Plentiful Information, Accelerated: Human Minds & Technology in the 21st Century

Marshalltown Community College will host the third lecture of the Shear Colbert Symposium on Thursday, April 14.

The final speaker is Drake University STEM Librarian and Associate Professor of Librarianship Dan Chibnall. His lecture is entitled “Plentiful Information, Accelerated: Human Minds & Technology in the 21st Century.” The lecture is scheduled for 11 am to noon in Dejardin Hall on the Marshalltown Community College campus and also via Zoom.

Professor Chibnall is an academic librarian specializing in embedded librarianship, information literacy skills, science communication, and helping students become better researchers. He works closely with STEM faculty and students at Drake University while also teaching courses titled “Science Fiction, Science Fact,” “Communicating Science,” “Fake News, Filters, & Falsehoods,” and “Science & Democracy.”

Chibnall’s presentation will explore how a multitude of different information behaviors, cognitive processes, mobile technologies, and personal expectations of information retrieval have enlarged old social problems and created new ones. Humans have always created, sought out, analyzed, and applied information in the past, but our technology has now accelerated beyond our traditional behaviors, allowing us to have wholly new relationships with data, facts, and scientific realities. The solutions to dealing with these problems, both old and new, do exist but they must come from a variety of different disciplines and areas of life and will require all of us to become not just better consumers and creators of information, but also better sharers.

The lecture series was organized by the late MCC history professor Dr. Tom Colbert in 1984 as a memorial to his predecessor, Professor George A. Shear.

The lecture will be available via Zoom at or link through the MCC calendar. For more information about the Symposium, visit the Symposium website at or contact Professors P.J. Colbert or Sally Wilson at MCC at 641-752-7106.