University Libraries and the Office of the Provost are launching a new Lecture Series: Critical Knowledge Forum this coming Monday, November 9, 2020. This new lecture series for the Adelphi community aims to highlight how working across sectors, disciplines, and geographies helps us to identify needs and develop solutions to effectively support knowledge production and dissemination. It will explore how we can change the culture of higher education, embrace new opportunities to engage diverse communities in knowledge-making, as well as global knowledge-sharing in accessible and expedited ways.
Future Lecture Series (more information to come):
Date and time: May 10, 2021 1PM EST
Dr Cameron Neylon, Professor of Research Communication at the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University.
Bio: Professor Neylon is a co-lead on the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative. He is interested in how to make the internet more effective as a tool for scholarship. He writes and speaks regularly on scholarly communication, the design of web based tools for research, and the need for policy and cultural change within and around the research community.
Cameron Neylon is a one-time biomedical scientist who has moved into the humanities via Open Access and Open Data advocacy. His research and broader work focusses on how we can make the institutions that support research sustainable and fit for purpose for the 21st century and how the advent of new communications technology is a help (and in some cases a hindrance) for this.
Title: Academic Responsibility, Agency and Evaluation or How rankings are an even deeper threat to the academy than you thought possible
Description: Much of the discourse around Academic Freedom is quite sterile, reflecting a concern with protecting status quo behaviours and authority than supporting critique and interrogation. It may be far more interesting to consider instead the scope of Academic Responsibility. What restrictions do we willingly take on ourselves as members of the club that makes up the academy? And why? Why those restrictions in particular? From a cultural perspective there are perhaps three central requirements that make up the core of an academic identity: the requirement to write, the requirement to accept and respond to critique of our work from peers, and an expectation that we will be evaluated as scholars. The latter two are distinct, one relating to the vetting of outputs joining the formal scholarly record (acceptability), and the second relating to the importance of the scholar and their body of work (quality or excellence).
In concrete terms we can see the boundary work for these cultural identity commitments in debates such as those around whether the contributions of “technicians” (whether laboratory, computational, or information/archival) are to be considered “academic”; whether preprints are to be considered to be “real” academic outputs; and who deserved the grant more. The last of these is the focus of this presentation. Most of our scholarly evaluation systems - metrics, rankings, quality measures - fail to meet even the basic methodological standards we would expect in any of the relevant disciplines, ranging from statistics, to policy studies, by way of data and measurement science. Yet these issues are rarely communicated, and these failings rarely critiqued. When they are it usually within specialist communities, largely ignored by those who provide, deploy and experience these evaluations.
I will argue that if we, as academics, are to make a claim to a form of special authority as a result of the restrictions we accept on ourselves, then we must be internally consistent in the design and testing of the systems that impose those restrictions upon us. If we are unable to communicate, critique and evaluate the quality of the measurement of ourselves, and to show how it is done then we build an edifice without foundations. Academic freedom, if it is to mean anything at all, cannot be founded on appeals to the authority of old buildings, but must be built on clearly communicated evidence, supported in turn by clearly communicated, critiqued and evaluated assessments of the quality of that evidence and how it is institutionalised. Our current systems restrict academic freedoms by limiting the range of choices we can make, defining where we publish and the narrow means by which is evaluated. Those current systems are directly responsible for the continuing failure to address equity, diversity and inclusion issues in the academy, and in the continuing failure of the academy to effectively address EDI in society.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 1PM
Professor Melissa Haendel, Ph.D., Director, Translational and Integrative Sciences Center
Environmental and Molecular Toxicology | Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Science Center
Description: The pandemic raises many difficult questions about COVID-19 as a new disease, such as: who is infectious, who may need hospital care and at what level, what are the key risk factors, what are the best prognostic indicators, what are best practices for ethical resource allocation, and which drugs are the most viable candidates for patients. To address these challenges, the National Center for Data to Health (CD2H) and NCATS rapidly created a national enclave to house COVID-19 clinical data: the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C). The regulatory, data, and analytical challenges have been tremendous; as has been the deep collaboration and innovation across the nation. The N3C Enclave houses the largest limited dataset in US history, with over 3M patients in a fully provenanced, reproducible, and attributable collaborative analytical platform. The N3C has already begun to transform how we perform global research as a nation.
Bio: Melissa Haendel is the Director of the Center for Data to Health (CD2H) at Oregon Health & Science University, and the Director of Translational Data Science at Oregon State University. Her background is molecular genetics and developmental biology as well as translational informatics, with a focus over the past decade on open science and semantic engineering. Dr. Haendel’s vision is to weave together healthcare systems, basic science research, and patient generated data through development of data integration technologies and innovative data capture strategies. Dr. Haendel’s research has focused on integration of genotype-phenotype data to improve rare disease diagnosis and mechanism discovery. She also leads and participates in international standards organizations to support improved data sharing and utility worldwide.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021 1PM
Professor Christopher Aiden-Lee Jackson (he/him)
Chair in Sustainable Geoscience at the University of Manchester
Description: In this talk Professor Jackson will discuss the importance of representation for increasing the engagement and participation of racial and ethnic minority groups in geoscience, drawing on examples from his own involvement in several TV productions. He will highlight the barriers and outright hostility towards such representation, specifically with reference to his participation in this year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. He will follow this by outlining why we should focus on diversity and will conclude by focusing on what can be done to tackle these issues.
