Dear Gordana, Marcin and FIS Colleagues,

I think we all talk about a new interdisciplinary area, already called:

“Intelligence Science”

Please see:

Maybe it is good to name our summer school:

“Foundations of Intelligence Science”

Please comment this.

Friendly regards

From: Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic
Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 8:38 PM
To: Joseph Brenner
Cc: ; Krassimir Markov
Subject: RE: [Fis] Discussion of Information Science Education

Dear Joseph,

Now I have no right to post to the list, but I anyway want to say that I of 
course agree with you, and also that Loet made a good practical point.

We talk about two different things and I believe it could be useful to make 
this distinction as clear as possible.

If we (FIS = Foundations of Information Science) are something different 
from what is called “Information Science” and funded, supported by 40 
journals etc.

we must be able to show definitely the distinction and why this is 

It also seems to me that what Marcin and Krassimir say is important, as we 
(FIS) see this synthetic potential to connect different seemingly disparate 
fields like

1. Nature

2. Living organisms

3. Society

That which “Information Science” is not interested in.

This is what it is about according to Bertram C. Brookes:

The foundations of information science Part I. Philosophical aspects

It is first argued that a niche for information science, unclaimed by any 
other discipline, can be found by admitting the near-autonomy of Popper's 
World III - the world of objective knowledge. The task of information 
science can then be defined as the exploration of this world of objective 
knowledge which is an extension of, but is distinct from, the world of 
documentation and librarianship. The Popperian ontology then has to be 
extended to admit the concept of information and its relation to subjective 
and objective know ledge. The spaces of Popper's three worlds are then con 
sidered. It is argued that cognitive and physical spaces are not identical 
and that this lack of identity creates problems for the proper 
quantification of information phenomena.

So this information is about human knowledge, as Marcin says.

But that is not the only or even the main interest of FIS.

Maybe “Information Science” is an already established name and maybe we have 
no chance to change it given existing structures of research communities.

But if we would insist that we work on the foundations of information which 
underlie all information (be it in inanimate nature, living beings or 
societies) that may make good practical sense.

“Foundations of Information” (and not “Foundations of Information Science”!) 
seems to be still free.

Pragmatically, I would insist that what we do is not Information science but 
Foundations of Information.

Of course, one may expect confusions again, but I would start from placing 
all those different fields in some boxes and say that we have a box of our 
own that no one else
dealing with information (in scientific way) have covered so far.

And I would insist on this synthetic capacity of information as FIS 
discusses it, which Marcin already pointed out.

Best, Gordana


Krassimir, I think summer school is right idea and it would be good if 
discussion can help to understand what to present.]
Sent: den 4 december 2011 16:19
To: Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic; Loet Leydesdorff
Subject: Re: [Fis] Discussion of Information Science Education

Dear Gordana and Loet,

Ref.: Cat, Jordi. 2007. "The Unity of Science". Stanford Encyclopedia of 

I think you are being too defensive vis à vis "the conventional idea of 
science". The authority of people who have decided to what information 
science must be limited may be open to criticism as reductionist, and there 
are views (see attached) that emphasize epistemological and ontological 
pluralism. As Cat says, contra epistemological monism, there is no single 
methodology that supports a single criterion of scientificity, nor a 
universal domain of its applicability.

To keep the concept of information science as broad as possible, however, 
implies a great deal of individual responsibility to insure high 
intellectual standards, in or out of the "mainstream". The definition of any 
science should be determined by these and not by what is funded.



----- Original Message ----- 

From: Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic

To: Loet Leydesdorff


Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 10:08 PM

Subject: Re: [Fis] Discussion of Information Science Education

Dear Loet,

I think you made an important point.

It is really a problem if we use the same term “Information Science” for 
different things.

What “Information Science” in the Web-of-Science's Science Citation Index 
journals is about is something different from what we thought of.

“Science” in their case consists in systematization, description etc. – a 
conventional idea of science about already existing artifacts and related 
addressed by already established methods.

That is why the Handbook on the Philosophy of “Information” (which is close to what we discuss within FIS)
is not titled Handbook on the Philosophy of “Science of Information”.

Maybe the field we have in mind is just “Information” or “Foundations of 
Information” (that is how Brian Cantwell Smith calls it)?

Maybe that is why the journal “Information” is not in the Web-of-Science's 
Science Citation Index.

Because we discuss things that are not mainstream and already existing.

However, this does not prevent us from trying to introduce into curricula 
some basic knowledge that already is established in Foundations of 

In the similar way as it is introduced in the HPI, even though many things 
are still under development.



From: [] On 
Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
Sent: den 3 december 2011 18:08
Subject: Re: [Fis] Discussion of Information Science Education

Dear colleagues,

The category of "Information and Library Science" contains 40+ scholarly 
journals in the Web-of-Science's Science Citation Index. Of these at least 
10 can be identified as Information Science. The lead journal is the Journal 
of the American Society for Information Science & Technology. May 
universities have special schools for library and information science (LIS).

This is different from our discussions at this list about "information 
theory". Nevertheless, there is a problem with reinventing a wheel. J

Best wishes,


Loet Leydesdorff

Professor, University of Amsterdam

Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR),

Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.

Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-842239111 ; ;

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On 
Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 1:24 PM
Subject: [Fis] Discussion of Information Science Education

Dear Colleagues:

There are some questions which periodically return to FIS discussions 
without conclusive answers. For instance: "What is information?" However, 
the lack of consensus regarding central concept is not an obstacle in the 
development of Information Science. There is no commonly accepted answer to 
the question "What is life?" But, this does not threaten the identity of 

Information Science has not yet achieved a status of a commonly recognized 
discipline. It is frequently confused with Computer Science, because of the 
term Informatics which in Europe denotes what in the US is called Computing, 
or with Library Science and sometimes even with Philosophy of Information, 
as visible from the Handbook on the Philosophy of Information where philosophy and science interleave on many 

Information Science will never receive recognition without an organized 
effort of research community to introduce its philosophy, goals, methods, 
and achievements to the general audience.

Books and articles popularizing the theme of information as a subject of 
independent study do not have big enough circulation to be sufficient in 
establishing an identity of the discipline. The only effective way is to 
introduce Information Science as a subject of education at the college level 
for students who do not necessarily want to specialize in this direction.

Certainly, introduction of a new subject to curriculum is not easy, but it 
is possible. After all, Information Science is a perfect tool for 
integration of curriculum, especially in the context of Liberal Arts 
education. Which other concept, if not information, can be applied in all 
possible contexts of education?

Now, the question is whether we are ready to come out with a syllabus for 
such a course acceptable for all of us, those who are involved in the 
subject, and those who aren't, but participate in the development of 
curricula. Can we overcome differences between our views on the definition 
of information, on the relationship of information understood in a general 
way to its particular manifestations in other disciplines?

Since the course (or courses) should present an identity of the discipline 
of Information Science, it is very important that we are convinced about the 
authentic existence of a large enough common ground. Can we develop a map of 
this territory?

Can we pool resources to establish foundations for a standard, Information 
Science curriculum?

Marcin and Gordana

Marcin J. Schroeder, Ph.D.

Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs

Akita International University

Akita, Japan

Gordana Dodig Crnkovic,

Associate Professor

Head of the Computer Science and Networks Department School of Innovation, 
Design and Engineering Mälardalen University Sweden

Organizer of the Symposium on Natural/Unconventional Computing, the Turing 
Centenary  World Congress of AISB/IACAP


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