Directions in Laboratory Systems: One Person’s Perspective

Veteran laboratory automation/computing professional Joe Liscouski is at it again, this time releasing a perspective piece that takes elements from more than 15 years of writing and presentation, painting a nuanced approach to planning for the use of computer systems in the laboratory. In particular, this November 2021 work continues to expand on the importance of laboratory systems engineering in the laboratory of the future. After providing a full introduction, Liscouski examines both the past and present of laboratory computing and how the automation aspects of that computing affects laboratory personnel. He then goes on to espouse the benefits of a more industry-wide approach to addressing the technological and educational needs of laboratories of all types, particularly in regard to how standardization plays an important role. He then addresses laboratory work itself, how automation can move that work forward, and how to effectively apply that automation to the laboratory. Finally, Liscouski closes by emphasizing the importance of a “center for laboratory systems engineering” to help centralize the efforts mentioned in the guide. A sizeable appendix is included, providing more historical perspective to the work and its conclusions.

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