UK to create oral history, archive of 200 British scientists.

This morning, the BBC reports the British Library will interview and record 200 scientists to form a permanent record of the way British science has been practiced.

“This is going to be enormously valuable to future historians because people no longer write letters or prepare archives,” said Sir Nicholas Goodison, chairman of National Life Stories, in an interview with the BBC. “E-mail is very difficult to archive and is mostly deleted by the people that write them.”

In fact, a study prompting this project found that at least nine British Nobel winners have died in the past 10 years “leaving little or no archive of their work”.

This archive will focus on four themes: inventions, climate change, biomedicine and cosmology, and an advisory board will help select the scientists to be interviewed. According to the BBC report, selected scientists and engineers will be interviewed about their “childhood, education, influences, relationships and frustrations to build up a picture of how science has been practiced”.

(Thanks to @mardixon for sharing this with us.)