Home / Events / Intellectual Property & Innovation Lunchtime Series - Openness and Secrecy Revisited: From Ciphers to Confidentiality - Mario Biagioli, Distinguished Professor of Law and Science and Technology Studies, UC Davis

Intellectual Property & Innovation Lunchtime Series - Openness and Secrecy Revisited: From Ciphers to Confidentiality - Mario Biagioli, Distinguished Professor of Law and Science and Technology Studies, UC Davis

When Nov 17, 2010
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
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"Openness and Secrecy Revisited: From Ciphers to Confidentiality."

Mario Biagioli

 

Wednesday, November 17

12:00-1:00 

King Hall 2050.  (Take note of the room change, if you have come to our previous events).

Abstract:  "Secrecy and openness in the technosciences has been typically connected to cultural and disciplinary values and norms  I revisit (and revise) that discussion by looking at the different ways in which time frames secrecy and openness and their mutual relationship.  Understanding of the temporality of secrecy and openness provides significant heuristic insights, like showing that a range of seemingly secretive behaviors displayed by scientists and inventors may be something much more specific: protective responses to risks inherent in the publication process, as knowledge claims or inventions go from being "secret" to becoming "open."  Scientists and inventors are not exclusively concerned with the possibility of being scooped by fellow practitioners.  They also worry about people we would not see as competitors but rather intermediaries in the publication or reward of the practitioners’ claims: printers who might pass on to a third party the knowledge inscribed in a manuscripts they typeset; journal editors or referees who may do the same with the articles they review; patent examiners who did (and, in some countries, still do) leak applications to the inventor's competitors; or secretaries of scientific academies who might help themselves to a scientist’s priority claims they were supposed to register and certify.  Although the evasive maneuvers that scientists and inventors developed to control these risks may appear secretive, they are not ascribable to secretive values or professional cultures.  They are, instead, responses to an unavoidable predicament -- a "point of singularity" in the process making knowledge public.

Lunch will be provided but please RSVP Nina-Marie Bell nbell@ucdavis.edu by Monday 11/15 no later than noon.  She will also send you a copy of the essay.  Please inform her if you require a vegetarian meal.  Nina will be placing lunch orders according to each person's menu selection, and thus it is imperative that you RSVP if you plan to attend. We are very much looking forward to seeing you at this meeting, and please let us know of UCD colleagues you think should be invited to be part of this network sponsored by the Law School, the Center for Science and Innovation Studies, and the STS Program.

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