Watson Davis

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Davis (center) with two young scientists in 1924 Paul E. Teschan (1923- ), Watson Davis (1896-1967), and Marina Prajmovsky (1924-1974), 1942 (4405669463).jpg
Davis (center) with two young scientists in 1924

Watson Davis (18961967) was the founder of the American Documentation Institute (ADI), the forerunner of the Association for Information Science and Technology, and a pioneer in the field of Library and Information Science.

Association for Information Science and Technology ASIS&T is an international organization for information professionals leading the search for new and better theories, techniques, and technologies to improve access to information.

The Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) is a non-profit membership organization for information professionals that sponsors an annual conference as well as several serial publications, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JAsIST). The organization provides administration and communications support for its various divisions, known as special-interest groups or SIGs; provides administration for geographically defined chapters; connects job seekers with potential employers; and provides organizational support for continuing education programs for information professionals.


He was editor of Science News Letter, the publication of Science Service, an organization established by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Science, and the National Research Council in 1920. [1] His longstanding interest in attracting young people to science [2] was noted by, among others, President Lyndon B. Johnson; President Johnson said in 1966 that Watson had "awakened the minds and directed the energies of millions of young Americans toward the achievements in research and technology which are increasingly vital to human progress." [3] He founded, in his capacity as Director of Science Service, the Science Clubs of America, reaching at one point roughly a million school-age children across the United States; he also was one of the originators of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and the International Science Fair. [3]

<i>Science News</i> American magazine

Science News is an American bi-weekly magazine devoted to short articles about new scientific and technical developments, typically gleaned from recent scientific and technical journals. Science News has been published since 1922 by Society for Science & the Public, a non-profit organization founded by E. W. Scripps in 1920. American chemist Edwin Slosson served as the publication's first editor. From 1922 to 1966, it was called Science News Letter. The title was changed to Science News with the March 12, 1966 issue.

American Association for the Advancement of Science international non-profit organization promoting science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an American international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the betterment of all humanity. It is the world's largest general scientific society, with over 120,000 members, and is the publisher of the well-known scientific journal Science, which had a weekly circulation of 138,549 in 2008.

Lyndon B. Johnson 36th president of the United States

Lyndon Baines Johnson, often referred to as LBJ, was an American politician who served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969. Formerly the 37th vice president of the United States from 1961 to 1963, he assumed the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A Democrat from Texas, Johnson also served as a United States Representative and as the Majority Leader in the United States Senate. Johnson is one of only four people who have served in all four federal elected positions.

Nobel Laureate Glenn T. Seaborg, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, who eulogized Watson in 1967, [2] noted that "Watson Davis has done more for the popularization of science and the understanding of science by the general public than any other one individual." [3]

Nobel Prize Set of annual international awards, primarily 5 established in 1864 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.

Glenn T. Seaborg American scientist

Glenn Theodore Seaborg was an American chemist whose involvement in the synthesis, discovery and investigation of ten transuranium elements earned him a share of the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His work in this area also led to his development of the actinide concept and the arrangement of the actinide series in the periodic table of the elements.

United States Atomic Energy Commission Former agency of the United States federal government

The United States Atomic Energy Commission, commonly known as the AEC, was an agency of the United States government established after World War II by U.S. Congress to foster and control the peacetime development of atomic science and technology. President Harry S. Truman signed the McMahon/Atomic Energy Act on August 1, 1946, transferring the control of atomic energy from military to civilian hands, effective on January 1, 1947. This shift gave the members of the AEC complete control of the plants, laboratories, equipment, and personnel assembled during the war to produce the atomic bomb.

In August 1937, Watson chaired the American delegation to the World Congress of Universal Documentation, held in Paris, France. [4] At that event, Watson touted microfilm as a powerful means of information interchange: "[Microfilm] will supplement other forms of publication and make accessible material of all sorts that can not now be printed because of economic factors. It will make available out-of-print and rare books. It is adapted to the publication of photographs and other illustrations.... In this way the document is perpetually 'in print' but no extensive, space-consuming stocks need be stored, only the document itself and the microfilm negative from which positives are made for distribution.” [4] He also proposed at this conference that newspapers be archived on microfilm, as opposed to being stored as physical copies. [4]

The World Congress of Universal Documentation was held from 16 to 21 August 1937 in Paris, France. Delegates from 45 countries met to discuss means by which all of the world's information, in print, in manuscript, and in other forms, could be efficiently organized and made accessible.


George Washington University university in Washington, D.C.

The George Washington University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. It was chartered in 1821 by an act of the United States Congress.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a physical sciences laboratory, and a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. Its mission is to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness. NIST's activities are organized into laboratory programs that include nanoscale science and technology, engineering, information technology, neutron research, material measurement, and physical measurement.

Interlibrary loan is a service whereby a patron of one library can borrow books, DVDs, music, etc. and/or receive photocopies of documents that are owned by another library. The user makes a request with their home library; which, acting as an intermediary, identifies libraries with the desired item, places the request, receives the item, makes it available to the user, as well as arranges for its return. The lending library usually sets a due date and overdue fees of the material borrowed. Although books and journal articles are the most frequently requested items, some libraries will lend audio recordings, video recordings, maps, sheet music, and microforms of all kinds. In some cases, nominal fees accompany the interlibrary loan services.

