Democratization of knowledge  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The democratization of knowledge is the acquisition and spread of knowledge amongst the common people, not just privileged elites such as priests and academics.

History

The printing press was one of the early steps towards the democratization of knowledge. Another early example of this during the Industrial Revolution was the creation of libraries for miners in the villages of Leadhills and Wanlockhead in 1741 and 1756 respectively.

Wikipedia co-founder, Larry Sanger, states in his article, that “Professionals are no longer needed for the bare purpose of the mass distribution of information and the shaping of opinion.” Sanger’s article confronts the existence of “common knowledge” and pits it against knowledge that everyone agrees on.

Google Book Search has been pointed to as an example of democratization of knowledge, but Malte Herwig in Der Spiegel raised concerns that the virtual monopoly Google has in the search market, combined with Google's hiding of the details of its search algorithms, could undermine this move towards democratization.

Scientific knowledge

The website eBird has been described as an example of democratization of scientific knowledge, as it enlists amateurs to gather data on biodiversity for use by scientists.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Democratization of knowledge" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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