Nature of Information
We live in an information society. Many aspects of the world which were once understood in terms of their physical properties, and were seen to be quite separate, are now represented and analysed in terms of their information content. The importance of information has been realised differently across many academic disciplines, and it is treated in different ways. There are many disciplines (including information and communication technologies, quantum physics, information systems, library and information science, and the sociology of the information society) for which information is foundational. Each of these disciplines has a different definition of the concept, and each uses the concept differently.
This project, led by David Chapman and Magnus Ramage, is studying the phenonemon of information and the different ways in which it has been conceptualised across a range of disciplines. We are working with an multidisciplinary group of researchers from across (and beyond) the Open University, to explore the way our disciplines conceptualise information and to understand the similarities and differences between these conceptualisations.
We held a successful cross-faculty workshop within the Open University in October 2007, had an edited book (Perspectives on Information) published in April 2011, and ran an interdisciplinary Workshop, The Difference that Makes a Difference, in September 2011.
- Ramage, M. and Chapman, D. A. (eds.) (2011) Perspectives on Information, New York: Routledge
- Bissell, C. C. (2011). Hermann Schmidt and German ‘proto-cybernetics’. Information, Communication & Society, 14(1), pp. 156–171.
- Bissell, C. C. (2010). Not just Norbert. Kybernetes, 39(4), pp. 496–509.
- Ramage, M. (2009) ‘Norbert and Gregory: Two Strands of Cybernetics’, Information, Communication and Society, 12(5):735-749