Bio: Professor Christopher Jackson is Chair in Sustainable Geoscience at the University of Manchester. Having completed his BSc (1998) and PhD (2002) at the University of Manchester, Chris was employed as an exploration research geologist in the Norsk Hydro (now Equinor) research centre, Bergen, Norway. Since moving to Imperial College in 2004 and then the University of Manchester in 2021, Chris’ research has focused on using traditional fieldwork techniques and seismic reflection data to study the tectono-stratigraphic analysis of sedimentary basins. When not studying rocks and the ways in which they deform, Chris gives geoscience lectures to the general public and in schools, having appeared on several, Earth Science-focused, television productions and podcasts. Chris is actively engaged in efforts to improve equality, diversity, and inclusivity in Earth Science in particular, and Higher Education in general.
Expedition Volcano Episode 1
Expedition Volcano Episode 2
Monday, December 7, 2020 2PM
Professor Sören Auer, Data Science and Digital Libraries at Leibniz Universität Hannover and Director of the TIB
Abstract: Despite improved digital access to scientific publications in the last decades, the fundamental principles of scholarly communication remain unchanged and continue to be largely document-based.
The document-oriented workflows in science have reached the limits of adequacy as highlighted by recent discussions on the increasing proliferation of scientific literature, the deficiency of peer-review, and the reproducibility crisis.
We need to represent, analyze, augment, and exploit scholarly communication in a knowledge-based way by expressing and linking scientific contributions and related artifacts through semantically rich, interlinked knowledge graphs. This should be based on deep semantic representation of scientific contributions, their manual, crowd-sourced, and automatic augmentation and finally, the intuitive exploration and interaction employing question answering on the resulting scientific knowledge base. We need to synergistically combine automated extraction and augmentation techniques, with large-scale collaboration. As a result, knowledge-based information flows can facilitate completely new ways of search and exploration. In this talk, we will present the first steps in this direction and present some use cases in the context of our Open Research Knowledge Graph initiative and the ERC ScienceGRAPH project.
Bio: Following stations at the universities of Dresden, Ekaterinburg, Leipzig, Pennsylvania, Bonn and the Fraunhofer Society, Prof. Auer was appointed Professor of Data Science and Digital Libraries at Leibniz Universität Hannover and Director of the TIB in 2017. Prof. Auer has made important contributions to semantic technologies, knowledge engineering and information systems. He is the author (resp. co-author) of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He has received several awards, including an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council, a SWSA ten-year award, the ESWC 7-year Best Paper Award, and the OpenCourseware Innovation Award. He has led several large collaborative research projects, such as the EU H2020 flagship project BigDataEurope. He is co-founder of high potential research and community projects such as the Wikipedia semantification project DBpedia, the OpenCourseWare authoring platform SlideWiki.org and the innovative technology start-up eccenca.com. Prof. Auer was founding director of the Big Data Value Association, led the semantic data representation in the Industrial/ International Data Space, is an expert for industry, European Commission, W3C and member of the advisory board of the Open Knowledge Foundation.
Monday, November 23, 2020 1PM
Professor Nikola Stikov, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique/University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
Abstract: In the 20th century, the academic journals got picked up by big publishers who started charging the public a lot of money to access the science. In the 21st century, it is time to take the science back by making it open. The large amounts of high quality data generated by scientists today can revolutionize the way we practice and communicate science, but in doing so we need to strike the right balance between transparency and privacy. This talk will introduce the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP.ca) and its efforts to revolutionize academic publishing using open-source Jupyter technology.
Bio: Dr. Nikola Stikov is associate professor of biomedical engineering, a researcher at the Montreal Heart Institute, and co-director of NeuroPoly, the Neuroimaging Research Laboratory at École Polytechnique, University of Montreal. His research runs the gamut of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging, from basic issues of standardization and accuracy, to biophysical modeling, microstructural imaging and clinical applications. In 2014 Dr. Stikov was elected Junior Fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, in 2015 he joined the editorial board of the journal Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (MRM), and in 2018 he was elected to lead the society's reproducibility study group. Continuing with his open science activities, in 2019 Dr. Stikov joined the steering committee of the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform, leading the platform's publishing efforts.
Monday, November 9 at 1:00 p.m. Lecture slides may be found here.
Professor Leslie Chan, Department of Arts, Culture and Media and the Centre for Critical Development Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
This talk will highlight some key concerns with the growing "platformitization" of academic knowledge infrastructures that are controlled by a small number of multinational publishers. These oligarch publishers hold enormous power, not only over how and where researchers publish, but also over the governance of university as a public institution. Recent debates on open access have tended to focus on the visible problems with access (namely paywalls and licensing barriers), but insufficient attention has been given to the hidden and invisible power imbalance and asymmetry between the infrastructure providers and the users. I argue that much of these invisible and hidden elements that govern the current knowledge production system are deeply rooted in colonial practices and on whiteness. This is why, despite the growing acceptance of open access, racial and other forms of inequities in scholarly production continue to widen. I will provide support to my arguments with case studies, and point to means for collective action for decentering whiteness in knowledge production.
Bio: Leslie Chan is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Centre for Critical Development Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough. His research centers on the role of openness in the design of inclusive knowledge infrastructure, and the implications for the production and flow of knowledge and their impact on local and international development. He has served as Director of Bioline International, an international collaborative open access platform since 2000. Leslie was the principal investigator for the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet), funded by IDRC in Canada and DFID in the UK, the PI of the Knowledge G.A.P project, and the director of the Knowledge Equity Lab. He serves on the advisory board of the Directory of Open Access Journal, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and he is a steering group member of an international working group on Invest in Open Infrastructure. He has published widely on access to knowledge, open science, knowledge inequalities and scholarly communications.