December 2007: Cyberinfrastructure and the Liberal Arts
We dedicate this issue to the memory of Roy Rosenzweig (1950-2007), an extraordinary historian who inspired a generation of fellow historians and others working at the intersection of the humanities and new technologies.
Made possible by dramatic advances in networking technologies, cyberinfrastructure promises to combine new computing capabilities, massive data resources and distributed human expertise to enable qualitatively different creative product from new generations of "knowledge environments." Introducing this timely collection of observations on how this will affect liberal arts disciplines and institutions, David Green reviews the distance we've come in the last 15 years and identifies the main themes of the essays, interviews and reviews that follow.
In reviewing Our Cultural Commonwealth, the report on cyberinfrastructure and the humanities commissioned by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), Gary Wells notes "both the allure and anxiety of radical and disruptive change," and wonders if the academy and the broader public will be up to the cultural and financial challenges.