He received a B.A. in Physics from Harvard University in 1977, and a doctorate in theoretical particle physics from Cornell University in 1981. He was in the Society of Fellows at Harvard from 1981-84, then assistant and associate professor in the physics dept at Harvard from 1984-91, staff member in the theoretical division of Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1990-2001, and Professor of Physics and Computing & Information Science at Cornell University since 2001.
He has authored papers in quantum field theory, string theory, conformal field theory, and quantum gravity. In 1991, he started the e-print archives at Los Alamos. He has served on the U.S. National Committee for CODATA, other N.R.C., N.A.S., and AAAS committees, on the NIH PubMedCentral national advisory board, and on the American Physical Society publications oversight committee. He currently serves on the Public Library of Science advisory board, and on the Cornell University Library and Information Technology faculty advisory boards. In 1998, he received the P.A.M. (physics astronomy math) award from the Special Libraries Association, in 2000 was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, in 2002 was named a MacArthur Fellow, in 2005 received the Council of Science Editors (CSE) Award for Meritorious Achievement, and in 2006 received the Paul Evans Peters Award from Educause, ARL, and CNI.
Scholarly communities have long self-organized to create, certify, and disseminate knowledge, frequently in the form of collaboratively generated content. The methodologies employed involve both important similarities and dissimilarities to those more recently adopted by Wikipedia. This talk will identify some of the principles underlying scholarly practices, and survey how these practices have been slowly adapting to modern electronic communication technology. Despite their differing incentive and assessment structures, and differing roles of their core communities, conventional scholarly publishing and Wikipedia can benefit from understanding each other's notable successes, as well as each other's noticeable shortcomings. Assessing how open access research sites of the future can best interoperate with commons based peer-production raises more general questions of information authority and uncertainty in the global networked knowledge environment, and reinforces the need for an effective scalable framework to neutralize the efforts of intellectual outliers.