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'Well-being' - a discipline unattached: enter 'informatics' the ubiquitous bed-partner

Posted Oct 30 2009 11:01pm
Informatics has been around for decades in many guises, associated with established academic disciplines and emerging fields as a consequence of the application of technology across society, education, work and more besides. As a result new schools of informatics emerge all the time.

The status, role, theory and practice of informatics is much debated within existing peer groups and professional associations. Prime examples include:
  • medical informatics
  • health informatics
  • nursing informatics
  • community informatics
  • urban informatics
  • citizen informatics
  • gender informatics
  • social informatics
- there is also a list on wikipedia.

The community informatics mail list and others have deliberated on the differences and boundaries of various schools (notably for the CI fraternity - community, urban and social informatics ).

I have contributed to discussions and often thought about how to get a handle (map!) on the various schools. Inevitably I draw on Hodges' model and wonder if from the center there is a spectrum of informatics schools, something akin to a pattern made up of sectors encompassing the whole model.

Imagine my interest then when I noticed (and linked to) a workshop organized within CHI 2010 on -

Wellness Informatics (WI)


This is a great turn-of-phrase with an explanation behind it provided by Beki Grinter an organizer on her blog. Wellness and well-being are on the lips of us all at the moment. Informatics as we've seen is also quite a disciplinary bed-fellow.

I hope this workshop does take place and would love to attend. As for my thoughts and Hodges' model, I wonder when the circle will be closed?

Perhaps by that time 'informatics' will not be a discipline in which humans are the 'principal investigator'?
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