The International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID) was an international organization that was created to promote universal access to all recorded knowledge. FID stands for the original French Fédération internationale de documentation.


Watson Davis was married to Helen Miles Davis. During their marriage, she edited the journal Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. [3] Watson Davis died in Washington, DC on June 27, 1967. [2]

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University of California, Davis public university located in Davis, California, United States

The University of California, Davis, is a public research university and land-grant university adjacent to Davis, California. It is part of the University of California (UC) system and has the third-largest enrollment in the UC System after UCLA and UC Berkeley. The institution was founded as a branch in 1909 and became its own separate entity in 1959. It has been labeled one of the "Public Ivies", a publicly funded university considered to provide a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.

Information science field primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information

Information science is a field primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, movement, dissemination, and protection of information. Practitioners within and outside the field study application and usage of knowledge in organizations along with the interaction between people, organizations, and any existing information systems with the aim of creating, replacing, improving, or understanding information systems. Historically, information science is associated with computer science, psychology, and technology. However, information science also incorporates aspects of diverse fields such as archival science, cognitive science, commerce, law, linguistics, museology, management, mathematics, philosophy, public policy, and social sciences.

ProQuest American information company

ProQuest LLC is an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based global information-content and technology company, founded in 1938 as University Microfilms by Eugene B. Power. ProQuest provides applications and products for libraries. Its resources and tools support research and learning, publishing and dissemination, and the acquisition, management and discovery of library collections.

Tennessee State University Public HBCU land-grant university located in Nashville, TN, USA

Tennessee State University is a public land-grant university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1912, it is the largest and only state-funded historically black university in Tennessee. It is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Tennessee State University is a comprehensive urban institution offering 38 bachelor’s degrees, 24 master's degrees, and seven doctoral degrees.

American Chemical Society American scientific society

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a scientific society based in the United States that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry. Founded in 1876 at New York University, the ACS currently has nearly 157,000 members at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related fields. It is the world's largest scientific society by membership. The ACS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., and it has a large concentration of staff in Columbus, Ohio.

Mellon Institute of Industrial Research

Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, founded in 1913 by Andrew W. Mellon and Richard B. Mellon, merged with the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1967 to form Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. While it ceased to exist as a distinct institution, the landmark building bearing its name remains located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Bellefield Avenue in Oakland, the city's university district. It is sited adjacent to The Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and the University of Pittsburgh's Bellefield Hall and is across Bellefield Avenue from two other local landmarks: the University of Pittsburgh's Heinz Memorial Chapel and the Cathedral of Learning.

<i>Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology</i> Peer-reviewed academic journal of information science

The Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) is a peer-reviewed academic journal of information science published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Association for Information Science and Technology. Occasional special issues appear with all article contents focused on a single topic area.

Edge-notched cards or edge-punched cards are an obsolete technology used to store a small amount of binary or logical data on paper index cards, encoded via the presence or absence of notches in the edges of the cards. The notches allowed efficient sorting and selecting of specific cards matching multiple desired criteria, from a larger number of cards in a paper-based database of information. In the mid-20th century they were also known by commercial names such as Cope-Chat cards, E-Z Sort cards, and McBee Keysort cards.

Society for Science & the Public (SSP), formerly known as Science Service, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of science, through its science education programs and publications, including the bi-weekly Science News magazine and the free-accessible online Science News for Students.

Robert Saxton Taylor (1918–2009) was an influential library scholar and information scientist who served as Dean of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies from 1972 to 1981. His research and publications focused attention on users of information systems and services.

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Robert Cedric Binkley (1897-1940) was an American historian. As chair of the Joint Committee on Materials for Research of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies in the 1930s he led several projects in the areas of publication using new near-print technologies, microphotography, copyright and archival management, many under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration. His theoretical writings on amateur scholarship and the ways non-experts could contribute to scholarship have been influential on recent thinking about digital humanities and web publishing.

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Lisa M. Given

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Pauline Atherton Cochrane is an American librarian and one of the most highly cited authors in the field of library and information sciences. She is considered a leading researcher in the campaign to redesign catalogues and indexes to provide improved online subject access in library and information services as well as "a leading teacher and theorist in cataloging, indexing, and information access."


  1. Buckland, Michael (January 1996). "Documentation, Information Science, and Library Science in the U.S.A.". Information Processing & Management. 32 (1): 63–76. doi:10.1016/0306-4573(95)00050-Q.
  2. 1 2 3 Wader, Rodney (1967). "Watson Davis". Chemical & Engineering News. 45 (29): 5. doi:10.1021/cen-v045n029.p005 . Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 "Deaths". Chemical & Engineering News. 45 (29): 74–75. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Unpublished Manuscript to Be Accessible to Scholars". The Science News-Letter. 32 (854): 124. 21 August 1937. doi:10.2307/3913966. JSTOR   3913966.
  5. 1 2 Fusonie, Alan E. (Spring 1988). "The History of the National Agricultural Library". Agricultural History. 62 (2): 189–207. JSTOR   3743293.
  6. "Watson Davis" . Retrieved 11 December 2012.