‘Stupidity Verging On Madness’ | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 5 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: February 2, 2009

‘Stupidity Verging On Madness’

Department: Letters


■ Jan. 12, page 44: The photo was taken by Carway Communications.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE with William Boulanger’s concern about the growing dependence on books and journals online, but I could hardly believe it when I read in his letter that there has been a “wholesale destruction of entire collections of hardbound Chemical Abstracts” (C&EN, Dec. 1, 2008, page 7).

Relatively few people now make do without the convenience and accessibility of the World Wide Web, but I always thought that its sensitivity to virus and electromagnetic disruption would ensure that hard copy of absolutely vital information and data would always remain as backup. Very little compares in importance with scientific and technological information and data, and exposing it to risk of this magnitude is stupidity verging on madness—it is a time bomb threatening all of industrially developed society. If anyone wants to give away hardbound Chemical Abstracts, especially early sets, let me know.

Michael Parrish
Northumberland, England

Chemical & Engineering News
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