentiment in science and scholarship reflects both the travails and the resilience of a dream that has endured against the odds. In our own age of the Internet and the World Wide Web, might the dream now have another hope of realization?

https://repository.upenn.edu/science_of_information/sessions/session/10