The first part of the book 'Amplifying Collective Intelligence' looks at the benefits of online collaboration. Examples such as the Polymath project and the MathWorks competition show that considerable benefits can be gained when many minds can be harnessed to work on a problem. Nielsen hopes that tools to enable such collaboration will be introduced into many more areas of study. The second part of the book 'Networked Science' discusses how resources which used to be limited to a small group of people can now be accessed by all. Huge amounts of data are being made available for anyone to use. Websites such as Galaxy Zoo enable non-professionals to play a part in scientific projects. And the Open Access movement is calling for academic papers to be available for all to read rather than hidden behind paywalls.
Many choices need to be made over the next few years about the way academic institutions work - will they continue in the same old way, or will they undergo significant changes even at the cost of upsetting many people? I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to understand what possibilities are there and why we should embrace them.