Talk:Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

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Duplicate article[edit]

This is from Berkman Center, which I am changing to a redirect. I am not convinced any of this information needs merged into the article, but if anyone is working on this article, I thought you'd like to know.


The Berkman Center's mission is to explore and understand cyberspace, its development, dynamics, norms, standards, and need or lack thereof for laws and sanctions.

We are a research center, premised on the observation that what we seek to learn is not already recorded. Our method is to build out into cyberspace, record data as we go, self-study, and publish. Our mode is entrepreneurial nonprofit.

About Us[edit]

The Berkman Center is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. We represent a network of faculty, students, fellows, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and virtual architects working to identify and engage with the challenges and opportunities of cyberspace.

How long has the Berkman Center been around? Who started it, with what rationale(s), and with what funding/resources? MaynardClark 21:02, 11 October 2007 (UTC)MaynardClark

  • "In 1996, Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson and Jonathan Zittrain established what was then called the "Center on Law and Technology" at Harvard Law School. The Center grew out of a seminar with Arthur Miller, David Marglin, and Tom Smuts in 1994 on cutting-edge Internet issues. The Center set out "to explore and understand cyberspace, its development, dynamics, norms, standards, and need or lack thereof for laws and sanctions." A gift of $5.4 million in 1997 from the Berkman family--Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, and their son Myles--underwrote Nesson's vision. Lawrence Lessig was awarded the Berkman professorship. The Center on Law and Technology then changed its name to the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, and has steadily expanded ever since." Please see [This Link] Ccj1981 (talk) 01:40, 17 January 2008 (UTC)


NickelShoe 23:43, 8 December 2005 (UTC)


I updated this article with an infobox, and categorized it as a technology research center. I feel this is close, but there may be a more precise term to describe it -- perhaps policy research center. If anyone has a thought as to which term best classifies the Berkman Center, do share. Cheers, Jeff Bedford (talk) 19:46, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Great job Jeff! The article is much better that way. :) Personally I would not categorize the Berkman Center as a "technology research center", as (in my view) the focus of the center's research is not primarily the internet technology itself, but how the technology is inspired by the social context in which it is created and how the technology then retroacts on society. Another objective is to use the lessons drawn from this research to inform the design of internet related laws and pioneer the development of the internet itself (so in this sense your categorization is right!). From this perspective, the Center also has a "think tank" orientation. I have been thinking how I would myself categorize the Center, and ultimately ended up with the following conclusion: it is too difficult a task to categorize the center in an informative way in a 3 words infobox! So I would say this would be better done in the article itself (I try to do that now, please check it out if you like!). Maybe the most relevant information to put on an infobox is that this is a "interfaculty research center", or alternatively a "pluridisciplinary research center"? Just some thoughts... Cheers! SalimJah (talk) 13:24, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Well said, Salim. It can be challenging to classify an organization of this type in such few words, but it is important to do so in the infobox so that readers (who browse at a rapid pace, as you know) can get an initial snapshot of what the Berkman Center is. Based on your thoughts above, over the next few days I'll try to come up with a few alternatives for the infobox description, and will pose them here to gain adequate consensus.
This article as a whole is off to a fair start, but it should (and can) do a better job at meeting Wikipedia's Good article criteria, and I think that I can be of help in bringing it up to that level of quality. At present, the article defines what the Berkman Center is and explains a few of the key projects, but it is lacking that crucial context of what specific impact the center and its endeavors have had on society. The description of the impact should be based on what reliable, independent sources have written about the Berkman Center. A concise History section would help to provide a cohesive background on the formation, growth and evolution of the Berkman Center (leading up to present day).
I've begun to draft an updated version of this article, which I aim to share here for review and feedback from others before implementing it. I've gotten to know the Berkman Center's work over the past few years from attending a handful of conferences where their members/fellows have presented their research. Well, now I'm off to tackle that draft, which I hope to have completed within the next two weeks. Cheers, Jeff Bedford (talk) 16:16, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
This sounds like an exiting program! I will try to help you as best as I can in this process! Do not hesitate to enhance the edits I may make and ask me for a helping hand if you need anything. SalimJah (talk) 16:57, 31 March 2011 (UTC)


What was the rationale for determining who should appear on this list and who shouldn't? Then, wouldn't including some small piece of information about what those people are actually up to be relevant? Like: "The director of the MIT Center for Civic Media Ethan Zuckerman" rather than simply "Ethan Zuckerman", or "Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales" rather than simply "Jimmy Wales"? SalimJah (talk) 17:13, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Projects and initiatives[edit]

The Projects and initiatives section seems rather outdated. Would somebody be willing to update this list? SalimJah (talk) 17:13, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Influence for making other centers[edit]

Article says centers "started or inspired by" Berkman Center. However, there is not referencing about that influence. Also center at Yale University (Information Society Project) came in 1997 and center at Harvard University (Berkman Center) came in 1998.