Re: Call for Commentary:

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 15:53:48 +0000

Nov 15 - 30 is the Virtual Symposium is focussing on a paper by me.
All interested commentators are invited to contribute (in any of three

   Skyreading and Skywriting for Researchers:
   A Post-Gutenberg Anomaly and How to Resolve it

   Stevan Harnad

    ABSTRACT: There will be a profound and fundamental dividing line in
    the PostGutenberg Galaxy, between non-give-away work (books,
    magazines, software, music) and give-away work (of which the most
    important representative is refereed scientific and scho larly
    research papers). It is the failure to make this distinction that
    causes so much confusion, and that is delaying the inevitable
    transition of the give-away work to what is the optimal solution
    for scholars and scientists: that the annual 2,000,000+ articles in
    all 20,000+ refereed journals across disciplines and languages and
    around the world should be freed on line through author/institution
    self-archiving: This paper tries to show
    how questions about copyright, peer review and other controversial
    issues can be clarified if the give-away/non-give-away distinction
    is made.


Press Release for the Symposium as a whole:

Screens and networks: towards a new relationship with the written word

(October 2001-March 2002)

    A virtual symposium on the Web, at Organized by the
    Bibliothque publique d&rsquo;information (BPI) - Centre Pompidou,
    the Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS) and EURO-EDU in association with Sponsored by UNESCO

New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT) are transforming
our world as radically as did the invention of the printing press. How
will this affect the written word and its uses in society? There may
be no immediate answers to these questions, but we can -and should-
investigate the issues involved.

In this context, the Bibliothque publique d&rsquo;information (BPI),
the Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS and EHESS), the non-profit organization
EURO-EDU and GiantChair, have decided to set up a virtual symposium in
French, Italian and English. Launched on October 15th, 2001, it will
focus on the impact of NITC on our relationship with information and
the written word.

This international symposium should contribute to enriching current
debates about the emergence of hybrid tools of communication (e-books,
Internet and e-mail) and the social changes that accompany them. The
contributors&rsquo; papers will be published directly on the
symposium&rsquo;s host site, and will be accessible
from the BPI&rsquo;s main site ( It will involve theorists
and other professionals affected by changes in their professional and
personal lives brought about by e-mail and the Internet, and it will
examine the impact of these technologies on reading, journalism,
scholarship, libraries, archives, literature and so on. The symposium
will provide participants with a forum for the discussion of all
points of view.

Through this program, we aim at once to engage in a collective
research project, to enact the new relationship to the written word
and to stage a public event using Web-based communication. The result
will be published in book as well as in electronic format.


The focal point of the project is the establishment of a Web-based
event, beginning on October 15th, 2001 and ending in March 2002.

Ten contributors, including theorists and those involved in new
information technologies, will be invited to submit a paper for
discussion. A new paper will be published on the site every two

Each paper will be discussed on-line for the two weeks following its
publication by some forty participants, comprising the ten
contributors and thirty guests. Discussions will be chaired by the

These papers, together with the ensuing discussions, will be made
available to the public. Those wishing to follow the symposium will be
able to register, receive the papers by e-mail and participate in a

Initial perspectives on the event will be debated at the Paris book
fair, the Salon du livre, in March 2002.


15-31 October 2001
                1. Readers and Reading in the Age of Electronic Texts
                (Roger Chartier, EHESS, Paris)
1-14 November 2001
                2. What the Internet tells us about the Real Nature of
                the Book (Roberto Casati, Institut Jean Nicod,
                C.N.R.S., Paris)
15-30 November 2001
                3. Skyreading/writing in the Post-Gutenbergian Galaxy
                (Stevan Harnad, Behavioral and Brain Sciences)
1-14 December 2001
                4. Digital Journalism: Virtual Journalism? (Bruno
                Patino, Le Monde Interactif)
15-31 December 2001
                5. Personal and Professional Conversation (Theodore
                Zeldin, Oxford)
1-14 January 2002
                6. Reading: The Digital Future (Jason Epstein, Random
15-31 January 2002
                7. Babel and the Vintage Selection: Libraries in the
                Digital Age (Bibliothque publique dinformation, Centre
1-14 February 2002
                8. Reading without Writing (Dan Sperber, Institut Jean
                Nicod, C.N.R.S., Paris)
15-28 February 2002
                9. The New Architecture of Information (Stephana
                Broadbent and Francesco Cara, IconMedialab, Paris)
1-14 March 2002
                10. Authors and Authority (Umberto Eco, University of
15 March 2002



