Gavan McCarthy is a leader in the field of cultural informatics with emphasis on the building of sustainable information resources and services to support research. The Australian Science Archives Project, which commenced in 1985, pioneered the development of national information services and infrastructure to support the history of Australian science, technology, medicine and engineering through the utilisation of the emerging digital technologies. McCarthy is noted in Australia and overseas for his innovative and research-driven approach. His book, <i> Guide to the Archives of Science in Australia: Records of Individuals </i> (D.W. Thorpe, 1991), was generated from a relational database and the content re-purposed for online publication, first on the pre-web Internet, and then on the web as <a href="http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/" title="Bright Sparcs home page"><i>Bright Sparcs</i></a>. This data is still alive and actively maintained today and is regarded an exemplar of sustainable digital scholarly practice.
In 1995 his work was recognised internationally, and he has travelled overseas every year since to work with long-term collaborative partners such as Imperial College London and since 2002 with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is here that he has been working a new conceptual approach to the immensely problematic issue of the long-term management of information about radioactive waste – the worst-case conceivable for multi-generational management of knowledge necessary for the well-being of society and the environment. However, using this same epistemic approach to sustainable information infrastructure has led to many successful ARC projects either as a technical partner or more recently as a Chief Investigator. McCarthy was amongst the first humanities scholars to receive ARC funding to support information infrastructure development (1992-1994), an