ASIS&T Lecture Series Award Winner 2013

Professor Diane H. Sonnenwald
Keynote Lecture
"Visioning Studies: A Socio-Technical Approach to Designing the Future"
July 7, 2014
Nankai University, China

Professor Diane H. Sonnenwald will deliver the keynote lecture at the 12th Conference on Library & Information Science (LIS) across the Taiwan Straits, which will be held in July 6-10, 2014 at Nankai University in China. The lecture will be scheduled for 9:30-11:30 am on July 7, 2014, after the opening ceremony of the conference that will include the president of the university and dean of the business school.

About the conference
The Conference on Library & Information Science (LIS) across the Taiwan Straits was first proposed by some of the most famous LIS scientists and educators in Mainland China and Taiwan. It was first held in 1993 in East China Normal University in Shanghai. After 20 years, the conference has been recognized as the most influential LIS academic conference in Mainland China and Taiwan; approximately 200 LIS faculty members, students, and information professionals librarians from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hongkong, and Macao participate in the conference. Multiple sessions, panels, and forums are held during the two-day conference. This conference has been held at different universities in Mainland China and Taiwan in the past 20 years, respectively. It has greatly impacted the development of LIS research and education in the regions listed above.

Though the conference has been continuously held in the past 20 years, it has never invited a keynote speaker from outside China. Therefore, if the proposal is approved, it will make history in the development of LIS in China. The lecture will definitely bring new ideas and knowledge regarding new frontiers in information science and technology research, thus influencing researchers, students and professionals from Mainland China, Taiwan, and other areas. The lecture may also help ASIS&T attract additional members from China. Without a doubt there is a large potential to increase ASIS&T membership in China. ASIS&T’s sponsorship of the keynote lecture at the conference will be seen as a very positive and welcoming action by conference attendees and throughout the entire region. 

About the host of the conference
The 12th Conference on LIS across the Taiwan Straits will be hosted by the Department of Information Resources Management in the Business School at Nankai University. Nankai University is one of top research universities in China. The Department of Information Resources Management offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in LIS. It is ranked the 7th best LIS program in the latest evaluation conducted by the Ministry of Education of China in 2012. The faculty members of the department, Professors Ping Ke, Zhijin Wang, and Liangzi Yu were ranked the 3rd, 4th, and 6th most cited top 20 information and library scientists in China in 2010. 

The school owns a 10-storey hall (around 30,000 square meters) located on the campus of Nankai University. Inside the hall, there are 8 theatre halls that can be used to host domestic and international conference. The school also owns a library and technology service department.

Professor Diane H. Sonnenwald's lecture is entitled “Visioning Studies: A Socio-Technical Approach to Designing the Future.” 

It is increasingly important to understand the potential impact of future technology in complex contexts as early as possible in the research and development (R&D) cycle. Understanding the potential impact informs the design of new technology, enhancing the technology’s adoption and reducing its unintended negative consequences. It also uncovers potential conflicts with current social structures, facilitating the identification of enhancements to social structures and/or practices to derive additional benefits from the technology.

To discover the potential impact of future technology we have been developing a research approach called “visioning studies.” The goal of a visioning study is to understand the perspectives of potential stakeholders, and from this understanding develop socio-technical design recommendations in collaboration with computer science researchers. Two complementary approaches to visioning studies have emerged. One investigates task performance using an experimental design involving task simulation, observation, questionnaires and interviews. The other explores domain implications using a qualitative design including a video depicting the technology vision and semi-structured interviews.
To date visioning studies have focused on 3D telepresence technology in collaborative emergency health care and future mobile technology in collaborative police work.

The lecture will be digitally recorded, and distributed on a CD to all conference participants. The recording will also be uploaded to the conference website for free downloading by everyone. The recording and CD will be preserved and archived by the school’s library. To enhance the influence of the lecture, a simultaneous translation service from English into Chinese will be provided during the lecture, and the lecture will be available in English and Chinese on the CD and the conference web site.

The lecture will be advertised in all conference promotional materials. It will also be announced and highlighted on the school’s and the university’s website and through e-mail sent to faculty members and students in LIS schools and related disciplines and to information professionals in relevant information agencies in China, especially in Tianjin and Beijing, to attract more attendees to the lecture and the conference. We will also invite Dr. Diane H. Sonnenwald to give an informal talk to promote ASIS&T during the reception. The reception will help the participants get to know ASIS&T better.

About the Speaker
Dr. Diane H. Sonnenwald holds the titles of Professor, Chair of Information and Library Studies at University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland, and Adjunct Professor in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the only academic currently awarded a professorial chair in our discipline in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Diane also served as Head of School in the School of Information and Library Studies at UCD from 2009-2012. She is currently serving as Immediate Past President of ASIS&T. She is an active researcher and conducts research on collaboration and collaboration technology in a variety of contexts, including inter-disciplinary and inter-organizational collaboration in emergency healthcare, academia, police work and industry. Shehas published over 80 papers and book chapters, and has been awarded over 20 research grants from different agencies.

In 2002 Diane was a Fulbright Professor in Finland. Other awards and recognition include a U.S. Army Research Laboratory Scientific Contribution Award, UNC Junior Faculty Research Award, ALISE Research Methodology Best Paper Award, and Bell Communications Research Award of Excellence. Professor Sonnenwald has a PhD from the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University.

As Immediate Past President of ASIS&T and an active ASIS&T member, researcher, and educator, a keynote speech delivered by Dr. Diane H. Sonnenwald will bring new frontiers to LIS research in China, and also help forge a close relationship between ASIS&T and Chinese LIS researchers, students, and professionals.