Robert Spinrad, a Pioneer in Computing

Robert Spinrad on the Pacbell websiteThis obituary for Dr. Robert Spinrad in the New York Times sent by a friend (Thanks, Steve) triggered a pause when I got to this bit.

Robert Spinrad, a Pioneer in Computing, Dies at 77 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com (free registration required)

“He was really the father of modern laboratory automation,” said Joel Birnbaum, a physicist who designed computers at both I.B.M. and Hewlett-Packard. “He had a lot of great ideas about how you connected computers to instruments. He realized that it wasn’t enough to just build a loop between the computer and the apparatus, but that the most important piece of the apparatus was the scientist.”

This resonated so strongly with what I have been thinking about and in conversation with others about the role of social media in international development research that I just had to blog it. This guy was a technology steward in science!

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