Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

OSTIblog Articles in the new media Topic

Recording Science: From Parchment to Pixels.

by Dr. Jeffrey Salmon 06 Aug, 2010 in Technology

One of the more fascinating pieces of work at a DOE National Laboratory was the examination of an ancient work by Archimedes on parchment that had been erased, written over, and so, mostly, lost to history. Lost, that is, until the SLAC synchrotron X-ray beam tore into the parchment and was able to let us see and read much of the original Archimedean text. Archimedes would have used a lab notebook, if he had had paper, or a computer and a thumb-drive to record his work if they had been available, but he did not live long enough to invent those things, which he probably could have if given the time. One hopes that before his study was erased, others were able to read it, profit from its insights, and use the knowledge as a springboard to another discovery. That’s one way we make progress.

We often hear that with declining costs in storage, increased bandwidth, and faster processing speeds, the power and potential of the electronic age to spread and communicate science are amazing things to ponder. I guess. But the work can still be lost, no matter how it is recorded. And some material, let’s face it, isn’t worth saving. Between this blog and Archimedes’ method of mechanical theorems, the work that SLAC was looking at, which would you save? What is needed now, as then, is someone to care about preserving the scientific findings that are worth preserving.

Related Topics: archimedes, multimedia, new media, slac

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Aspirations for Connecting Researchers in New Media

by Mike Jennings 07 Jul, 2009 in Personal Perspectives

For several years I've been responsible for organizing OSTI staff to capitalize the benefits of web and mobile web innovations.  An important endeavor of mine aspires to help OSTI become a leader in connecting scientists in the second generation of the WorldWideWeb - Web 2.0.

Related Topics: doe research, federated search, new media, web 2.0

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