[iDC] Fwd: DIY: nightmare for humanities, social sciences, media

Adrian Miles adrian.miles at rmit.edu.au
Wed Sep 21 05:07:30 UTC 2011

hi George

On 21 September 2011 00:05, George Siemens <gsiemens at gmail.com> wrote:

> Question: How do those of you who are calling for large scale educational
> reform (I'm one, btw), but don't earn your living in the "practical
> sciences" like engineering, math, etc., envision the future of your
> discipline if the traditional system implodes? Who will pay the people whose
> research and ideas influence decades in the future, rather than in the next
> quarterly corporate report?

challenging question. I also think there is a need for reform, but I'm all
small scale and am incapable (seriously) of thinking big like this. I think
there needs to be reform in what and how things are taught and why. At least
in the academic areas I know about. This reform does not need or assume the
gutting of the institution. I think I think that there remains a key role
for universities as we increasingly move towards knowledge ecologies, but
for universities to be relevant in this they do need to evolve.

State support will continue, and should continue (though in the US with not
only the nonsense that is the Khan Academy and that odd faith in 'small
government' who knows what might happen), but to use the contemporary
vernacular, universities need to become more fluid, agile, and porous.
Possibly the humanities (as I think Alan Liu is working on) need to stop
assuming or taking for granted their relevance and start
demonstrating/arguing for it. (I don't mean by only do 'real world' research
topics, I mean by demonstrating the value of what is done to those that we
want to pay for it).

Universities provide the intellectual infrastructure for any economy, and
I'd probably start the defence/legitimation of the role of the humanities in
those terms.

an appropriate closing
 Adrian Miles

an appropriate closing
Adrian Miles
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