Monday, May 17, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] Fwd: FW: International Collaboration in the Sciences and Humanities

From: Patrick McCray <>

Subject: International Collaboration in the Sciences and Humanities


I'd like to thank Roger Malina for setting up this Yasmin discussion. My
interest is two-fold:

1. What do we know about the nature of large scale international
collaborations in the sciences? This is more of a historical or sociological
question, it would seem, but I would be curious about insights from all
disciplines. We tend to think of these collaborations as originating at
places like CERN, NASA, ESA, and so on...are there counterparts in other
fields? How have they worked? I am especially curious about the
transnational aspects - scientific knowledge doesn't normally respect
boundaries but crosses national borders with ease.

2. I am also curious about how (or whether) we should try to foster greater
international collaborations in the future for the humanities or social
sciences. Should models from science be our models? I ask this, in part,
because I am affiliated with a major national research center at UCSB -
Center for Nanotechnology in Society - which, as one of its goals, promotes
large-scale international/collaborative research into the societal
implications of emerging technologies. My interest in the ITER project also
makes me wonder if something similar could be done as a transnational
research project between US and European social scientists, looking at the
place this megaproject will occupy in the south of France and Europe in
general. How can we create a collaborative culture in the same way that
physicists and astronomers have done this? Is this worth doing? How could we
bring artists into the process?

I look forward to the discussion...cheers,

Patrick McCray
W. Patrick McCray
Professor &
Co-PI/Executive Committee Member for the
UCSB Center for Nanotechnology in Society

Department of History
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9410
TEL: 805.893.2991 (main office)
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