The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Jacques-Emile Dubois begins the interview with a discussion of his family and early education. He discusses his paternal grandfather's and father's roles in World War I and his family's influence, his father's in particular, on his education. Dubois then details his experiences during World War II. He describes how he studied chemistry and medicine during the German invasion of France and elucidates his active roles in the French Resistance and in post-War French politics. Next, Dubois discusses how he came to be an essential figure in the creation of the University of Saarland. He details the reasons he accepted a professorship at the university and eventually the directorship of the Chemistry Institute. He also discusses his work at the University of Paris, which he did in parallel. Dubois then describes his work in the French Ministry of Education. He describes, in particular, the need for change in the French education system and his efforts to bring it about. He also talks about his role in the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and France's underdevelopment of instrument technologies at that time. Next, Dubois discusses his involvement in the creation of the chemical information system, DARC, and his important role in the Ministry of Defense. He describes how his fast kinetics research and his work at the defense ministry gave him an interest in computers and how that interest eventually led to his work in information systems. In addition, Dubois discusses his development of a topocoder instrument and his work on various information systems, including his cooperative efforts with the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS). He describes his work as head of IUPAC's (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) Committee on Machine Documentation, the creation of CEDOCAR (Centre de Documentation de l'armement), and his creation of the Bureau of Scientific Information (BIS). In conclusion, Dubois discusses the successes and failures of various information systems in France. Oral history includes an introduction by Bernice Dubois.
|1943||École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille|
|1944||Bureau of Liberation Committee (Isère)|
|1947||University of Grenoble||PhD||Physical sciences|
|1949||University College London||Ramsay Fellowship|
|1956||Columbia University||Fulbright Smith-Mund Scholar|
University of the Saarland
University of Paris
Palais de la Decouverte
French Ministry of Education
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Société Chimique de France
French Ministry of Defense
International CODATA Committee on Electrochemistry, Thermodynamics, and Kinetics
Institut de Biologie physico-chimique
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
National Centre for Chemical Information (CNIC)
Association for Research and Development in Chemical Informatics (ARDIC)
French Physical Chemistry Society
Institut de Topologie et Dynamique des Systèmes
French National University Agency for Scientific and Technical Documentation and Information [AUDIST]
Cie. Generale d'Electricité
University of la-Vallée
Médaille de la Résistance, France
Ancel Prize, French Chemical Society
Stas Medal, Belgian Chemical Society
Prix Le Bel, French Chemical Society
Gold Medal, Society for the Encouragement of National Industry
Commander of the Senegal Order of Merit
Commander of the Order of Merit of the Ivory Coast
Jecker Prize and Berthelot Medal, Academy of Sciences
Commander des Palmes Académiques, France
Commander of the German Order of Merit
Grand Prix Technique for DARC System, City of Paris
Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Mérite, France
Bruylants Chair, Louvain University, Belgium
Grand Prix of Graphic Animation du Festival d'Angers, Angers, France
Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur, France
Dr. Honoris Causa, University of Regensburg, Germany
CAOC (Correlation Analysis in Organic Chemistry) Medal, Paris
Herman Skolnik Award for Chemical Information, American Chemical Society
Table of Contents
Description of father's World War I experiences. Influence of family on education. Effect of World War II on education. Working to earn PhD. As a member of the French Resistance. Work in post-War French politics. Doing research in London.
Being offered a professorship to the University of the Saarland by Pierre Donzelot. Thoughts on teaching in German territory after the War. Becoming director of the Chemistry Institute and dean of science faculty. Becoming scientific advisor to Minister of Education. Working to change the French education system.
Fast kinetics research. Working at the defense ministry. Early interest in computers. Studying hindered compounds and developing the chemistry information system DARC. Developing a topocoder and its limitations. Working with CAS and IUPAC on the Committee on Machine Documentation.
Creating the CEDOCAR. Working with the CODATA. Working with CAS to create applied databases in chemistry. Teaching the difference between information and informatics. Academic resistance to information scientists. The creation of AUDIST. As scientific director of the CGE.
Attempts to advance the French library system. Creating EURECAS and linking it to CAS. Sending images and information through CODATA to the CODATA Conference in Kyoto, Japan. The successes and failures of various information systems in France.
About the Interviewer
Colin B. Burke had recently retired from the history department at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County and held a research fellowship at Yale University when he came to CHF. He spent his residency working on his book on the history of computer-based scientific information systems and related government policies, from the 1950s through the early 1990s. He received his PhD from Washington University in St. Louis and currently serves as associate professor emeritus at the University of Maryland. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar in Poland and as a scholar-in-residence at the National Security Agency.