SIS Summit Vienna 2015

Response and Responsibility of the Sciences of Information

Vienna University of Technology, June 3-7, 2015



Solomon Marcus Masters and slaves of information
Basarab Nicolescu How Can We Enter in Dialogue? Transdisciplinary Methodology of the Dialogue Between People, Cultures, and Spiritualities
Søren Brier Cybersemiotics as a bridge between the informational, the experiential and embodied enacted social meaning


Neena Gupta-Biener New transdisciplinary methodology based on semiotics for cross-cultural comparisons
Robert Logan What Is Information?: Why Is It Relativistic and What Is Its Relationship to Materiality, Meaning and Organization
Jiyi Yan Information makes running on the Moebius Strip possible: Thinking on IT and Information Theory
Shuhua Li The Origin of Information and Value Selection: Investigate the Laws of the Generation of Living System
Joseph Brenner Information Science, Transdisciplinarity and Logic
Liqian Zhou The Consistent Principle of Information, Life and Cognition


Søren Brier and Liqian Zhou, Department of International Business Communication, Copenhagen Business School


Past approaches, including modernistic and post-modernistic ones, have partly failed to deal with the global challenges, as the nature of modernistic approaches most often consist in various forms of subject area specific reductionisms attempting to reduce complexity to simpler forms and models; be it physical elements (mechanism), or computational of informational elements (pan-computationalism or pan-informationalism) bypassing subjectively and intersubjectively based meaningful experience. To the dilemma of modernism’s attempts to reduce our complex world by erasing the diversity of reality, the answer of postmodernism has been to construct “little narratives” with no demand of coherence or truth giving up on basic claims of science. Past approaches have thus in different ways created gaps between nature and culture as well as between different cultures including many conflicts between humans and environment, between different cultures as well as paradigms, world views and meaning horizons, in the attempts to globalize by integrating the local views through universal reductions.

Because the technologies of information and communication make freely flowing information disseminate globally, the problem is not primarily technological and quantitative but how to organize transdisciplinary as well as transcultural frameworks of interpretive power. For instance the CIA and FBI had all the necessary data to prevent the terrorist attack of 9/11, but their organizing capabilities were unable to establish the necessary power of interpretation of their data. The same can be said about the world society’s response to the scientific warnings of Global Warming.

An objective, probabilistically founded concept of information as “information processing paradigm” as we see it in traditional cybernetics, systems and information science is no longer enough, because information is not only something digital in physical carriers, but also a difference that makes a difference for living embodied experiential and cultural systems.

This is why technical information or discourse analysis alone cannot bridge nature and culture. We need to find ways to integrate third-person and first-person views with technology through combining systems theory and cybernetics with more phenomenological, hermeneutical as well as semiotic and linguistic interpretive frameworks. But how do we develop transdisciplinary frameworks capable of integrating physical, biological, perceptual, experiential cognitive, linguistic and cultural-social communicative systems without reducing one to the other? We therefore welcome work that attempts to build such framework(s).