Gernot Wersig

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Gernot Wersig (born December 20, 1942 - † July 4, 2006 in Berlin ) was a German information scientist . Along with Harald H. Zimmermann , Rainer Kuhlen and others, he is considered to be one of the founders of information science in Germany.


Gernot Wersig studied the subjects of journalism (at Emil Dovifat ), sociology and documentation science (in which honorary professor Hans-Werner Schober ) at the Free University of Berlin .

In 1965 he worked as a student assistant with the publication of the journalistic referate-dienst (prd) and graduated in 1967 with a Magister Artium (MA). From 1968 to 1977 he worked as a research assistant and later as an assistant professor at the Institute for Medical Statistics and Documentation at the Free University of Berlin with Günther Fuchs .

In 1971 he was promoted to Dr. phil. PhD in Information and Documentation Science - his dissertation Information, Communication and Documentation as Basic Concepts in Information and Documentation Science was the first in this subject; In 1972 he completed his habilitation in information and documentation science without a habilitation thesis : Wersig's around 50 publications and the performance of his dissertation were credited cumulatively.

1976 started under the leadership of Gernot Wersig the by BMFT funded externally funded project FIABID (integrated training concept for the activity in Library, Information and Documentation). In 1977 Wersig became professor for information science at the Free University of Berlin; this subject existed in Berlin under the name information and documentation science since 1969 (Professor Hans-Werner Schober).

In 1982, the focus of work was on the implementation of the third-party funded project INSTRAT (information systems as information-political design potential and social development strategy - information science foundations of organized information and communication as components of individual and social problem solving), in which Berlin information science experienced a number of sustained changes in content. Wersig criticized the BMFT as a “bankruptcy liquidator”, complained about the one-sided concentration on information technologies and certified the ministry “lacking competence, imagination [...] and courage”.

The further 1980s were characterized by a series of setbacks and persistent capacity bottlenecks in teaching: The structural plan of the Free University of Berlin provided for the subject to be equipped with two university professors and several academic staff; however, this commitment was not implemented. Wersig's ideas also met with only limited approval from the students; In the 1986/87 winter semester, for example, Wersig tried to introduce the aspect of information culture into the curriculum of information science in Berlin, but gave up again at the request of the students. Also with his economically liberal convictions - Wersig was a member of the FDP - he always offended; on the occasion of the debate about the information highway, he pointed out that although infrastructures can be publicly promoted for a while, the goal must be marketability.

During this time, Wersig's interest in museums and visual communication manifested itself in a series of projects such as the effectiveness of publicity measures for museums and cultural exhibitions (1985–1987), museum marketing in the USA (1988), museum marketing in Europe (1990–1987) 1991), digital pictures in museums (1995–1996).

From 1991 to 1995 he was Dean of the Faculty of Communication Science at the Free University of Berlin and from 1995 to 1997 he was Managing Director of the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the same university. Since 1995 he has been a professor in the information science department of the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the Free University of Berlin. The last years of the 20th century were marked by the discontinuation of information science at the Free University of Berlin; Students were admitted for the last time in the 1995/96 winter semester, and the basic studies ended in 1997. Wersig, however, continued his publication activities and introduced topics such as the systematics of information and communication technologies into journalism, but considered German information science to have failed (“failure”).

Around 1990 Wersig held lectureships for several years at the Technical University of Vienna and worked at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Information Technology Systems Research in Vienna .

Gernot Wersigs research and main interests were in the areas of information society and postmodernism , information theory , trend research , leisure research , cultural research , knowledge research and knowledge organization , design of software products and software marketing, theory of visual communication , application fields of multimedia and Internet , museum research and image research .

Gernot Wersig was married to Petra Schuck-Wersig since 1983 .


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