New Technology Allows Ordinary People to Create More Democratic Institutions, Says Professor and Technology Law Expert Beth Simone Noveck

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New York Law School Professor Beth Simone Noveck, Director of the Law School's Institute for Information Law and Policy and an expert on the impact of technology on legal and political institutions, is available to offer expert commentary on the ways wikis and other social technologies can enhance citizen participation and decision making in government.

New York Law School Professor Beth Simone Noveck, Director of the Law School's Institute for Information Law and Policy and an expert on the impact of technology on legal and political institutions, is available to offer expert commentary on the ways wikis and other social technologies can enhance citizen participation and decision making in government.

The winter 2008 issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas has published Professor Noveck's latest article, "Wiki Government," which discusses the opportunity presented by new technology to create institutions that are both more expert and more democratic. The article argues that ordinary people possess extraordinary expertise that can improve the quality of government decision making; it also describes how democratic institutions can be reshaped.

"Ordinary people, regardless of institutional affiliation or professional status, possess information--serious, expert, fact-based, scientific information--to enhance decision making, information not otherwise available to isolated bureaucrats," says Professor Noveck. "Partly as a result of the simple tools now available for collaboration and partly as a result of a highly mobile labor market of 'knowledge workers,' people are ready and willing to share that information across geographic, disciplinary, and institutional boundaries."

Professor Noveck has long been a supporter of citizen participation in government decision making and policies. With the support of grants from the MacArthur Foundation, Omidyar Network, IBM, Microsoft, HP, GE, Oracle, and Red Hat, she has launched the Peer-to-Patent: Community Patent Review Project in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Peer-to-Patent is the legal, policy, and software framework that opens patent examination for public participation for the first time.

She also pioneered the creation of the Democracy Design Workshop, a collaborative "do tank," where students and faculty at New York Law School and across institutions work together in teams to develop legal code and software code to foster open, transparent, and collaborative ways of learning, working, and governing.

About Professor Beth Simone Noveck

Professor Noveck teaches in the areas of intellectual property, innovation, and constitutional law as well as courses on electronic democracy and electronic government.

She is the founder and organizer of the State of Play Conference, the annual event on virtual worlds research, and is also a founder of Bodies Electric LLC, developer of the Unchat software for real-time structured and democratic group deliberation in cyberspace.

Read Professor Noveck's bio at http://www.nyls.edu/pages/591.asp.

Professor Noveck can be reached at 212.431.2355.

For additional assistance, please contact Nancy Guida in the Office of Marketing and Communications at New York Law School at 212.431.2325.

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