Ed­i­to­rial

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - CONTENTS - JANE WAR­WICK

You might have seen a post I put on our Face­book page last month re­gard­ing the con­ser­va­tion of plas­tics. While we are on a mis­sion to ban plas­tics, there are some who are on a mis­sion to save plas­tics as cus­to­di­ans world­wide bat­tle to save our his­tory. Plas­tics are prov­ing to be a big chal­lenge as the ma­te­rial be­gins to de­grade. One of the most fa­mous – an item that has his­toric value for the whole world – is Neil Arm­strong’s space­suit. Made of 21 lay­ers of var­i­ous plas­tics, the space­suit was taken off dis­play in 2006 to help slow degra­da­tion. Gal­leries of mod­ern art are also fac­ing the prob­lem. An­other part of our his­tory un­der threat is cor­re­spon­dence. If, for ex­am­ple, Ein­stein and Du Bois had writ­ten to each other via email, would we ever have been able to read the thought-pro­vok­ing let­ters be­tween the so­ci­ol­o­gist and the sci­en­tist? Elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tion is not saved and stored as let­ters once were. Not only that, but many elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions that have been stored, are not in for­mats that can still be read or on ma­chines that can read them, for most peo­ple any­way. There is so much to be gained with new tech­nolo­gies, but also there are great and hu­man parts of us that are in dan­ger of be­ing lost.

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