David Arnold

Professor David Arnold#

Academia Europaea is saddened to annouce the passing away of Professor David Arnold, member of the Film, media and visual studies section of Academia Europaea.

In Memoriam#

David Arnold (1951–2016)

David Arnold was a distinguished scholar whose research interests spanned and integrated computer science, archaeology, anthropology and visual communications. Over 45 years, his unique abilities to cross established academic boundaries made him one of the key figures pioneering the field of Digital Cultural heritage in Europe. As a scientist and a leader, he practiced what many advocate but few act on. His ‘unity in diversity’ approach catalyzed innovative and productive research communities, and it fostered new generations of researchers through doctoral training grants such as the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Archaeology.

David Arnold’s own academic training embodied this philosophy. He was educated at the University of Cambridge and had an MS in engineering and computer science and a PhD in architecture. His university positions encompassed 24 years at the University of East Anglia and 14 years at the University of Brighton. At Brighton, he generated considerable research income as Head of the Cultural Informatics Research Group which supports regional, national and international research collaboration in digital heritage. With energy and generosity he took on project leadership, including coordination of the EPOCH Network of Excellence under the EU’s Framework 6 Programme (FP6), involving 95 partners. In addition, he held two positions as Dean of Faculty — of Management and Information Sciences and Information Systems - and he was the university’s Director of Research Initiatives and Dean of the Brighton Doctoral College. His curiosity of mind also led to the formation in 2008 of the Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, and he became its first editor-in-chief.

David Arnold was elected to Academia Europaea in 2015 as part of the initial group of scholars comprising the newly founded Section of Film, Media and Visual Studies.

Arnold’s pioneering scholarship and academic service had lasting influence in the European arena through his leadership and through his creation of innovative research communities now working on cultural heritage whose research landscape he was instrumental in transforming.

Kirsten Drotner
Chair of the Film, media and visual studies section

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