Academic Disconnect

Academia is a funny world, apparently at the cutting edge with research it often finds itself in the shadow of industry, the open-source community and cutting edge blogs. Within my own research within Crisis Cartography massive gaps exist with the epistemology of research within academic scholarship compared to the reality of crisis response. Especially practices extolled by organisations like UNHCR/UNOCHA, MapAction, H.O.T and Ground Truth Initiative among many others.

What needs to be done within the academic sphere to bring itself upto the bleeding edge of crisis response. People like Mikel Maron, Erica Hagen, Patrick Meier have published within academic spheres on crisis cartography, whereas , Dane Springmeyer, Kate Chapman, Erik Hersman and Alex Anderson create and use technology like Ushahidi and Frontline SMS. On the ground at the coal-face so to speak people like
Primož Kovačič, Sebastien Pierrel and Nicolas Chavent provide invaluable information through blogs and surveys.

While that isn’t an authoritative list of people to follow, they are brilliant to follow on twitter, as they are more connected to the bleeding edge than I. From this how can these people their sources of information be brought into the realm of citable/publishable academia, they are a massive untapped resource with more to say than some tweed jacketed pipe lighter. I suppose it all boils down to prose and audience.


Author: Mark Iliffe

Traveller, Programmer, Geospatialist and Motorcyclist

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