José-Marie Griffiths: The Spider and the Web

WED, MAY 7, 2014 (1:05:38)

The World Wide Web, arguably the platform that fully launched our Information Age, is 25 years old this year. There are now more than 600 million websites worldwide, and the Web has changed life forever across the globe, allowing people to access and share information in a way not possible even 30 years ago. But as the Web expands in size and complexity, there is increasing concern about its potential fragility and vulnerability. Dr. Griffiths will explore some of the trends that are straining the interwoven strands of our information universe, from net governance and neutrality to data policy and stewardship to individual privacy (or the lack thereof). Society, especially knowledge stewards, face a plethora of choices in these areas. How we choose to address these challenges correlates in many ways with how a spider constructs, monitors and repairs its web. Can the Information Age survive another 25 years? Understanding the interrelationships of the spider and the web, and the different roles and principles that undergird them, are critical to all of us in both the near and distant future. Dr. Griffiths will lay out the issues and some of the choices we face, and the potential impacts of those choices to the survival of our present and future knowledge ecosystem. Jose-Marie Griffiths’ research spans information science, technology and leadership. She has done groundbreaking work on the value and return on investment in information systems and services; researched the development of protocols and policies for resource sharing across organizations on local, state and regional levels, including both public and private institutions; reported on the influences of the digital revolution on the conduct of research; and studied success criteria and best practices for information technology in higher education.

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José-Marie Griffiths joined the leadership at Bryant University as vice president for academic affairs and university professor in 2010. An internationally acclaimed policy expert, researcher, and administrator with more than 35 years of experience in academic, corporate, and government settings, she has served in a number of U.S. Presidential appointments, two requiring U.S. Senate approval. She has also served on numerous blue ribbon panels covering every U.S. administration, including President Obama’s. Dr. Griffiths has been a high-level university administrator at four universities, including Vice Chancellor, University of Tennessee; Chief Information Officer, the University of Michigan; Director, Sara Fine Institute, University of Pittsburgh; and Dean, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has simultaneously served as a professor at all of these institutions, in addition to previous teaching and research appointments at other major universities in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Griffiths has conducted numerous contracts or grants with 16 federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the National Institute of Science and Technology, and NASA, as well as 13 companies, including AT&T Bell labs, IBM, Eastman Kodak, Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, and Colgate-Palmolive; seven international organizations such as NATO, UNESCO, and the British Library Research and Development Division; and over 10 statewide studies on networking, including Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York. These studies led to numerous publications including authoring or co-authoring nine books (plus three under contract), over 100 articles, chapters in books, international conference proceedings, and over 200 technical reports. Her research has also led to numerous honors and awards such as Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the top two honors in her primary professional association (The American Society for Information Science and Technology), and she was recognized as one of the Top 25 Women on the Web.

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New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science & Technology