During the eighteenth Dies Academicus (May 17th, 2014), prof. Lorenzo Cantoni, Dean of the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the USI ( Università della Svizzera italiana) had the great honor to award the title of doctor honoris causa of the Faculty of Communication Sciences to Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikimedia foundation.
Hereafter the reason: “Per il suo ruolo nel promuovere la condivisione online della conoscenza e nell’offrire una piattaforma enciclopedica collaborativa aperta alle diverse lingue e culture” (“For his role in promoting online knowledge sharing, and in providing a collaborative encyclopedic platform open to different languages and cultures”).
“Generally USI does not allow the citation of Wikipedia in work or diploma theses, but this rule applies to all encyclopedias,” said prof. Lorenzo Cantoni. “In fact , the University aims to develop knowledge, while encyclopedias serve as the first approach in relation to a totally unknown area. However, we consider it essential to recognize the importance of a tool that has profoundly changed the development and communication of knowledge: updating in real time, hypertext and the World linguistic dimension is indeed optimal instruments for a truly universal knowledge, the result of active collaboration of many individuals. Wikipedia is one of the most visited sites in the world: in Switzerland, it ranks fourth behind Google, Facebook and Youtube. Therefore, we academics should not stay in our ivory tower, but contribute to Wikipedia to make a good starting point in the search for quality information.”
During the ceremony, our colleague Dr. Elena Marchiori gave a speech on “Esperienza turistica e comunicazione online” (“Tourism Experience and Online Communication”).
Find below her presentation: