Attitudes towards archived data have changed in other fields, too. Astronomers used to look down on colleagues who analysed old data, says Alyssa Goodman, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They were seen as “some sort of second-rate scientist who couldn't get telescope time”, says Goodman, who is also the founder of Astronomy Rewind, a citizen-science project to gather information from astronomy-journal images dating to the mid-1800s. “That is what has completely changed,” she says — astroinformatics, a field that involves analysing previously gathered data, has emerged in the astronomy community.
September 22, 2017