John Rayner: Radio Rising: A search for academic credibility

Date & time

5–6.30pm 4 August 2016

Event series

New academic fields of endeavour are continually being developing eventually reaching the status of an academic discipline worthy of being recognised as such by universities and the wider academic community. In this talk CPAS Visiting Fellow John Rayner considers the development of what we would now call telecommunications in Australia and how and when it eventually appeared within the offerings of Australian and overseas universities. He will trace its invention, commercial development, expansion driven by the imperatives of World War 1, and transition from craft to science to recognised academic discipline in its own right. He will show that computing followed a similar trajectory driven by World War 2. Based on these case studies he asks what are the factors that can be used to judge whether or not a field of endeavour can be regarded as an academic discipline before applying these criteria to our own field of science communication.

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