Openness: Don Lamberton’s model of scholarship

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By David Court

Don Lamberton’s research interests were broad. They centred on information and innovation, those elusive drivers of growth and change in the economy, as well as life. Information and innovation require some degree of receptiveness – openness – and Don was always open. His openness permitted me to become his student, as a mid-career practitioner in the film industry. It was, in a sense, his principal teaching. Under his tutelage, I began a reading program that led me a long way from my starting point, and taught me to question views that had seemed settled. Openness, of course, is a fundamental issue in information policy. To what extent should information be proprietary? And when should it be free? These questions were central to my research, which was about copyright and its consequences for authors. The policy tensions in copyright turn exactly on this question of degree of openness. As I studied the question, Don’s example came to matter. I mean the way he personally modelled scholarship: his willingness to listen, his constant sifting, his mode of freely sharing books, data and connections. This was scholarship as openness, and it was persuasive.

page: 451 – 455
Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 33, Issue 4

SKU: 0810-90281194006

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