Brown Bag Lecture: Whither the History, Whither the Future of Chemical Information?

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Date: November 19, 2013
Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free
RSVP Online: No Registration Required

A talk by Leah McEwen

The wave of technological innovation coming out of World War II proved a turning point for the chemical enterprise, and the chemical literature has increased exponentially since. In response, the chemical information profession has focused heavily on the intersection of computers and telecommunications as aids to navigating the burgeoning literature. Two generations later, as political, economic, and scientific adjustments in communication, centers of research and education, and subdisciplines converge with technological innovation, scientific research is once again at a turning point. Conversion of information flow to the online environment and vastly increased capacity to analyze data is pushing data-driven systems approaches to research, and along with it a new crisis of information management and navigation. Characterizations of the current challenges parallel those wrestled with in former times of rapidly expanding computer capacity and end-user engagement. Based on research into historical documentation on chemical-structure standards and machine-readable representation, this talk will consider patterns of success and failure in the past as a guide to developing new best practices of chemical information management.

About Brown Bag Lectures

Brown Bag Lectures (BBLs) are a series of weekly informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of CHF staff and fellows and interested members of the public.

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