After receiving his doctoral degree in computer science from the University of Oxford, Darch was most recently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, working on the Knowledge Infrastructures project. Darch conducted longitudinal case studies of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center studying interactions between microbial life and geochemical processes in the seafloor, and of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a large telescope project currently in development.
“Understanding how scientists work and how scientific data is collected, managed, and shared is critical to improving the systems and services that support scientific research and the applications of scientific results to the problems facing society. Peter brings extraordinary experiences and accomplishments with him to GSLIS and we are delighted that he is joining us to continue our long tradition of work in this area,” said GSLIS Dean and Professor Allen Renear.
At Illinois, Darch is looking forward to collaborating with GSLIS faculty as well as colleagues across campus including researchers at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. “There are many world-leading researchers on the faculty who study scientists, scientific workflows, and issues around the circulation of scientific data and knowledge with whom I am very eager to collaborate, in particular in the context of the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS),” said Darch. “I seek to challenge existing assumptions about the nature of contemporary scientific collaboration that are embedded in studies of scientific data practices in order to develop new models of scientific collaboration. Working with other faculty members at GSLIS and across campus, I will examine how these new models contribute to deeper and new understandings of the challenges of data curation, and the formulation and implementation of strategies and infrastructures to address these challenges.”
Darch is also eager to bring his expertise to the classroom. “I was also attracted by the reputation of GSLIS’s degree programs, and opportunities to contribute to these. I was especially impressed with the caliber of the students that I met and am looking forward to collaborating with them on future research projects,” said Darch.
His work has been published across a range of venues, including the International Journal on Digital Libraries and the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, and he has served as a reviewer for the journal Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and the Web Science conference.
Darch also holds degrees in the history and philosophy of science and medicine from Durham University and in mathematics from the University of Oxford.