NBA History of Science Seminar – Niels Bohr Archive

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Niels Bohr Archive > Calendar > 1999-2011 > Christopher Prom

NBA History of Science Seminar

Christopher Prom, "Preserving the 'Papers' of 21st Century Science."

We cannot understand the full impact of scientific work without access to the correspondence, notes, and other materials that scientists generate on a daily basis. But how, in the digital era, can we best preserve the 'papers' generated by scientists? Such records are stored as mere electronic impulses, distributed across many locations, and written in formats that cannot be rendered without machines and software.

Christopher Prom, Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, Centre for Archive and Information Studies, University of Dundee

As a result, rich historical sources, such as correspondence in email format, are at risk. Recent events in East Anglia demonstrate that such records are susceptible to hacking and misrepresentation in the short term. In the long term, they may be even more susceptible to loss through corruption or neglect.

In a provocative and wide-ranging talk, Christopher Prom will review the current state of work in preserving digital records. He will provide some suggestions regarding methods and tools that archives, government, scientific or historic institutes, and other partners can use to help ensure that an adequate and usable record of 21st century scientific thought is accessible well into the future