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Analyzing the Production of the Law of Cyberspace
Unformatted Document Text:  7 adopted by their peers. Consequently, this biases the development of code towards those matters that are regarded as important by a researcher’s peers, and therefore leads to a secondary regard for potential economic gain when developing code within a university. Universities have recognized that providing researchers autonomy allows for the freedom to pursue self directed research, which is necessary to develop innovative code and new knowledge. 22 The autonomy fosters risk-taking in the development of code and is important for pushing the boundaries of knowledge and creating innovative products. 23 As a result, the ivory tower of academia allows the development of code that is insulated from external political, economic, and social influences. 24 This autonomy is manifested by allowing researchers to ultimately decide how to shape code. This autonomy was evident in the design of the World Wide Web (web) by Tim Berners- Lee. The idea and the initial implementation of the web were done at the European particle physics laboratory, Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire (CERN). This laboratory allowed its members considerable autonomy within this institutional environment. Their researchers developed new software for everything from running the coke machine to conducting physics experiments. 25 And within CERN, Berners-Lee was allowed to work on his radical proposal for the web, and he was free to pursue his project as he saw fit. Similarly, Andreessen initially developed NCSA Mosaic, the first popular web browser, in an unstructured academic 22 Dasgupta & David, supra note 20, at 500 (noting the autonomy granted in academia); Nannerl O. Keohane, The Mission of the Research University, in T HE R ESEARCH U NIVERSITY IN A T IME OF D ISCONTENT 153 (Jonathan R. Cole et al. eds., 1994) (noting the role of autonomy for faculty). 23 This is supported by government funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF). According to Joseph Bordogna the NSF seeks innovative research that goes beyond current technology. "While everyone seems to be looking for merely the next technology, we are hoping they search for something that renders something obsolete." Joseph Bordogna, Innovators Break the Rules. Trust Them, available at http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/articles.cfm?catid=14&articleid=334 (last visited May 28, 2001). 24 Political and social influences can permeate the academic community through changing social norms or public funding for research. This is evident in the increased funding for some topics in biomedical research such as women’s health issues, breast cancer, and AIDS.

Authors: Shah, Rajiv. and Kesan, Jay.
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adopted by their peers. Consequently, this biases the development of code towards those matters
that are regarded as important by a researcher’s peers, and therefore leads to a secondary regard
for potential economic gain when developing code within a university.
Universities have recognized that providing researchers autonomy allows for the freedom
to pursue self directed research, which is necessary to develop innovative code and new
knowledge.
22
The autonomy fosters risk-taking in the development of code and is important for
pushing the boundaries of knowledge and creating innovative products.
23
As a result, the ivory
tower of academia allows the development of code that is insulated from external political,
economic, and social influences.
24
This autonomy is manifested by allowing researchers to
ultimately decide how to shape code.
This autonomy was evident in the design of the World Wide Web (web) by Tim Berners-
Lee. The idea and the initial implementation of the web were done at the European particle
physics laboratory, Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire (CERN). This laboratory
allowed its members considerable autonomy within this institutional environment. Their
researchers developed new software for everything from running the coke machine to conducting
physics experiments.
25
And within CERN, Berners-Lee was allowed to work on his radical
proposal for the web, and he was free to pursue his project as he saw fit. Similarly, Andreessen
initially developed NCSA Mosaic, the first popular web browser, in an unstructured academic
22
Dasgupta & David, supra note 20, at 500 (noting the autonomy granted in academia); Nannerl O. Keohane, The
Mission of the Research University, in T
HE
R
ESEARCH
U
NIVERSITY IN A
T
IME OF
D
ISCONTENT
153 (Jonathan R. Cole
et al. eds., 1994) (noting the role of autonomy for faculty).
23
This is supported by government funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF). According to
Joseph Bordogna the NSF seeks innovative research that goes beyond current technology. "While everyone seems to
be looking for merely the next technology, we are hoping they search for something that renders something
obsolete." Joseph Bordogna, Innovators Break the Rules. Trust Them, available at
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/articles.cfm?catid=14&articleid=334 (last visited May 28, 2001).
24
Political and social influences can permeate the academic community through changing social norms or public
funding for research. This is evident in the increased funding for some topics in biomedical research such as
women’s health issues, breast cancer, and AIDS.


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