On the one hand, "disciplinary communities provide the consensus necessary to justify academic freedom as a special freedom for faculty. Add a few more hands pushing from outside -- a couple of them writing checks for endowed chairs -- and Dewey's "organized society of truth-seekers" becomes problematic, if not a pipe dream. But Scott finds no real alternative on offer. In an interview with Bill Moyers appearing as an epilogue to the book, she says, "It's precisely within disciplines that the judgment and evaluation and regulation happens.
If you're not in the discipline, you have no way of knowing what the standards are, what the history of changing modes of interpretation have been, whether the work is following acceptable patterns of proof and evidence. Even granting her this point despite the challenge to it implied earlier in the book when acknowledging disciplinary rigidities and blind spots it seems more applicable to an earlier period, when the disciplinary communities were smaller, with more members either holding tenure or in a position to pursue it, and not so many vectors of disinformation making the very concept of expert authority more difficult to uphold.
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What We Cannot Know: Explorations at the Edge of Knowledge – Marcus du Sautoy
Opinions on Inside Higher Ed. This book integrates the new knowledge management with the best of the old, such as communities of practice and measurement.
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