Aaron Addison | St. Louis Public Radio

Aaron Addison

Aaron Addison is the director of data services at Washington University.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The digital age has ushered in many advancements and fresh possibilities – and also new concerns. One of those has to do with the need to protect vital scientific and public data resources from disappearing or even being intentionally suppressed.

While many libraries in the U.S. have long served as repositories in an effort to back up and preserve government information, that work has new urgency under a presidential administration that has expunged certain information related to topics such as climate change.

“These things [removing data] have gone on for a long time,” Washington University’s Aaron Addison said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, offering the missing Cook County, Illinois, data from the 1960 U.S. Census as one example. “[But] here we have a case where it’s not happening in a vacuum – it’s in concert with all these other decisions that the administration is making. And so it adds, certainly, to the concern.”