Opinion: Who Owns Knowledge?

Sephy Hallow's picture

I'm going to skip over a huge chunk of epistemological debate concerning what knowledge is and how we can say we have it, to simply say, it's information. Theoretical or practical, learned in a classroom, overheard and remembered, picked up through imitation, knowledge is a fundamental part of consciousness. 

Knowledge of language leads to communication, to an ability to express and disperse ideas amongst many. 

Knowledge of how our government works gives us a voice, allows us to convey assent or disapproval of policy, gives us the ability to question how our world is shaped. 

Knowledge of your citizen's conversations, as we have recently seen, is apparently of paramount importance, though if Facebook is anything to judge by, that's a lot of relationship updates, first-world angst and sepia-toned photographs of breakfasts to wade through in order to find the odd clandestine plot to nuke the White House. 

Science Museums Under Further Threat

Thursday, 13 June, 2013 - 11:00

The Science Museum Group is considering plans to close one of its northern sites. Heritage will be under further pressure if additional cuts put forward the government’s upcoming spending review go ahead. As the Science Museum London is not being considered for closure, the Museum of Science and Industry (Mosi) in Manchester, the National Railway Museum in York and the National Media Museum in Bradford are all under threat. This is following cuts brought in by the Coalition government in 2010 leaving these facilities without vital support.

The Case for Open Access.

George Walkden's picture

A large proportion of academic research in the UK is taxpayer-funded. The money comes either via grants from the Research Councils, on which the government spends approximately £3 billion each year, or directly to universities from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which in 2011-12 distributed £1.6 billion.

The transformative potential of world-class research is pretty clear. In the last few years alone, UK researchers have developed the wonder material graphene and discovered the body of Richard III, among other things. Yet, in a curious and inequitable twist of fate, the results of this research have for the most part never been made available to the taxpayers who funded it.

GCSE results down for first time

Thursday, 23 August, 2012 - 17:15

Phil Cooke made the following comments regarding the decline in GCSE results across England:

"For the first time in the history of the GCSE, we have seen a drop in passes at grade C or above. The overall drop is small at 0.4%, but significant in important subjects including English (1.5%), English Literature (2.1%) and Science (2.2%). Some schools are reporting sudden drops of 10% or more in English, despite the same departments delivering well at A level."

Overcrowding in the classroom

Thursday, 28 June, 2012 - 10:00

Loz Kaye commented on reports in the Manchester Evening News that children in Manchester are being taught in overcrowded classrooms:

"With my background in education I know that class sizes are crucial. It’s the difference between being able to help every student with their different backgrounds, and seeing them as a mere mass to churn through the next test."

A Bright New Future for ICT Education in Schools

Wednesday, 11 January, 2012 - 13:00

I'm very pleased with Michael Gove's announcement on scrapping the existing 'Information and Communication Technology' (ICT) curriculum. I think this is a great step forward for young people and technology, and has the potential to increase interest in what is a vital area of skills for British youth.

Eric Schmidt's criticism of UK education

Saturday, 27 August, 2011 - 11:45

In the week that teenagers received their GCSE results, Eric Schmidt has lambasted the UK education system, and I find much to agree with him on.

The UK has a proud past of scientists and technological pioneers - the first computer wasn't built in Silicon Valley, or somewhere in China, but here in Manchester. However, since the early eighties, our education system has failed to live up to our historic record of innovation.


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