What is the value of knowledge? What is the difference between private and public knowledge? What is the relationship of knowledge to conscious? How can we know? Is knowledge valuable because of its role in practical reasoning?
These are some of the daunting questions that philosophers ask about the nature of knowledge.
No matter what your answer is, ISWA created what is called ISWA Knowledge Base. And I am sure that all ISWA members and followers are as proud as I am for that initiative!
Just visit http://www.iswa.org/en/525/knowledge_base.html and you will find a free for all – open access waste management library that already contains 863 documents from different resources, including a lot of ISWA publications and technical documents. And soon it will contain at least double. You know why?
First, because the open access library is fed with materials from at least 4-5 ISWA conferences per year.
Second, because ISWA is working closely with several other international institutions to promote interesting waste management publications and make them available through the Knowledge Base.
And third, because ISWA invites everyone to contribute to the Knowledge Base with technical and scientific papers. Every author can provide materials related to waste management, of course except advertising ones.
The concept behind ISWA’s Knowledge Base is simple: in a globalized world, where waste management is becoming one of the most challenging problems and scientific knowledge is produced simultaneously from thousands different sources, a free for all digital library is the minimum we can do to provide know-how to the ones that need it more!
In other words, ISWA serves the Article 19(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”
Such “open access” thinking is what powers internet phenomena such as Wikipedia, which currently contains more than three million articles, and Creative Commons which allows users to find artwork that they can legally reuse. Recently, it is also the justification behind academic sharing, such as the OpenCourseWare consortium and other smaller projects sharing academic work.
Last but not least: ISWA should promote Knowledge Base and make it the WASTEPEDIA of the web – I am sure it can be done and thousands of people will contribute to that. Let’s do it…