The simple answer is: because it is 2018.
Many academics would agree that, in this fast-paced world, there is often little time to stop and reflect on what we are doing and why we do it in the way we do. As criminologists, we are constantly bombarded with new information from a myriad of sources and we are required to integrate that into our research, our teaching, and our fundamental understanding of the world. Technology has emerged as a crucial way of sharing information. So this blog is open to all with an interest in our disciplinary themes.
We all learn from our interactions with the cultural tools and artefacts used on a daily basis including computer technology, social networking, and related applications. US theorist Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase ‘the global village’ and, argued it was the medium itself that shaped the message through “the scale and form of human association and action” (1964: 9). Based on this premise, innovative dissemination that includes a well-designed approach to using technology, is vital for today’s professionals. Technology does not replace living, breathing researchers, but it crucially extends their reach and it can enhance public engagement.
The BSC is approaching its 60th anniversary [see our History webpage]. The technology used at the beginning of the BSC history was simple: pen, paper and postage. Cast your own mind back even just 15 years. There was little mainstream social networking, no Facebook or Twitter, and few easily accessible wikis or blogs. Social media was a phenomenon viewed by many in academia with some suspicion and certainly not a serious tool for academic purposes. Even adding a website resource to a bibliography was seen by some as risky: websites were seen as ephemeral and lacking in the authority of the paper-based alternatives.
Today, there are many more technologies available. Applications including SnapChat, WhatsApp and LinkedIn are used by millions of people every day to connect with family, friends and colleagues. As we hurtle towards the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the BSC wants to provide a more immediate forum for those public criminologists who desire to inform the world about topics that they feel passionately about.
We want to encourage collaboration through a medium which is easily shared, and thereby join the community of blogging criminologists that already exists. Facilitating individual and collective creativity, communication, participation, and a sense of connectedness, this blog has modest aims. We hope to commission a small number of articles each month. Whether you have never written a blog before (i) or whether you are already a regular blogger, we hope that you will also contact us and contribute articles, send us links to other blogs, and help us provide a forum for important voices.
Charlotte Harris and Helen Jones, BSC Office
McLuhan, M. (1964) Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McGraw-Hill: New York.
(i) In which case we can provide some help to get your contribution into blogese.
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