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Oral history interview with Jacques Tocatlian, 2000 June 22.

Author: Jacques Tocatlian; W Boyd Rayward; Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Series: Chemical Heritage Foundation Oral history transcript, 0208.
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Summary:
Jacques Tocatlian has always had an international take on learning and acquiring information. He was born in Egypt, where he attended a French secondary school. From there, Tocatlian moved on to study industrial chemistry at an Egyptian university, where he took classes taught by English-speaking German professors. Tocatlian then earned an M.S. in textile technology from Milano Polytechnico in Italy, and an M.S. in  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Oral histories
Interviews
Biography
History
Nomenclature
Named Person: Jacques Tocatlian
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Jacques Tocatlian; W Boyd Rayward; Chemical Heritage Foundation.
OCLC Number: 715391534
Notes: Sponsored by the Eugene Garfield Foundation.
Interview conducted by W. Boyd Rayward at Paris, France.
Description: audio files ; digital, mp3 file. Transcript : (36 leaves) ; 29 cm.
Series Title: Chemical Heritage Foundation Oral history transcript, 0208.
Other Titles: Jacques Tocatlian oral history interview

Abstract:

Jacques Tocatlian has always had an international take on learning and acquiring information. He was born in Egypt, where he attended a French secondary school. From there, Tocatlian moved on to study industrial chemistry at an Egyptian university, where he took classes taught by English-speaking German professors. Tocatlian then earned an M.S. in textile technology from Milano Polytechnico in Italy, and an M.S. in organic chemistry from Utah State University. After a position as a literature chemist caught his eye at Monsanto Chemical Company, Tocatlian interviewed and was referred to the research department because of his outstanding qualifications. Still, research in the laboratory did not quell Tocatlian's attraction to research in the library. After work in the plastics division at Monsanto, Tocatlian accepted a position at the Food and Machinery Corporation in Princeton as a literature chemist, and worked on the first Selective Dissemination of Information [SDI] experiment. Tocatlian decided to pursue a master's in information and library science at Drexel Institute [now University], which was at the forefront of scientific information storage and retrieval in the 1960s. No sooner did Tocatlian learn of the United Nations Conference on World Science Information System [UNISIST] than he applied to one of its parenting organizations, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] where he worked from 1969 until retirement in 1991. Throughout the interview, Tocatlian discusses the international standardization issues of UNESCO and the organization of UNISIST. Woven into the history of the program is mention of the tension brought about by the Cold War. Tocatlian discusses influences of non-governmental and other information science organizations on UNISIST, as well as the impact of the failure of the Global Information Network, created by UNISIST 2 in 1972. He concludes the interview by reflecting on the conceptual shift of science from a "social good" to a commodity, observations of UNESCO, and his decision to leave the laboratory.

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