Red Squirrels, Big Data, and the Birth of Behavioral Ecology

Please note this seminar is on Thursday instead of Monday, which is a Bank Holiday, and will be held in the Lecture Theatre at the History Faculty, George Street

Red Squirrels in the Yukon harvest pinecones and stash them in large middens that they consume over several years. When one squirrels dies, another can inherit their stash. The same might be said of scientists and their archives of behavioral data built on decades of research, whether on squirrels such as these or various other species around the world. Even projects led by a single charismatic individual are sustained through intricate collaborative networks of students, postdocs, and collaborators. Negotiating these networks required establishing norms of data sharing between experts trained in different fields and at different stages of their careers. This talk explores social shifts within this community to computerized records in the 1980s and then the disparate reactions among scientists over calls for open-data sharing in the 1990s and 2000s.