Science in the Archives: Pasts, Presents, Futures Paperback – April 4, 2017


by Lorraine Daston (Editor)

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; weather diaries trawled by climate scientists; libraries visited by historians. These are the vital collections, assembled and maintained over decades, centuries, and even millennia, which define the sciences of the archives.
With Science in the Archives, Lorraine Daston and her co-authors offer the first study of the important role that these archives play in the natural and human sciences. Reaching 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.

Quantified -Biosensing Technologies in Everyday Life

Dawn Nafusm- April 2016 

"People are attracted to the longitudinal dimensions of quantified self data because it allows individuals to see patterns and trends in behaviour that can be linked to other life factors or circumstances. The data allows individuals to accumulate and interpret intimately subjective experiences. The ‘most quantified man on earth’, Chris Dancy, is one of the first to commit to micro-analysis of himself through first connecting himself to over five sensors per day. He started this project during a period of where he felt life pressures were getting on top of him. Mr Dancy was just as interested to know about the quality of the air around him as he was in knowing how much liquid he could drink before sleeping without having to get up to use the facilities, with how self-tracking could help him with weight loss. Over time, Dancy has used up to 700 sensors, devices, applications, and services to track, analyse, and optimize his life, his website tells us: from his calorie intake to his spiritual well-being. The sensors in his house measure his REM sleep, pulse, skin temperature and are placed even in his bedroom and bathroom to find correlations across aspects of his life. Dancy documents every activity at work in his Google Calendar, recording tweets, taking screenshots of all online activity so that he has a timeline of his entire work life. Dancy indicates on his website that quantification has allowed him to see connections of ‘otherwise invisible data, resulting in dramatic upgrades to his health, productivity, and quality of life’. Dancy became quite politicised after his experiences with self-tracking and actually states ‘if you can measure it, someone will, and that somebody should be you’ (Finley, 2013)."


MIT Press 2016

Book review 2017

The digital in the era of the Internet of Things, the hypertext hyper-object

Marie-Julie CATOIR - 2015

"Hypertext and Hypermedia first connected by simple links to collaborative and social web via the
"participatory architectures," Internet and the web have evolved to achieve the semantic web and more recently web of objects. The evolution of the web information to the web objects generates more fields to be explored by the communication sciences. It renews the challenges of these new technological and digital upheaval, including passing through intensification towards a world "hyper". Users expect communicating objects they meet their most demanding needs, communication and information. This book brings together all communications from the thirteenth edition of the international conference H2PTM'15."

The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Technology AND The Human Touch

Bertalan Meskó - 2014
A few short years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that exoskeletons could enable paralyzed people to walk again; that billions of people would rely on social media for information; and that the supercomputer Watson would be a key player in medical decision-making. Perhaps more than in any other field, technology has transformed medicine and healthcare in ways that a mere decade ago would have sounded like pure science fiction.

Read more