Interesting series of articles, following the original article by Nick Kristof at the New York Times, on "Why is academic writing so academic?". Beyond the narratives of decline, not new, Matt Reed proposes an answer to Kristof's outcry.
I decided to include this article on my Scoop.it because of the inevitable influence of social media and its breaking down of isolated communities of thinkers. The question is: are they really breaking down these walls and how could the outerworld (thinking of "otherness" :-) influence not only academic writing, but perhaps even academic thinking.
"The great value of the alternative public sphere that the web has opened, I think, is in bringing deep, detailed discussion of specifics to audiences that normally would have missed them. The kind of broad, sweeping pronouncements that Public Intellectuals offer tend to do violence to facts on the ground, even if unintentionally. When no alternative voices could be heard, that damage was hard to stop. Now, anyone who makes grand sweeping pronouncements on the internet learns abruptly what got left out, assumed, or glossed over. Commenters make it known, often quickly. The best online communities offer that kind of feedback in the spirit of moving to a more inclusive vision.
On my better days, I like to believe that a new model of the engaged academic is emerging. It’s less about proclaiming from on high, and more about gathering facts on the ground to move forward inclusively. Those folks have always existed, but now they can connect with each other, and with non-specialists, too."
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/new-public-intellectuals#ixzz2uFUpRfdZ
Inside Higher Ed
via @Stéphane Vial