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The Fifth International Conference on the Foundations of the Information Science (FIS-2013)
of the Fifth International Conference
on the Foundations of the Information Science (FlS-2013)
(Moscow, May 21–23, 2013)
During the period of May 21–23, 2013, the Fifth International Conference on the Foundations of the Information Science (FIS-2013) took place in Moscow at the Moscow University for the Humanities. It was held upon the initiative of the Russian Academy of Sciences (the Division of Nanotechnologies and Information Technologies, the Division of Mathematical Sciences, the Scientific Council of the RAS on the Methodology of Artificial Intelligence) and the International Society for Information Studies (Austria).
The Conference on this subject was held in Russia for the first time. The previous conferences were held in Madrid (1994), Vienna (1997), Paris (2005) and Beijing (2010). They have had a significant impact on the fundamentals of information science in the developed countries. These conferences have contributed to the establishment of the research institutes and research centers there.
The purpose of the conference was to summarize the results of the studies conducted in this area over the last 20 years, and to make recommendations for their use in education.
The subjects of the discussion were the issues related to the studies of the fundamentals of information science and the use of the results obtained by scientists from different countries to the benefit of science and education, in favor of the solution of urgent social, economic and global problems, and the improvement of life quality, personal creative development.
During the conference 18 plenary presentations by leading scientists from Austria, Spain, China, Russia and France were introduced. The contributors covered the following challenges:
- the philosophical, scientific and methodological problems of the development of information as an integrated multidisciplinary research area, as well as its place in the system of science and education;
- the main results of the investigations in the field of information science fundamentals and the experience of their application in science, education and the socio-economic development of society;
- the upcoming trends of the further development of the fundamentals of information science, and the use of its concepts and methods for the development of science and education, and the solution of the global problems of civilization;
- proposals for the development of international cooperation of scientists in the field of research on the fundamentals of information science and its practical use.
The conference program included five plenary sessions and panel discussion on the topic “The Experience of the Studies of the Problems of Information in the System of Education.”
There was also an exhibition of scientific literature on the subject of the conference. The texts of the reports, the abstracts and presentations are available on the conference website on the Internet.
Conclusions and recommendations
The Conference participants note the following:
1. The role of information science is essentially increasing under conditions of the establishment of the global information society and it is becoming a priority for the research agenda, due to the following factors:
1.1. The dominant trends in the development of civilization in the 21st century are the processes of globalization and informatization, which have an increasing impact virtually on all spheres of society. Before our eyes, the global information society is persistently developing. Its formation is a transition to a qualitatively new level of organization of human life and activity — the information civilization. The main subjects and products of labour in this civilization will be information and knowledge, and the main technologies —the new integrated technologies based on ICTs (information and communications technologies), which will form the basis of the technological mode of society.
1.2. The formation of the information civilization creates brand new opportunities for the improvement of life quality and the development of creative abilities, solution of many global problems. At the same time in the information society, there are new global challenges, which have never been known in the history of humankind. One of them is the digital inequality between people, countries and regions of the world. This problem increases the social stratification of society and it is a serious obstacle to its development.
1.3. A global challenge of our time is the information security of human being in the information society. It is caused by new technologies of human consciousness manipulation, as well as the ongoing growth of the information flow in the society. Both of these issues are not explored in science and education, and effective solutions to these problems have not yet been developed.
In these circumstances, investigations in the field of basic foundations of information science and the timely use of these results in the education system in order to improve its quality and the relevance of the new conditions of life and person’s professional activity in the information society are of special significance. Information science should become a scientific basis for the information civilization. Information culture should be a prerequisite for an effective and safe life of the society. That is why the development of information science and information culture should be prioritized for the further development of the society. It should be adequately reflected in the education system.
2. The current state of information science and its significance in interdisciplinary science and education.
2.1. In recent years, the problems of the development of information science as an important interdisciplinary field of scientific knowledge, have been receiving increasing attention. A number of new results in this field have been obtained in Austria, Great Britain, China, Russia, France, the United States and other countries. For example, social information science has been developing for more than 20 years in Russia. It is a scientific field, which is called upon to provide a scientific basis for the formation of the global information society. Currently, it is also actively developing in China, where the Institute of Social Information Science was established in the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
2.2. They have obtained a number of new results in the field of philosophy of information and philosophical foundations of information science, the general theory of information and intelligence. The methods of information approach in the study of the activity of organisms, as well as the activity of consciousness and the human brain are being developed. The possibility and the effectiveness of the concepts and methods of information science in the study of objects and inanimate systems, as well as general patterns of global evolution are shown.
