Oral history interview with Jacques-Emile Dubois

Oral history interview with Jacques-Emile Dubois

  • 2001-Jan-21

Jacques-Emile Dubois begins the interview with a discussion of his family and early education. He discusses his paternal grandfather's and father's roles in World War I and his family's influence, his father's in particular, on his education. Dubois then details his experiences during World War II. He describes how he studied chemistry and medicine during the German invasion of France and elucidates his active roles in the French Resistance and in post-War French politics.

Next, Dubois discusses how he came to be an essential figure in the creation of the University of Saarland. He details the reasons he accepted a professorship at the university and eventually the directorship of the Chemistry Institute. He also discusses his work at the University of Paris, which he did in parallel. Dubois then describes his work in the French Ministry of Education. He describes, in particular, the need for change in the French education system and his efforts to bring it about. He also talks about his role in the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique [CNRS] and France's underdevelopment of instrument technologies at that time.

Next, Dubois discusses his involvement in the creation of the chemical information system, DARC, and his important role in the Ministry of Defense. He describes how his fast kinetics research and his work at the defense ministry gave him an interest in computers and how that interest eventually led to his work in information systems. In addition, Dubois discusses his development of a topocoder instrument and his work on various information systems, including his cooperative efforts with the Chemical Abstracts Service [CAS]. He describes his work as head of IUPAC's [International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry] Committee on Machine Documentation, the creation of CEDOCAR [Centre de Documentation de l'armement], and his creation of the Bureau of Scientific Information [BIS]. In conclusion, Dubois discusses the successes and failures of various information systems in France.

Place of interview
Original file type MP3, PDF
  • 31 pages
Rights In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
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Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location


Cite as

Dubois, J. E. (Jaques-Emile), interviewed by Colin B. Burke in Paris, France on January 21, 2001. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0216. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/2r36tz425.

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Transcript (Published Version)

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

3 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads