My Personal views on Academic History and Research
- Author: Mike Parsons
- Catergory: General Views
- Date: 2015/05/22
After a career in the IT industry, I took redundancy/early retirement and started a full-time degree in my lifetime interest of Military History. I was surprised at the low level of understanding of how Information Technology can aid the understanding and exploration of the subject. The whole of the academic world seems stuck using 19th century information technology in a 21st century world. New ways to present and understand history through the use of modern technology is viewed with deep suspicion. The forefront of technology is considered the word-processor which is after all really just an upgrade of the 19th century typewriter.
The use of the Web for research is coincided very much a no-no. This is worrying as the Web was invented to aid the publishing of academic research papers. The first web servers where at CERN near Geneva. The World Wide Web has developed and blossomed since then, however within the world of the professional historian the democratization of information, such as wikipedia and its susceptibility to inaccurate postings, has branded the internet in particular and information technology in general as unreliable. The reason this site exists is to explore how IT can support an exploration of History with an academically acceptable level of rigour.
I attended to a Conference on the Battle of the Atlantic. It was held in Liverpool to coincide with the 70th anniversary celebrations. Hosted by my old professor Eric Grove it lasted two days with some 28 speakers most professional academic historians. One theme that arose several times was the persistence of various myths that are held by the public which are simply wrong or at best gross exaggerations, and this got me thinking about this blog.