Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 May 2012
This article argues that the technological structure of the modern world has reshaped drastically the role of political scientists as purveyors of information. Only a few decades ago, scholars were still central to the development, collection and dissemination of knowledge. But the transformation in the availability of data due to the proliferation of social media and research engines creates a new environment in which scholars can no longer claim to be the erudite carriers of hard-to-get facts. In order to play a constructive role in this quickly changing setting, political scientists need to invent a new identity for themselves as active practitioners engaged in a dynamic dialogue with students and policymakers.