Cette rencontre sera pour moi de l’occasion de montrer, le temps d’une intervention, la philosophie que suppose le passage de « data provider » à « data curator » ainsi que d’introduire le désormais célèbre et toujours inspirant projet Collart-Palmyre. Nous prendrons ensuite part à une table ronde sur ces questions avec différents experts du patrimoine, modérée par Mme Patricia Cohen du New York Times.
A new Renaissance for the Humanities: from data provider to data curator in the digital age
Isaac Pante is Senior Lecturer in Digital Culture and Digital Publishing in the Language and Information Sciences Department (Faculty of Arts, UNIL) which he presided from 2016 to 2018. Writer and programmer, member of several committees devoted to digital education, he promotes disciplinary hybridization and contributes to the digital empowerment of Humanities and social science students. Since April 2019, he is Scientific Adviser on Digital Transition for the Rectorate of the University of Lausanne.
« Digital Humanities open the way to an interdisciplinarity long desired but rarely reached in the academic world. The « Collart-Palmyre project » illustrates it vividly: walls between fields as diverse as archeology, art history and computer science are falling. Through digital technology, faculties and disciplines mix and establish fruitful relationships with companies and cultural institutions. It’s no surprise at all: today’s world, whether entrepreneurial, cultural or political requires hybrid profiles able to think, take advantage and regulate an increasingly digital society.
The algorithmic neo-positivism readily suggests that laws governing phenomena can now be extracted from the sole data. However, we know that selecting the data and exploiting the results require great vigilance and accurate skills, at the risk of depriving society of its ability to build a world in line with its values.
University is the perfect place to question the purposes of these technologies and to help building a true digital culture. Far from being mere data providers for companies, universities should transition to accurate digital data curators, by increasing their disciplinary skills with IT ones.
This involves pursuing fundamental research, documenting good practices, and denouncing intellectual abuses to help society bring back to the ethical and political field choices that could too quickly be delegated to groups driven mainly by financial interests. Achieving these objectives requires equipping students (and society as a whole) with first-hand knowledge on the chances and limitations of these « new » technologies.
This lecture is an opportunity to present what settings and what philosophy contribute to a digital empowerment of the whole community. To this end, we will present the governance mindset, conceptual frameworks and communication strategies that help both students and teachers to acquire and expand the nowadays mandatory digital skills. In particular, we’ll see that the « digital turn » requests us to broaden our view and to consider programming as a creative act of communication and a historically situated social practice. »