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Unsettling Knowledge Inequities

Author: Knowledge Equity Lab

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The Unsettling Knowledge Inequities podcast features conversations with diverse and multigenerational knowledge holders. Episodes aim to interrogate the politics of knowledge production and circulation and the global power dynamics that shape it - as well as highlight alternative models and collaborations between distinct knowledge traditions.
16 Episodes
In the final episode of our third season, we are joined by Chris Gilliard, a professor and scholar  who is highly regarded for his critiques of surveillance technology, privacy, and the invisible but problematic ways that digital technologies intersect with race, social class and marginalized communities.  In particular, Chris’ work highlights the discriminatory practices that algorithmic decision-making enables - especially as these apply  in the higher education context. We discuss the various problems that surveillance technology and AI pose for higher education and the future of research, scholarship and academic publishing.
One of the key themes that intersects across all of our episodes this season is the surveillance and highly extractive and harmful economic practices of big corporations in the academic publishing sector, whose artificial intelligence tools are creating new forms of control and governance over our daily and professional activities.In this episode, we are joined by Christine Cooper, Yves Gendron, and Jane Andrew - co-editors of the Critical Perspectives on Accounting journal and co-authors of the article: “The perils of artificial intelligence in academic publishing.”We reflect on how automated decision making algorithms are deployed in academic publishing, particularly for peer review and related editorial decision making - and explore the implications of these technologies on research practices, scholarly expertise and autonomy, and the struggle for control over the future of “sustainability, creativity, and critical values of the academic world.”
Over the past 20 years, the academic publishing market has undergone changes that have led us to a juncture where power is concentrated in the hands of a handful of big companies.To help us understand how this came to be and its implications, we are joined today by Claudio Aspesi, a leading market analyst for the academic publishing market. Claudio is a consultant at SPARC, and has authored several reports about the market power and consolidation of the largest commercial players in this space. Resources:SPARC Landscape Analysis: The Changing Academic Publishing Industry : Implications for Academic Institutions 
Over the last years, as the process of conducting research and scholarship has moved more and more online,  it has become clear that user surveillance and data extraction has crept into academic infrastructure in multiple ways. For those committed to preserving academic freedom and knowledge equity, it's important to interrogate the practices and structures of the companies that are collecting and selling this data, and the impacts of this business model on academic infrastructure - and particularly on already marginalized and underfunded scholars and students. To help us understand this landscape and its implications, today we are in conversation with Sarah Lamdan, author of the forthcoming book  Data Cartels: The Companies That Control and Monopolize Our Information. 
In our third season, we continue our goal of interrogating the politics of knowledge production, exchange and circulation - but with a special focus on exploring the implications of the widespread and often uncritical use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies.  In particular we will examine how the use of these technologies by corporate publishers and data analytics companies can replicate and exacerbate existing structural and other forms of inequities in societies and in academia.In this first episode, we are joined by colleagues from the Distributed AI Research Institute - Dr. Alex Hannah, Dylan Baker, and Dr. Milagros Miceli. DAIR is an interdisciplinary and globally distributed organization rooted in the belief that AI is not inevitable, its harms are preventable, and when its production and deployment include more diverse perspectives and more deliberate processes, it can be beneficial.Resources mentioned in episode: relevant resources: Datasets have Worldviews Diversity Miceli, Tianling Yang, Adriana Alvarado Garcia, Julian Posada, Sonja MeiWang, Marc Pohl, and Alex Hanna. 2022. Documenting Data Production Processes: A Participatory Approach for Data Work. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 6, CSCW2 (August 2022), 34 pages., T., Morgenstern, J., Vecchione, B., Vaughan, J. W., Wallach, H., Iii, H. D., & Crawford, K. (2021). Datasheets for datasets. Communications of the ACM, 64(12), 86–92.
In the last episode of our second season we are in conversation with two early career researchers and activists - Denisse Albornoz  and Antoinette Foster. They reflect on how the values of openness, equity, safety, accountability and much more have influenced and informed their work and career trajectories both in academia and beyond.
