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The Opening Ceremony of iConference 2021

Mar. 18, 2021

The opening ceremony of iConference 2021 was held at 18:00 PM (local time) on March 17, 2021. The conference was hosted by our school after being prepared for two years by more than 20 faculty members and various volunteers.

Dr. Yuenan Liu, the Dean of the school, presented the welcoming remark at the opening ceremony. She thanked all stakeholders involved in the organization of iConference 2021, including the university, iSchools Caucus, and every staff in the organizing committee of this conference. She also discussed the theme of the conference, i.e., Diversity, Divergence, and Dialogue.

“The theme of the present conference is Diversity, Divergence, and Dialogue. We are hoping this conference to be a platform where information researchers and practitioners with different backgrounds talk to each other. In these conversations, different views and opinions can be not only tolerated but also respected. Moreover, we hope these conversations can help to solve key challenges faced by our community, especially the relationship between information, technologies, and people that is at the heart of information science.”

Dr. Peng Du, the Vice-Chancellor of Renmin University of China, delivered the first opening speech. He praised the active roles played by our school to participate in global scholarly communication. He also hoped that this conference will serve as an important platform for the information community to communicate and produce more important knowledge.

“Full of changes and challenges, 2020 had been a special year for us. During this long and difficult time, information technology and information resources have played an exceptionally important role in our life. The world is connected by information, and billions of people have been enjoying the convenience it brought. It is a “magic” created for this era by information experts and practitioners, to which all of you here have made important contributions. I am truly proud and grateful to be a part of this event together with you.”

Following Dr. Du, the president of iSchools, Dr. Gobinda Chowdhury, reviewed the accomplishments and challenges of iSchools. This group of iSchools has been developing fast over the past few years. There are 120 members in the group and more than 500 participants registered for this conference. However, all members of iSchools are facing similar challenges, i.e., to find more effective approaches to contributing to our societies and expanding the impacts of the information field.

After all the welcoming remarks, the first award of this conference, the Best Chinese Paper Award, was announced by Dr. Xiaobin Lu by our school. This paper was entitled “大数据治理规则构成要素框架构想” and authored by Drs. Jie Huang and Xiaomi An from our school. It was selected from all 44 Chinese-language papers submitted to the conference, based on anonymous peer reviews.

Dr. Cuijuan Xia, the leader of the digital humanities team in the Shanghai Library, gave the first keynote speech of this conference at the end of this ceremony. Her talk, entitled “Building a Data Infrastructure to Enrich the Multiple Sources of Evidence for Humanities Studies: From the Perspective of Cultural Memory,” discussed ways in which our cultural memories can be enriched by research based on the data-driven infrastructure.