Open Science

In the following posts on Open Science (1.4)

In analogy to the workshop structure, chapters 2 and 3 of this essay will concentrate on some of the theoretical, historical, legal and political background of Open Science. Chapters 4 and 5 offer more practical insights and reflections of my own and other bloggers‘ experiences with Science Blogs and Open Science projects.

I will start (2.1) with a discussion of what is actually commonly understood under Open Science, followed by a brief overview (2.2) of an incomplete selection – out of a myriad – of existing Open Science projects, narrowed by a focus to the field of Southeast European and Turkey Studies (also briefly touching Iranian Studies and related fields). In the next section (2.3), I will discuss the relationship between Open Science and power structures. Which consequences this sometimes conflictuous relationship had for the life of Aaron Swartz, one of the foreriders of the Open-Access-movement, will be approached in the next section (2.4). 

From Swartz’s untimely death in 2013 down to this day, much of his critique still is of great relevance, despite the tremendous changes that the World Wide Web has undergone, ever since. I will characterize this transformation and its consequences for the field of Open Science alongside three correlative developments: First (3.1), the ubiquity of digital information has lead to a crisis of attention – quite troublesome for scientists, who need to pay attention in order to work. Second (3.2) and closely associated with the attention crisis, the attention-seeking social media with its downsides need critical discussion. Third (3.3), I will revisit the broader historical context of how capitalism has developed towards platform capitalism, informational capitalism, and even opinion capitalism.  

The sections of chapter 4 will be dedicated to practical, own experiences with blogging and Science Blogging (definitely, not all of my blogging is Science Blogging – hence the distinction). In the first subsection (4.1), I will start with a review of my oldest blog, initially called Dunyalook. That blog and its content still exist, but the name has “metamorphed” into Inkubator Metamorφ, which is the topic of the next section (4.2). Consequently (4.3), the idea behind incubation and metamorphosis, as in the blog title, also made it to my ongoing research project on Neopopulism, which is the first part of a threepart project titled Hermannova: Grounded Theory from Berlin and Bosnia. The “complicity” of historiography, the great (geo-)political transformations, the unfolding meta-catastrophe of anthropogenic climate change, the Digital Revolution’s impact on public opinion production, and the demagogic exploitation of sentiment, resentment and belief systems is at the core of this project. Those who are not interested in this rather self-explorative part, can skip it and continue with chapter 5

There, I will discuss in the first subsection (5.1) why especially historians cannot remain on the sidelines and inactively watch the further progress of neopopulists‘ affinity to (pseudo-)historical topics. In the next section (5.2), I will deepen this discussion a bit further by revisiting a Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian-German public history project from 2021, called Histoire pour la liberté. Departing from a blogpost from last year, I will show that the instrumentalization and abuse of history by autocratic, populist leaders, skilled in digital technology, form a generalizable and harmful dynamic: one where trained historians can help to dismantle and disarm revisionism (that is my hope, at least). Last but not least (5.3), I shall readdress why digital literacy and sovereignty are a genuinely political interest with impact on the future of the whole society – and why Germany, in terms of digital sovereignty, so stubbornly lags behind advanced countries, like Taiwan. 

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