DREaM launch conference speaker insight 1: Professor Blaise Cronin

We are rapidly approaching the DREaM Project Launch Conference on Tuesday 19th July, and the speakers and workshop leaders are busy preparing their presentations.

In the first of our series of preview posts, we ask our opening keynote speaker, Professor Blaise Cronin, to explain why he thinks both the event and the DREaM project are important, and what he hopes to achieve through his keynote presentation.

Professor Cronin is Rudy Professor of Information Science, Indiana University, US.

What is your interest in the DREaM project and why are you participating in the launch event?

This seems like an imaginative attempt to if not actually build research capacity within the field to at least set in train discussions that might result in (a) new forms of sustainable collective endeavor and (b) concrete collaborations that might not otherwise have come about. On a personal level, it affords me the opportunity to take the measure of current thinking in the UK and make comparisons with trends in the US.

What do you hope to achieve through your keynote?

Apart for not sending the audience to sleep, a number of things: (a) provide a conspectus of research strengths and weaknesses in information studies research; (b) demonstrate the need for rigor and scale; (c) show the increasing porosity and inter-disciplinarity of the field; (d) suggest some strategic investment opportunities.

What are your hopes for the conference as a whole?

To develop a level of enthusiasm that carries beyond the day and to come up with a number of actionable outcomes that, over time, take research in the field in a new direction or to a new level.

What are your hopes for the DREaM project as it gets underway?

That the dream doesn’t fade too quickly. To that end, I’d like to see thought given to ways of maintaing momentum after the funding period has come to an end.

Professor Cronin will be providing the opening keynote: “…And into the zone of quasi-rationality”, in which he will be providing a brief historical overview of LIS research before critically reviewing competence and practice in the field. For more details, please see the full conference programme.

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