Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Paul Duguid Biographical Sketch

Paul Duguid received an MA in English Literature in 1980 from Washington University in St. Louis. He received his BA in English Literature and Philosophy in 1972 from Bristol University in the UK.

He contributes frequently to newspapers, most often reviewing works of fiction for the Times Literary Supplement (UK). He is on the Editorial Board of Enterprise & Society, the journal of the Business History Conference.

His collaborations with John Seely Brown go back at least as far as 1989 when they coauthored "Situated Cognition and the Culture of Learning" for Education Researcher. This collaboration culminated in the 2000 publication of their book, The Social Life of Information. The book initially found reviewers in the management and business press -- scholarly journals and trade magazines such as Sloan Management Review (Brown claims to be a member of their editorial board), The Economist, Business Week and Inc. alike, though Library Quarterly would review it later. It seems to have been ignored by the larger scholarly community (those working in new media, information science and technology studies). 

Duguid's research interests seem to point toward a general theme of how technology in general and technology management in particular impact educational processes. He's also developed a key buzzphrase for himself, "the social life of" and usually addresses the so-called social life of education or information in different contexts. Examples include "The Social Life of Legal Documents," "The Social Life of Documents," and "The Social Life of Learning." The latter was a presentation he delivered to Hewlett-Packard and not an educational institution. The first were published in First Monday, a journal wherein Duguid frequently finds a home for his writings.

His affiliations with institutions such as Xerox PARC (where he met Brown), Lancaster University's Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development  and his positions as research fellow, research scientist or visiting fellow make him seem to be a researcher interested in discovering solutions to problems rather than a scholar concerned with thinking about intellectual issues. 

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