Advanced Media Issues – Week 10

This week’s topic of the generosity of new media in science and technology is very current and controversial. Wilbanks’ article article clearly outlines that the way in which science used and still does use, publishing, which is tied to print, as a method of “knowledge transfer” is becoming obsolete. Being published in academia gives a scientist credibility within the field. However, controversy also reigns within scientific domains. As we see through geneticist Craig Venter, it is difficult to promote a discovery unless it is carried out by ‘traditional’, or ‘morally credible’ means. Venter’s creation of ‘synthetic DNA’ has been branded as “cheating God”. It marks a significant progression in science, but has not been received well.

Innovation is synonymous with new media – media is a reflection of our society, and in my opinion, society reflects the innovations we have made. In this way, science should be receptive of the various new media technologies that have been established. This is not to say that science lags behind society when it comes to technological advancements, as it is science that makes those advancements in the first place. However, ‘success’ in science, according to the ‘Science Transfer’ article, is measured by the influence that is had on the coming generation. New media now, and in the past, can always be linked to a generation, and it is this link that determines it’s influence. The MySpace generation is a great example, as it paved the way for a new media and social discourse, as well as change the face of the music industry. Science should be able to recognise the potential of new media and media technology in preparing scientific advancements. As Kelly states, science is not a “uniform method”. It is a “collection of techniques” gathered over centuries. It is surprising that old techniques still have relevance in the field. It would be very difficult to find an ‘old’ technique in many areas of technological development, and it is time science ‘caught up’ with, and discovered the “generosities” of new media.

Janis Lucis

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