The Jenkins Collaboratory Mission
The Jenkins Collaboratory
researches developing technologies in contemporary science, engineering, and medicine, and their social and ethical implications. Our work focuses particularly on the current fusion of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and information technologies
, and the transformative possibilities of this fusion for biomedicine, human-machine engineering, cultural production, and civic engagement.
The areas we choose to investigate
are highly interdisciplinary and increasingly distributed in global modes of transnational production. Collaboration is crucial to the scientists and engineers whose work we document and engage. Collaboration is equally crucial to our mission of investigating their work. By adapting open-source and off-the-shelf web-based technologies to facilitate collaborative documentation of the history of contemporary science and technology - fields that are born digital -
we develop technologies to support working partnerships
among scientists, engineers, social scientists, and humanities scholars. To contribute to the construction of archives for the history of contemporary fields in biomedicine, such as bioinformatics and genomics, we design interactive timelines and web-based genealogy tools allowing scientists and engineers to partner with us in documenting the history of their own work. In order to facilitate public engagement with the social and ethical implications of sciences-in-the-making
before they acquire momentum and become difficult to critique or modify, we develop tools for live video annotation and commentary as well as podcasting environments for audioblogging.
In addition to documenting contemporary scientific work and providing venues for scholarly collaboration and public engagement, we create resources
for critical scholarly analyses relevant to science and technology policy. Foremost among these are tools for visualizing flows of innovation
in techno-scientific networks based on interfacing semantic content and citation analysis of scientific documents and patents, as well as data on author, inventor, and organizational profiles. We investigate the role of university-based research in regional economies, and the relative contributions of federal and private funding to the growth of contemporary science and technology.