2017 is the seventh year of ICOHTEC’s Maurice Daumas (Article) Prize and the third year in which the Daumas Prize is dedicated to the group of young scholars. The committee awarded the prize this year to:
Gemma Cirac Claveras, Post-doctorat au Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés, France, for her paper: “Factories of Satellite Data Remote Sensing and Physical Earth Sciences in France”. In: ICON. Journal of the International Committee of the History of Technology, 21 (2015): 24–50 (get the full version of the winning paper!)
The convincing authors approach to describe the handling of satellite data as an industrial process was decisive for the committee.
We received 15 applications, 11 in English, 3 in French, and in 1 German from following countries:
The committee evaluated many strong papers covering the cultural history of technology, the history of science and construction history. Some articles link the history of technology to social history, to economic history, to history of medicine and to history of politics. Some of these papers are very interesting and received quite good evaluation results. Two articles deserve to be mentioned: Stève Bernardin, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires, Sociétés (LATTS, UMR 8134) and Adjunct Professor at the Université Paris-Est (Department of Social Sciences and School of Engineering) sent in: “Taking the Problem to the People”. Traffic Safety from Public Relations to Political Theory, 1937–1954. In: Technology and Culture, Special Issue: (Auto)Mobility, Accidents, and Danger, No. 56 (2015), pp. 420-439. Gerardo Con Diaz, Assistant Professor, Science and Technology Studies, University of California, Davis, submitted: The Text in the Machine: American Copyright Law and the many Natures of Software, 1974-1978. In: Technology and Culture, 57 (2016), pp. 753-779.
Gemma Cirac’s winning article is linked to her current research project Sentinels of planet Earth. On the production, diffusion and utilisation of Earth observation satellite data, knowledge and information at theLaboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés in Marne-la-Vallée, France. In her paper she analyses the organisation of storage, preparation and distribution of the enormous amount of data generated by satellites. Her example is the French program POLDER, which was set up in the 1980s and carried out in the 2000s. She argues that data processing in this quantity led to an industrial process: the data are no more generated by the users, but by special institutions which were completely independent from the later users. Large scale storing and preparing of these data for different purposes was done in another step by other institutions which had to build up facilities for these tasks.
Stefan Poser, Dr., Chair
10 October 2017