2.3. One of the most pressing problems is the formation of the modern scientific outlook, in which the information aspects are becoming increasingly important. Not only scientists need such an outlook today, but also teachers, state and public figures, leaders of political organizations and business structures. However, the problem today is not yet reflected in the content of national and international programs for the development of science and education.
2.4. In the education systems of many countries instrumental and technological approach to the problems of information science remains. It does not match the current level of development and its scientific potential. The issues of development of the information society and the related socio-economic issues, as well as humanities issues of information security, as a rule, are not studied in an integrated manner. This is leading to a significant backlog of social consciousness from the current rate of development of the information society. This is strategically dangerous and it is one of the global threats to the development of civilization.
2.5. The conference results demonstrate the relevance and strategic importance of the further development of the fundamentals of information science, which nowadays still is not embodied in the content of the national and international programs for the development of science and education, which are focused mainly on the study of information and communication technologies and the formation of computer literacy among specialists.
To solve these problems, we should increase the effectiveness of international cooperation, joint research and exchange of best practices.
The Conference participants recommend:
1. The heads of the regulatory bodies of science and education:
- to revise the existing at present instrumental and technological approach to the problems of information science as it does not match the current level of development, as well as the goals and objectives of the formation of a global information society, as defined in the Okinawa Charter;
- to pay particular attention to the need to study the fundamentals of information science in higher school, as well as in the training of scientific and pedagogical staff, particularly teachers of secondary schools and library staff;
- to promote actively the development of scientific research in the field of basic scientific and methodological foundations of information science, as well as of interdisciplinary research on complex problems of the development of the global information society, the use of these results in the education system and the socio-economic sphere.
2. University executives and lecturers:
- to pay attention to the need for much greater than it is today, information orientation of educational content and relevance of the study not only of the instrumental and technological aspects of information science, but also of its philosophical, scientific, methodological and social aspects, as well as the use of modern concepts and methods of this field in science and the humanities;
- to interact more actively with the fundamental science in the field of collaborative research and development on fundamental problems of information science, testing and implementation of the results of these studies in the educational process, as well as in the work on the joint implementation of national and international projects;
- to promote the establishment of university research institutes, laboratories, and research and education centers for the solution of the fundamental problems of information science and the problems of the development of the information society with the involvement of scholars and teachers from other countries;
- to encourage the development and publication of scientific books and educational materials on the fundamental elements and problems of information science, the creation of relevant electronic resources, the development and publication of programs and benefits for new courses, and organization of academic lectures of the leading scientists.
3. The specialists in the field of scientific and technical information:
- to pay more attention to the coverage of the national achievements of science and education, as well as of foreign experts in the studies of the fundamentals of information science and actual problems of the development of the information society;
- to promote research and development in order to improve the existing system of the categorization of scientific and technical information in the field of information science problems.
4. Members of the editorial councils and the editorial boards of scientific and educational journals:
- to encourage the publication of the results of national and international scientists’ studies of the fundamentals of information science and to promote them in society;
- to publish review articles and digests on the fundamental problems of information science on a regular basis, inviting leading domestic and foreign experts for this purpose.
5. The speakers and participants of the International Conference FIS-2013:
- Before June 30, 2013, to present the texts of their papers for publication in the conference proceedings, reports and presentations in order to be uploaded on the website.
- Before July 30, 2013, to send to the Program Committee their additional materials on its subject matter, as well as comments and recommendations on the content of the reports.
- To note that the following Sixth International Conference on the Foundations of the Information Science (FIS-2015) is scheduled to be held in 2015 in the Austrian capital, Vienna. During the preparation for its implementation a networking of the professionals will be organized in order to discuss the topical issues of the development of science and education in the field.
The Conference President FIS-2013 Konstantin K. Kolin
The Secretary-General of FIS-2013 Nikolay V. Zakharov
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