NOEMA, AN ANALYSIS ON FIFTEEN YEARS OF INNOVATION
In the last fifteen years social networks, smartphones, biotechnologies, 11 September 2001 and the financialisation of economy are the five factors with the greatest effect in the relationships among technology, society, science and culture. These are the first conclusions that have been drawn after a survey conducted among the members of the advisory board and of the scientific committee of Noema, the online magazine on the relationships between technology, science and society. This survey paves the way to a wider analysis which will take place online starting from April 15th for two weeks that will involve the whole public of the magazine.
On the occasion of the magazine's fifteenth anniversary, Noema asked some of the personalities who collaborate with the magazine for indicating which ideas, events or objects they consider most influential in the relationships among science, innovation, technology and culture.
The results of the interviews show that, over the period considered, new technologies have deeply transformed the codes used by human beings. In the first place the communication's ones, increasingly pushing both towards globalization and disintermediation through social networks and in the direction of an even greater pervasiveness through smartphones, which allow people to be always on. Biotechnologies go on in expanding human capabilities modifying the natural codes, pushing onward the ability of creating and transforming the living systems.
Finally, according to the same survey, two events have deeply changed the contemporary society: the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and the financialisation of economy. The first one has lead to the limitation of some individual freedoms and privacy for security reasons; the second one has lead to a strong reduction of the industrial activities in advanced capitalist countries, and to the worse economic crisis in the world history since 1929, with a fall of employments and a growing job insecurity.
At the end of April we will see if these results will be confirmed by Noema's readers or if new factors will emerge.
This survey is one of the many initiatives that in the last 15 years have seen the direct involvement of the magazine's readers in debates about the topics which have mostly characterized the evolution of contemporary societies.
In Italy Noema is one of the most long-lived and influential online magazines on the relationships among technology, science and society; and on the effects that they have on communication, art and on the many disciplines derived from science, like Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Life, Internet of Things, Biotechnologies, Genetics and Robotics. The magazine publishes, in different languages, texts of authors whose work is fundamental in reflecting about contemporary issues, as you can see in the collaborators' page (http://noemalab.eu/noema-board/).
Noema was born from an idea of Pier Luigi Capucci and is online since March 2000. Its roots date back to an experience of the early 90's, when a small group at the University of Bologna created NetMagazine (http://org.noemalab.eu/sections/specials/netmag_magnet/main.html), the first online magazine in Italy.
In the last 15 years Noema has started many projects, from didactics to publishing, to journalism, to Open Source and art. The most relevant among them, for their innovativeness and significance, are FiveWordsForTheFuture (http://fivewordsforthefuture.eu/), to help people in understanding the meaning of innovation, recognize the "new" and imagine the future as a possible and near time. <mediaversi> (http://www.mediaversi.it/), a book series on the relationships among media, technologies and society in its fundamental manifestations: culture, representation, communication, media and forms of expression. And the e.lab ( e-learning.lab, http://noemalab.eu/e-learning/), born in 2002 as a collaborative platform to support education, created for universities and academies to share material, face with students and improve teaching.
Therefore, Noema is a key magazine in the analysis of the cultural systems' transformation, which keeps on in exploring and monitoring the society's evolution thanks to its net of authors.
Pier Luigi Capucci