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Wednesday, January 27 • 22:30 - 23:00
Embrace extinction or die trying 

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Our raPID embrace of digital technology has created an incredibly fertile ground for innovations and transformations across the research world, from exascale data to the digital humanities. The novelty and potential of this new environment has prompted the creation of new kinds of entities, and many variations in the ways we identify them. This fertile, rapidly evolving context is analogous to the proliferation of new life during the Cambrian Explosion. 541 million years ago, the ancestors of most modern life forms sprang into being, evolving to occupy countless niches in the prehistoric ecosystem. The current PID landscape has many similar ‘niche dwellers’ - PIDs that have been developed to meet the needs of specific communities,disciplinary practices and leverage new technologies. As we hear more calls for simplification of the landscape, and consolidation around a few (or sometimes just one) PID system, why not embrace diversity instead? Consider: which of the Cambrian species could have predicted how evolution would progress? As practices evolve and consolidate, and technology shifts, some PID systems may well die out. That’s not necessarily a problem - as long as the information they hold can still be used by future generations.That said, having established the essential role of diversity we also investigate if it is also possible to sometimes have too much of a good thing… If you can only survive under very specific conditions and can’t interact with anything outside your niche, maybe you’ve stumbled into an evolutionary dead end?

We invite you to join us on a journey through the raPID evolution of PIDs, and ask why would we seek to narrow our field of innovation at this critical moment in PID evolution? Instead, we would argue that we should embrace diversity instead - while designing for extinction.

avatar for John Chodacki

John Chodacki

UC3 Director, California Digital Library- CDL
John Chodacki is Director of the University of California Curation Center (UC3) at California Digital Library (CDL)


Josh Brown

MoreBrains Cooperative
avatar for Adrian Burton

Adrian Burton

Director of Services, Policy, Collections, ARDC - Australian Research Data Commons
Adrian Burton is Director of Services, Policy, Collections with the Australian Research Data Commons, and has many years experience building and supporting national data policy, infrastructure, and services.
avatar for Natasha Simons

Natasha Simons

Associate Director, Data & Services, Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC)
Natasha Simons is Associate Director, Data & Services, with the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). Based in Brisbane, Australia, Natasha drives national-scale initiatives and projects that build world class data infrastructure for researchers and that contribute to the ARDC’s... Read More →

Wednesday January 27, 2021 22:30 - 23:00 UTC
Stage 2