Informatics is the scientific study of information. This incredibly broad field is sometimes treated as the parent field for information technology and computer science, two fields which rely on informatics to organize, display, and transmit data in ways which are meaningful to users. There are a number of subfields within the discipline of informatics, such as bioinformatics, which involves the application of informatics to the field of biology, classically in the realm of health care.
Both natural and artificial systems which involve information can be examined within the framework of information, including the brain, computer systems, and paper filing methods. Informatics is concerned with how data is collected and stored, how it is organized, and how it is retrieved and transmitted. It can also include issues like data security, storage limitations, and so forth.
Universities and colleges all over the world offer informatics degrees, many with the option to focus on a particular subfield, such as the application of informatics to library science, or the use of informatics in managing supply chains for major companies. Bachelors as well as graduate degrees in informatics are available, allowing people to achieve varying levels of specialty. People in this field are interested in new and innovative ways to handle information, including information which has traditionally been handled in a very particular way, with the goal of increasing accessibility and efficiency.
In addition to looking at the pure mechanics of systems which store, manage, and transmit information, researchers are also interested in the cultural and social implications of information. The ability to store and organize information was a critical development in human evolution, as humans involved techniques ranging from cave paintings to books to describe and explore the world around them. Cultural traditions such as oral storytelling are also an interesting form of informatics, as are the development of tools to help people remember information, such as poems and mnemonics to help people memorize data.
Looking at the different ways in which people personally organize information can also be revealing. Variations in personal techniques for handling information can reveal fundamental differences in underlying brain architecture. Historically, people with brains which differ from the norm have sometimes been socially penalized for their different way of looking at the world, although some of these individuals were able to achieve unique intellectual accomplishments because their brains worked so differently from everyone else's. The natural variations in informatic systems can provide interesting clues and directions for exploration for people who study artificial systems.