Henry Linger Seminar
Developing ICT Tools for Biomedical Research: Building a Knowledge Work Support System
Date : 16/11/2007
Presenters: Dr Henry Linger, Monash University
Abstract: Biomedical research is supported by ICT in a variety of ways, from algorithmic and computational modelling, visualisation, data and information management and retrieval amongst others. Generally such approaches focus on a specific biological problem and use ICT to provide answers that can be interpreted for their biological meaning. However, if biomedical research is considered as knowledge work, then the challenge is to construct ICT tools that not only help solve problems, the productive aspects of the work activity, but also the cognitive work that informs that production, the conceptualisation and thinking that underpins the problem. Support for knowledge work requires a computer-based environment that includes tools for productive and cognitive activities, as well as their integration, in order to make some aspects of cognitive work visible. Such an environment provides biomedical researchers with the ability to conduct in-machina or in-silica experiments that represent another research modality in addition to in-vivo and in-vitro experimentation. This seminar presents a collaborative approach to developing such computer-based environment.
Speaker biographies: Henry Linger is the Deputy Director of the Knowledge Management Research Program at Monash University and a Research Associate at Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO). His work explores the social, organisational and societal contexts of socio-technical systems and the influence these contexts exert on the design and implementation of these systems. A particular focus of his research is the design of systems to support work practices that integrate the productive, conceptual and cognitive aspects an activity system. Lingerís work draws on a broad range of theoretical positions in order to develop a coherent and grounded narrative of knowledge work. His research approach combines ethnographic methods with design science in order to construct useable artefacts and is conducted in the context of participatory action research principles. His research projects have addressed a broad range of industry sectors and research domains including biology, immunology, epidemiology, meteorology, defence, food safety and clinical and management aspects of healthcare.