Implementing an Electronic Notebook in Science

Mark Edwards


Professor John Ziman spent time considering science and its relationship with society, in terms of what it is, how it works, what it means, how reliable it might be, what should be taught, who should teach it and to whom (Ziman, 1968, 1991, 2002, 2008). I do not intend to further such an esteemed body of work, because, if I can paraphrase one of Zimans statements (Ziman, 1991), science is such a complex activity, so much part of our civilization, so rapidly changing in form and content that it cannot be presented in a few simple sentences. I want to take just one material and technological mode of science (another descriptive phrase of Zimans, see later) and discuss how important one tool is within this mode, as a foundation to high quality manufacturing in the global and highly competitive world of the pharmaceutical industry. The tool I wish to introduce and then elaborate on is the laboratory hard-backed, notebook and later, in its more modern form, the electronic laboratory notebook or ELNB.

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