Important notice: Due to a computer crash in our host server, the archives with the list discussions prior to April 2014 can only be found at:

What is FIS? What is Information?

From its very beginnings in early 90’s, the FIS initiative (Foundations of Information Science) has been an attempt to rescue the information concept out from its classical controversies and use it as a central scientific tool, so as to serve as a basis for a new, fundamental disciplinary development –Information Science. Scholars and scientists from very different fields have converged onto this collective long-term project, that, after some difficult starts in 1992-1993, has matured in a series of successful conferences (Madrid 1994, Vienna 1996, Paris 2005, Beijing 2010, and Moscow 2013), several scholarly publications, and a vast accumulation of electronic exchanges in a high-quality discussion list during all these years. (See archives in the different sections of these Web pages.)

At FIS, rather than the discussion of a single particularized concept, information becomes the intellectual adventure of developing a ‘vertical’ or ‘transdisciplinary’ science connecting the different threads and scales of informational processes, which demands both a unifying and a multi-perspective approach. Above all, the solution of the numerous conundrums and conceptual puzzles around information becomes the patient task of a community of scholars, in which the ideas and speculations of each individual thinker can be shared and experienced upon by the other colleagues, so that a sort of ‘group mind’ develops (paraphrasing L. Hyde, 1979): one that is capable of cognitive tasks beyond the power of any single person.

In our times, information represents a crucial discussion theme in many arenas (from quantum processing, to biological organization, nervous systems, and social sustainability), thus the advancement of information science (or of “the science of information”) appears as a plural and open enterprise - whereby the intellectual capital amassed at FIS has to be shared and joined with other multidisciplinary efforts and organizational enterprises. These web pages, and the discussion list itself, will be kept permanently open, inviting to affiliation and participation of any like-minded individual thinker or institutional venture.

Pedro C. Marijuán

FIS Board Chair