The Bibliothque publique dinformation is a major French public
reference library, providing the general public with open access to
virtually all of its holdings, whatever the type of media. In addition
to Internet access, the library offers on-site consultation of books,
newspapers and magazines, documentary films, records,
language-learning methods and software programs covering all fields of
knowledge. Holdings are constantly updated, and librarians are
available to help readers locate material. The library organizes
training on the use of NICTs, especially the Internet, as well as
talks, screenings and exhibitions. E-mail address:

Isabelle BASTIAN-DUPLEIX Danielle CHATEL Grald GRUNBERG, Director


The BPI&rsquo;s studies and research department carries out and/or
steers sociological studies on books, reading and cultural practises.
Extending beyond the immediate context of the BPI, the department
plays a dual role of carrying out assessments and research. At the
request of the Direction du Livre et de la Lecture (DLL), it initiates
and monitors studies, offers expert services outside the BPI and
conducts its own internal research on subjects of interest to both the
BPI and other public libraries. It also acts as a publisher and heads
the &lsquo;studies and research&rsquo; collection of the BPI&rsquo;s

Agns CAMUS-VIGUE Christophe EVANS Franoise GAUDET


The Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS) brings together researchers working on
the relationship between the cognitive and the social sciences. The
main areas of study include philosophy, linguistics, cognitive
anthropology and political science. While philosophy is the leading
discipline, the group&rsquo;s investigations go beyond pure theory, as
the Institute also aims at reconciling conceptual thinking with an
empirical approach.



The recently created EURO-EDU (Association Europenne pour le
Dveloppement de lEnseignement Suprieur et de la Recherche sur Internet
&ndash; the European association for the development of higher
education and research on the Internet), a non-profit organization, is
devoted to studying the impact of NICTs on the development and
transmission of knowledge. It aims at developing web tools, web
workshops, discussion groups and research papers around the changes of
educational systems and the diffusion of culture.

Gloria ORIGGI (Chair) Noga ARIKHA


Screens, networks, the distribution of knowledge and the
transformation of our relationship with the written word are all key
issues for GiantChair, which specializes in helping publishing houses,
libraries, universities and academic communities with the
implementation of new methods of publishing and distribution. With a
presence on both sides of the Atlantic, GiantChair is playing an
active role in compiling a catalogue of digital publications from such
publishers as the Paris-based Eyrolles, Arcade Publishing and Seven
Stories Press in New York, and is already involved in the distribution
of the first ebooks from these publishers.

Chlo BENAROYA, partner. Pierre COHEN-TANUGI, Administrateur. Cory
MCCLOUD, Prsident. Aalam WASSEF , partner.



Noga Arikha has recently completed a doctorate at the Warburg
Institute, London. She is a historian of ideas with an interest in the
philosophy of mind, the cognitive sciences and the history of life
sciences. She is also concerned with the establishment of dialogues
between disciplines, between the academic and the public spheres, and
between the sciences and the humanities.


Gloria Origgi is researcher in philosophy at the University of
Bologna, where she teaches philosophy and cognitive science. In 2000
she founded the EURO-EDU Association for developing Internet-based
research projects. She is author of essays in philosophy of mind and
epistemology. She is also in the faculty of the Graduate School in
Information and Communication Technologies Almaweb, Bologna Italy.
Received on Mon Nov 19 2001 - 15:57:21 GMT

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