6 Sep 2012 2:00pm - 5:30pm CRASSH


Joint workshop of the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network and the Digital History and Philosophy of Science Consortium.


The event is open to everyone and free to attend but registration is required. Please click on the links at the right hand side of the page to see the programme and to register online.


Online collaboration via websites and social media channels seems to put 'the power of the crowd' at the disposal of scientists and humanists alike. Projects such as OldWeather and Galaxy Zoo have mobilised tens of thousands of volunteers to contribute to scientific and historical scholarship, providing a compelling example of how digital tools can enable a new model of participatory research. By building a community of volunteers to transcribe more than a million pages of climate data from old Royal Navy log books, OldWeather has liberated historical data from the archives to enable scientists to gain a better understanding of climate change.

This workshop will investigate what researchers in the sciences and humanities can gain from working with online communities as part of their research, and critically reflect on the challenges and problems raised by mobilising 'the crowd'. Does the rise of 'citizen science' devalue expertise and undermine scholarship? What is the best way to attract, motivate and reward volunteers? How big does 'the crowd' need to be, and what happens if it starts to talk back?


Speakers include:

Philip Brohan – oldWeather project


Ben Outhwaite – Genizah Research Unit

Diane Rielinger and Matt Person – Biodiversity Heritage Library

Eleanor Robson – ORACC 

Grant Young – Cambridge Digital Library and Board of Longitude Project


Followed by a wine reception at the Whipple Museum, 6.00-7.30pm, with a “Digital Excursion” introducing the Casebooks Project, a fascinating and sometimes gruesome digital edition of early 17th century medical records (www.magicandmedicine.hps.cam.ac.uk/).

For more information, contact Alison Pearn (ab55@cam.ac.uk)



This is a joint session held as part of the 9th Workshop of the Digital and Computational HPS Consortium: How Digital Editions and Digital Data can Bridge the Gap Between the Production and Dissemination of Research in HPS and Beyond, CRASSH,  6-8 September 2012. For more information, or to register for  the Digital HPS workshop, see www.digitalhps.org, or contact Manfred Laubichler (Manfred.laubichler@asu.edu)




Other sessions will look at:

  • How to build a communal infrastructure and repositories for digital HPS projects
  • Big data and HPS: challenges and opportunities (including analytic and visualization tools)
  • Digital Editions as research and dissemination tools
  • Computational tools and ways of sharing/adapting tools

Participating projects:

Archives Henri Poincaré

Board of Longitude Project

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Cambridge Digital Library

Cambridge University Herbarium and Henslow Letters Project

Casebooks Project

Darwin Correspondence Project

Darwin Manuscripts Project

Edison Papers Project

Embryo Project

Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus (ORACC), Geography of Knowledge, and
Assyrian-Babylonian Scholarly Literacies

Isaac Newton Project

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

oldWeather Project
http://www.oldweather.org/ and https://www.zooniverse.org/



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Tel: +44 1223 766886
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