Our culture is dominated by digital documents in ways that are easy to overlook. These documents have changed our worldviews about science and have raised our expectations of them as tools for knowledge justification. This article explores the complexities surrounding the digital document by revisiting Michael Polanyi’s theory of tacit knowledge—the idea that “we can know more than we can tell.” The theory presents to us a dilemma: if we can know more than we can tell, then this means that the communication of science via the document as a primary form of telling will always be incomplete. This dilemma presents significant challenges to the open science movement.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Burns, C. Sean, "What Documents Cannot Do: Revisiting Michael Polanyi and the Tacit Knowledge Dilemma" (2021). Information Science Faculty Publications. 77.