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
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'?