About Science And Future Essay

The rapid and rather chaotic evolution of information science has left the field's academic sector in a largely disorganized state. This essay examines the basic issues confronting information science education, issues that must be resolved if information science education and thus information science itself are to evolve in an orderly fashion. For the quality of a field's professional services and research activities depends upon the quality of its formal academic programs. The essay is organized in three parts. In this first part are considered definitions and in a historic context the emergence, evolution and current state of information science and its education. The second part considers the “externalities” of education—problems and unresolved questions in information science education that deal with: (i) academic affiliations, (ii) degree levels, (iii) admission requirements, (iv) jurisdiction and (v) financing. The third part considers the problems and unresolved questions in respect to internal aspects (“internalities”) of information science education: (i) objectives, (ii) content, (iii) teachers and (iv) teaching. It is suggested that information science cannot prosper; possibly even survive in the next decade if serious, concentrated action is not undertaken in the “externalities” and “internalities” of its education. Recommendations about the areas that need action are made.

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