2011-02-11Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/8686
Saving our contemporary scientific and technical heritage with a safeguarding methodology
Science and technology have never known such advances as in the last 60 years. Consequently, the ideas and objects from the people that have made the events and milestones of scientific evolution in their university research laboratories deserve to be carefully stored, despite the sheer mass, diversity and no doubt redundancy of information. One method of doing this consists of safeguarding information selectively and virtually in multimedia databases, which can be consulted via web sites devoted to our modern scientific and technological heritage. These multimedia items include descriptions and photos of instruments, patents, coursework notes, prototypes, but also videos of interviews with researchers, and explanatory animations, all of which can be used to create coursework in scientific culture for master degrees, to create exhibitions on start up companies from recent innovations, to reconstitute the history of a research laboratory, to make collections of objects performing a common function but that are geographically distant, to describe the career of an exceptional researcher, and so on. Work of this kind has been started locally, at the University of Nantes, for the last 10 years or so, and the methodologies developed have spread to several other regions in France, under the supervision of the Paris museum of scientific invention, the Musée des Arts et Métiers. This report aims to describe the different objectives, the methodologies used, the results obtained, the successes and challenges, the advantages and limitations, the outcomes and the international potential of such a project.
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