An interview with Jerry A. Jacobs, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania regarding his new book, In Defense of Disciplines: Interdisciplinarity and Specialization in the Research University (University of Chicago Press). The article also features a short reply by Robert Frodeman, professor of philosophy and founding director of the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity at the University of North Texas, and author of Sustainable Knowledge: A Theory of Interdisciplinarity (Macmillan), which critiques ‘disciplinarity’.
This essay argues that principles should play a limited role in policy making. It first illustrates the dilemma of timely action in the face of uncertain unintended consequences. It then introduces the precautionary and proactionary principles as different alignments of knowledge and action within the policymaking process. The essay next considers a cynical and a hopeful reading of the role of these principles in public policy debates. We argue that the two principles, despite initial appearances, are not all that different when it comes to formulating public policy. We also suggest that allowing principles to determine our actions undermines the sense of autonomy necessary for true action.
This short post from Andy Revkin combines several of my interests: fracking, peer review, and scholarly communication.
Richard Van Noorden is especially good at reporting on the reality of RCUK’s OA mandate in light of the report.
Great coverage by Richard Poynder on the committee’s call for more focus on Green OA.