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Science, Technology & Society pres.

STS Speaker. Change Over Time? Fracture and Reconciliation in Natural Science Infrastructure

Andrea Thomer, U-M School of Information

Scientists in the natural histories create the frameworks, calendars and infrastructures that allow us to understand and grapple with "deep time" -- but they do so within their own temporally complex scholarly settings: they draw on classification systems that are constantly facing revision and methodological revolution; database systems that simultaneously face forced obsolescence and true decay; and data collections in need of maintenance and migration. In this talk, I consider the rhythms of fracture and reconciliation in the data infrastructure in the natural sciences. This talk draws on Thomer's on-going work with the “Transforming Taxonomic Interfaces” and “Migrating Research Data Collections” projects.

Bio: Andrea Thomer is an assistant professor of information at the University of Michigan School of Information. She conducts research in the areas of data curation, museum informatics, earth science and biodiversity informatics, information organization, and computer supported cooperative work. She is especially interested in how people use and create data and metadata; the impact of information organization on information use; issues of data provenance, reproducibility, and integration; and long-term data curation and infrastructure sustainability. She is studying a number of these issues through the "Migrating Research Data Collections" project - a recently awarded Laura Bush 21st Century Librarianship Early Career Research Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Dr. Thomer received her doctorate in Library and Information Science from the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign in 2017.

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