My “challenge”, for those sciencebloggers who choose to accept it, is this: read and research an old, classic scientific paper and write a blog post about it. I recommend choosing something pre- World War II, as that was the era of hand-crafted, “in your basement”-style science. There’s a lot to learn not only about the ingenuity of researchers in an era when materials were not readily available, but also about the problems and concerns of scientists of that era, often things we take for granted now!
Now, SitS specifies pre-WWII which probably won't work so well for disciplines like computer science so I'm sure people in new disciplines can just improvise with a foundational paper from a more recent time frame.
I'm hoping that some of the computer scientists out there can take this challenge and talk about some of the important papers from their fields. In particular, I can see this as being a useful classroom exercise as well.
In any case, to get the creative juices flowing, I'd like to point out that Wikipedia has a List of Important Publications in Computer Science page.
A couple that jump out at me that would be fun to see blogged:
- A mathematical theory of communication by Claude E. Shannon
- Go To Statement Considered Harmful by E.W. Dijkstra
- The UNIX Time-Sharing System by Dennis M. Ritchie and Ken Thompson
- A relational model for large shared data banks by E. F. Codd (not OA)
- Treatise on the Enigma by Alan Turing
- Computing machinery and intelligence by Alan Turing
- A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection by by Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn
- As We May Think by Vannevar Bush
- The FORTRAN Automatic Coding System by John Backus et al.
Update: In the comments, Bora points out that SitS has updated the challenge:
Now that I’ve actually written my “classic science” blog post, I realized I didn’t plan any way to compile all the entries in the end! If you accept the “challenge” (I keep putting the word in quotes because I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to be confrontational), and post an entry, send me an email! I’ve put together a permanent page to compile all the entries together in one easy to find spot.
(I think I didn’t plan ahead because I didn’t think anyone was actually reading my blog!) :)
One final note: Just to have an end date associated with the challenge, let’s mark the end of May as the official end date; I’ll do a summary post at the end about everyone’s entries.