From September 2005 to June 2006 a team of thirteen scholars at the The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored how new and maturing networking technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with content, media sources, other individuals and groups, and the world that surrounds us.
This site documents the process and the results.
Geoffrey Bowker, Executive Director and Regis and Diane McKenna Chair in the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University, delivered his lecture "What's Memory Got to do With IT?" at the Annenberg Center for Communication on Thursday, January 12, 2006.
Abstract: What we hold about the past and how it has changed root and branch since the development of the Internet. We tend to think of the new media form teleologically—what is it changing about the future and future possibilities. In this talk I explore the ways in which the past itself is irrevocably altered by the new technology—we are building a new past at the same time as we are marching backwards, to adopt McLuhan's felicitous phrase, into the future. I argue that it is not only possible to reconfigure our past more flexibly: it is a political and cultural necessity.
Bio: Geoffrey Bowker is Executive Director and Regis and Diane McKenna Chair in the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University. His books include Science on the Run: Information Management and Industrial Geophysics at Schlumberger, 1920-1940 (MIT, 1994) and Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (MIT, 1999), co-authored with Susan Leigh Star. His forthcoming book, Memory Practices in the Sciences (MIT), discusses geology in the 1830s, cybernetics in the 1950s, and biodiversity science today.