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Re: Off topic - Dagstuhl and research in general - was Re: Trip Reports on Dagstuhl Seminar on Knowledge Graphs

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 06:37:48 +0100
Message-ID: <CAFfrAFowJr24s+nq2Vmu3oDaDHWRzVsmucWQ1z=ODD_s+toCGA@mail.gmail.com>
To: paoladimaio10@googlemail.com
Cc: Hugh Glaser <hugh@glasers.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
On Wed, 25 Sep 2019 at 01:30, Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@gmail.com> wrote:

> Danbri,
> yesterday I saw your email and replied, but to the wrong thread
> (apologies!). I repaste it here.
> In addition to what I say below, it occurs to me that it would be
> interesting. from a scientific technical point of view and, maybe even in
> the public interest, to learn about the different directions being proposed
> that caused disagreement
> I cannot remember now if this was covered in the field trip reports

While it might be interesting, there are better ways of asking about the
content of people’s non-public meetings than threads like this.


> Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@gmail.com>
> Tue, Sep 24, 2:08 PM (18 hours ago)
> to *semantic-web*, Dan
> Danbri
> You are missing the point of this thread (sorry just seen this emai)
> There is no complaint about Dagstuhl being made
> Please read carefully from the beginning, if you are interested-
> The point is that people who read about the workshop through the report
> are misinformed, about KG and about a bunch of other things
> The complaint is about poor research direction and poor information about
> the
> state of the art in the research direction in KR, etc etc. This is painful
> but true.
> What is the point of having workshop reports published, if they dont tell
> the truth
> or even in the case when they just report the abstracts, these are
> painfully
> superficial and inadequate to represent the state of the art and research
> challenges, etc etc etc
> Cheers
> On Sat, Aug 31, 2019 at 6:08 PM Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org> wrote:
>> Thank you, Hugh.
>> FWIW I was amongst those privileged to attend the Dagstuhl meeting. It is
>> entirely appropriate that the published document does not attempt to cover
>> all views expressed during the event. For example, mild mannered though I
>> am, at one point I walked out of a session due to extreme disagreement with
>> the direction being proposed. It is important that we have (multiple)
>> venues in which we can talk frankly about topics without everything being
>> broadcast to a planet-wide audience, or even reframed via abstracts and
>> summaries.
>> I have already heard of one longtime listmember unsubscribing from this
>> mailing list due to this pointless and provocative thread. Can people keep
>> their followups private please?
>> Dan
>> On Thu, 29 Aug 2019, 12:17 Hugh Glaser, <hugh@glasers.org> wrote:
>>> Sorry to go a bit off-list-topic, but I think that is where we have got
>>> to.
>>> Although there is discussion of the nature of KR, KG, etc., the deeper
>>> issue here is about research culture, and the Schloss Dagstuhl seminars in
>>> particular; along with Paola's criticism of this one.
>>> I first went to one of these amazing meetings in 1990 (in fact it was
>>> only the third held there).
>>> At that time, it was such a refreshing event to attend.
>>> Already the cold wind of proposal gantt charts, outcomes, measurements,
>>> and mandating of practical results had blown through academia and research
>>> labs, so that the freedom of scholarship that such places had been built to
>>> nurture was well on the way to destruction.
>>> And these requirements have been monotonic increasing since then.
>>> So I can only imagine how exceptional a Dagstuhl seminar must feel for
>>> current academics.
>>> I was going to try to describe how they differ from workshops,
>>> conferences and research meeting, but that turns out to be a really big
>>> essay.
>>> So I will spare myself that - and you, dear reader.
>>> However, what I want to do is firmly reject the suggestion in this
>>> thread that a research meeting should always have written outcomes.
>>> >
>>> > On 29 Aug 2019, at 01:21, Paola Di Maio <paoladimaio10@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > So, Alex  Valentina and all, if I am allowed, the main criticism for
>>> me remains":
>>> > ...
>>> > 1. very limited publicly accessible proceedings for a publicly funded
>>> workshop (the report, which as you say is just a  short summary but no
>>> other more comprehensive resource is provided)
>>> > ...
>>> >
>>> In fact, looking at the web page for this meeting, I am even
>>> disappointed to see extensive reports from the break-out sessions.
>>> No!
>>> This meeting was just a community of scholars meeting together to try to
>>> understand a particular topic in which they were all interested.
>>> A requirement to document that discussion is a distraction from the
>>> discussion, and makes it less productive.
>>> Worse still, a requirement to produce an agreed outcome would seriously
>>> undermine the nature of the discussion.
>>> And the need to produce such documents can discourage attendance, as
>>> they mean attendance may be a bigger commitment than otherwise, and the
>>> amount of time for proper discussion is reduced. The idea of a week away is
>>> challenging to busy researchers, so limiting the commitment to exactly that
>>> is very attractive.
>>> An abstract from each speaker which can be written at the seminar (by
>>> hand?), indicating what views they may have, and what they spoke about
>>> seems perfectly adequate.
>>> Yes, if detailed reports and proposals and outcomes come naturally from
>>> the activity, that is helpful; but if there is no such thing, then that
>>> should be perfectly acceptable.
>>> Schloss Dagstuhl was, and still seems to be, a beacon of light in an
>>> otherwise dreary, paper-grinding, results-driven and -oriented research
>>> world.
>>> If only we could have a lot more like it, and even reflect more of it in
>>> our own institutions and funding councils.
>>> Best
>>> --
>>> Hugh
>>> 023 8061 5652
Received on Wednesday, 25 September 2019 05:38:24 UTC

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