In a feature article in the September 2011 issue of the journal BioScience, freelance journalist Beth Baker chronicles recent efforts to digitize scientific collections in the United States. The article includes an interesting sidebar describing the recently announced National Science Foundation effort, Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections. The report concludes with a section describing how engineers are now collaborating with biologists to solve some long-standing technological challenges that have hindered efforts to cost-effectively digitize specimens.
The article is an excellent tool for educating policymakers about the importance of scientific collections, and how investments in this national resource help drive forward science, create new opportunities, and contribute to more efficient management of environmental issues and natural resources. On 28 September 2011, NSC Alliance director of public policy Dr. Robert Gropp sent a copy of the article to congressional committee staffers with an interest in science and natural resources policy.
To view the article, visit http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/bio.2011.61.9.4 (fee may apply).