chapter  14
Knowledge Centers
ByCarl J. Couch, Shing-Ling S. Chen
Pages 16

Like bureaucracies, knowledge centers are second-order information technologies and are encased by larger social structures. Until the twentieth century, with few exceptions, knowledge centers were adjuncts of religious or state structures and their faculties and students were accountable to religious or state authorities. Regardless of the form, information technologies are cornerstones of all knowledge centers. The intellectual turbulence of the Golden Age of the Greeks was achieved without benefit of knowledge centers. The authorities of the newly created state structures made the universities adjuncts of the state structure with little or no autonomy. Knowledge centers have surpassed the temple-centered social structures from which they originally emerged in their impact on human life. Knowledge centers have traveled a rocky road, but have become social structures that compete with state and economic structures for hegemony in programming the future endeavors of humanity. Despite many exceptions, for the past few centuries centers of knowledge, especially universities, have nurtured humanism, science, and social responsibility.