In November 2020, the world’s first Virtual Indigenous Circle on Open Science and the Decolonization of Knowledge took place.  The Circle format was designed by Dr Lorna Wanósts’a7 Williams and featured nearly 20 Indigenous speakers from around the world.  They came together to inform UNESCO’s recommendation on Open Science and ensure that Indigenous knowledge and perspectives would be incorporated respectfully and with integrity into the recommendation.In this episode, four of those participants (Lorna Wanósts’a7 Williams, Greg Cajete, Manulani Aluli Meyer, and Sonajharia Minz) have gathered again to extend that conversation and further speak to Indigenous epistemologies, their personal journeys in science and academia, and many vital reflections on being attuned to the quality of our relationships, changing our consciousness, cultivating a sense of reverence, and much much more.  
Twenty years ago the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) released a statement of strategy and commitment to advocating for and realizing open access infrastructures across diverse institutions around the world.  In this episode we have the opportunity to hear from four individuals who have been part of that journey and work since the beginning: Melissa Hagemann, Senior Program Officer at Open Society Foundations; Peter Suber from Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication; Iryna Kuchma, Manager of the Open Access Program at Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) and Dominique Babini, Open Science Advisor at CLACSO, the Latin American Council of Social Sciences. ****Please take a moment to respond to some questions they have posed to the open access community at this link. Your inputs will help inform the 20th anniversary iteration of their statement of strategy. 
In this episode we speak with Rajesh Tandon, founder of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) based in New Delhi, India, and Budd Hall, Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria in Canada. Budd and Rajesh jointly hold a UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education . They reflect on coining the concept of "knowledge democracy" and participating in the consultations related to the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. 
In our second season, we continue our mission of interrogating the politics of knowledge production, exchange and circulation - but with a specific focus on open science and open access. In this first episode we speak with Eleanor Haine, Program Officer at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and Fernanda Beigel, Chair of the UNESCO Open Science Advisory Committee and Researcher at CONICET. Both have been actively involved in the drafting of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science -  and from their different geographical, institutional and personal perspectives they share what open science means to them and what they and their colleagues have been fighting for. 
In the final episode of our first season, we are in conversation with artist Jasmeen Patheja. Jasmeen is the founder of BlankNoise -  a multi city / multi country collective that has been instrumental in building public discourse and shifting conciseness on sexual violence in public spaces. 
In our fourth episode we are in conversation with Thenmozhi Soundararajan, a technologist, transmedia artist and activist. Thenmozhi is the Executive Director of Equality Labs, a South Asian power-building organization that uses community research, political base-building, culture-shifting art, and digital security to end the oppression of caste apartheid, Islamophobia, white supremacy, and religious intolerance in both the diaspora and the South Asian subcontinent. 
In our third episode we are in conversation with  Dr. James Tumwine, Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health who recently retired from the School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences in Makerere University at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. Professor Tumwine is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of African Health Sciences, an open access, free, internationally refereed, multidisciplinary journal publishing original articles on research, clinical practice, public health, policy, planning, and implementation and evaluation in health and related sciences in African countries.
In our second episode we are in conversation with Dr. Lorna Wánosts’a7 Williams, one of the leading Indigenous woman educators and scholars in Canada who has long championed decolonial education, the centering of Indigenous knowledge systems and the revitalization of Indigenous languages.  ( This is the link to Lilwat principles of teaching learning website.) 
In our first episode we speak with Leslie Chan from the Knowledge Equity Lab, Nick Shockey from SPARC, as well as 3 younger generation members of the Lab : Kanishka Sikri, Blessing Timidi Digha, and Denisse Albornoz. They reflect on what knowledge equity means to them, how and why they are committed to working on realizing it through systems change, what that might look like, knowledge translation for social justice, and much more.



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