Science in the archives : pasts, presents, futures /

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Bibliographic Details
Imprint:Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2017.
Description:viii, 397 pages : illustrations, map ; 23 cm
Subject:Scientific archives.
Scientific archives -- History.
Science -- History.
Scientific archives.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Daston, Lorraine, 1951- editor.
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary:Archives bring to mind rooms filled with old papers and dusty artifacts. But for scientists, the detritus of the past can be a treasure trove of material vital to present and future research: fossils collected by geologists; data banks assembled by geneticists; case histories published in medical journals; weather diaries and data silos trawled by climate scientists; libraries visited by historians. These are the vital collections, assembled and maintained over millennia, which define the sciences of the archives. With 'Science in the Archives', Lorraine Daston offers the first study of the important role that these archives play in the natural and human sciences. Ranging across disciplines and centuries, contributors cover episodes in the history of astronomy, geology, genetics, philology, climatology, medicine, and more - as well as fundamental practices such as collecting, retrieval, and data mining. Chapters cover topics ranging from doxology in Greco-Roman antiquity to NSA surveillance techniques of the twenty-first century. Thoroughly exploring the practices, politics, economics, and potential of the sciences of the archives, this volume reveals the essential historical dimension of the sciences, while also adding a much-needed long term perspective to contemporary debates over the uses of Big Data in science.
Standard no.:40027000817
Table of Contents:
  • Introduction: Third nature / Lorraine Daston
  • I. Nature's own canon: archives of the historical sciences. Astronomy after the deluge / Florence Hsia ; The earth as archive: contingency, narrative, and the history of life / David Sepkoski ; Empiricism in the library: medicine's case histories / J. Andrew Mendelsohn
  • II. Spanning the centuries: archives from ancient to modern. Archiving scientific ideas in Greco-Roman antiquity / Liba Taub ; Ancient history in the age of archival research / Suzanne Marchand ; The immortal archive: nineteenth-century science imagines the future / Lorraine Daston
  • III. Problems and politics: controversies in the global archive. The "data deluge": turning private data into public archives / Bruno J. Strasser ; Evolutionary genetics and the politics of the human archive / Cathy Gere ; Montage and metamorphosis: climatological data archiving and the U.S. National Climate Program / Vladimir Janković
  • IV. The future of data: archives of the new millennium. Archives-of-self: the vicissitudes of time and self in a technologically determinist future / Rebecca Lemov ; An archive of words / Daniel Rosenberg ; Querying the archive: data mining from Apriori to PageRank / Matthew L. Jones
  • Epilogue: The time of the archive / Lorraine Daston.