Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 17:00

We all struggle with our memories. This is as true for society as a whole as it is for an individual. In some cases, the effort to preserve cultural history is also a race against time. We'll hear how a cave in Norway is helping keep our seed heritage on ice. And, can you speak Tofa? Magat Ke? As languages disappear faster than the rain forest, one group is working hard to keep native voices heard.

Meanwhile, how do we back up our written and pictorial heritage, most of which is on (ultimately perishable) paper? Not to mention the torrent of info in the form of Internet bits. That's the challenge at the Library of Congress, where a new digital initiative is trying to keep our intellectual inheritance intact. And IBM may soon help out in storing it all, as they develop magnetic beads that could increase the amount of memory on a chip by hundreds of times.


  • Cary Fowler - Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust
  • Stuart Parkin - Physicist at IBM's Almaden Research Center
  • David Harrison - Director of Research for the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages and author of When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge
  • William LeFurgy - Digital Initiative Project, Library of Congress