The purpose of history is to provide a mildly depressing, reality-based narrative that helps guide future decisions.
I’m reading G. Edward White’s The American Judicial Tradition: Profiles of Leading American Judges as part of my general background reading on American legal history. Lawrence Friedman may argue that “[t]here really isn’t a canon for legal history,” but I think White’s book at least comes close.
I had always hoped that PACER–which I hear runs a surplus anyway–would trend downward in price as the cost of delivering electronic access decreases. Instead comes the news that the price will rise by 25%, from 8 to 10 cents per page.
For the last week I’ve been a part of the Vienna Institute Summer University (VISU) at the University of Vienna, at a two-week conference on “The Nature of Scientific Evidence.” The program brings together graduate students from a variety of disciplines from around the world to discuss science-related topics.
Madey v. Duke exposed one conflict when industry and universities work in overlapping areas. The 2002 federal court decision highlighted a problem at the intersection of university and industry goals.
According to Dr. Domonic Montisano of the UCSD’s technology transfer office, their goal is to get university research out to the public through the avenue of commercialization.
As someone who does not blog to earn money (I like to pay my hosting fees, but that’s only because I’m a poor grad student), I thought I’d run through how and why I blog, and why I find it a critical part of my “real” work of academic research and writing.
Recently, I’ve been struck by the sense that what seems to drive history as a profession is not specifically the investigation of new archives, new materials, new places, or new times, but rather simply the larger desire to always pursue what is new qua new.
“Lived history,” writes Bender, “is embedded in a plenitude of narratives. … [O]ver time, different themes or concepts, different narratives, will be deemed significant and emphasized” (page 1). The “plenitude of narratives” is formed by the stories historians tell about the past, by people at the time speaking and living their own experiences, by groups (ethnicities, races, classes, nations, cities) sharing common understandings, and is thus never simple nor unitary.
My goal here is to compare and contrast the legal changes that occurred as new technologies–state-run postal services, the telegraph, the telephone, and email, for example–emerged, and through this to seek insight into these larger questions.
Archives, the collection of files and materials (electronic or physical) stored and maintained for future reference, have an intimate connection with state power–after all, those who are in power fund and create them, leading archives to reflect the ideas, beliefs and sometimes contradictions of those who control them.
A consortium of research institutions is lobbying to extend the NIH open-access policy to other federally funded research.