Academic research is under threat from issues like lack of resources, fraud, and societal isolation. Such issues weaken the academic research process, from the framing of research questions to the evaluation of impact. After (re)defining this process, we examine how the academic research community could be expanded using the Internet. We examine two existing science-society collaborations that focus on data collection and analysis and then proceed with a scenario that covers expanding research stages like research question framing, dissemination, and impact assessment.
Universities try to reinforce their connections with society in many different ways. Introducing children to science at an early age is an important part of this mission. The online “Kids’ Knowledge Base” is a key instrument for presenting showcases of various scientific fields to primary school children, thereby aiming to pique their curiosity. We outline the architecture and development process of the Kids’ Knowledge Base, and describe how it is increasingly being embedded in an ecosystem of online and physical tools, stakeholder networks, and activities. We show how it has been used since its launch in March 2013, and discuss how combining different modes of offline and online interaction helps to promote its overall usefulness and use. We discuss some applications and extensions of the current digital infrastructure and how these may help increase the quality and quantity of the online interactions with the knowledge base.
Deze presentatie laat zien hoe research communities door goed gebruik te maken van Internet het academisch onderzoeksproces kunnen helpen hervormen. Ik heb deze gegeven in het kader van de Masterclass Research Support die het Avans Leer- en Innovatiecentrum op 20 juni jl. heeft georganiseerd. De presentatie is gebaseerd op een hoofdstuk voor een boek (“Expanding the Academic Research Community: Building Bridges Into Society with the Internet”) wat binnenkort door Monash University Publishing gepubliceerd zal worden. Binnenkort zal ik dit hoofdstuk via deze blog beschikbaar stellen. Ook zal ik op 29 augustus een bewerkte versie van de presentatie geven als Honors Lecture op de University of Alabama in Huntsville.
[NB This presentation is in Dutch. An English version will be presented as an Honors Lecture at the University of Alabama in Huntsville on August 29 and made available through this blog afterwards]
Today, Tilburg University’s Science Junction was launched:
The Children’s University aims to work together with regional schools to develop curriculums and teaching materials for more gifted primary school students from groups 7 and 8 (age 10 to 12). The goal: making knowledge available to primary school students, and to show how much fun science is.
The opening ceremony consisted of weaving a giant web between the participants, by having them throw around loads of balls of wool. Besides it being superbly funny and engaging, it also resulted (both in terms of process and product) in one of the best visual metaphors of The Web I have come across! See the weaving of the web in action at this photo stream.