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AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences
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AHM 2014: Governance and Cyberinfrastructure in the Earth System Sciences

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Paul Edwards, a keynote speaker at the EarthCube All-Hands Meeting, shares an interesting viewpoint, sharing what social scientists have learned about governance in cyberinfrastructure and how those …

Paul Edwards, a keynote speaker at the EarthCube All-Hands Meeting, shares an interesting viewpoint, sharing what social scientists have learned about governance in cyberinfrastructure and how those lessons may apply to EarthCube.

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  • 1. Governance and cyberinfrastructure in the Earth system sciences Paul N. Edwards School of Information and Dept. of History, University of Michigan
  • 2. EarthCube goal “…to design, build, and maintain an easy-to-use system based on existing resources that embraces open-source culture and methods to align technology development with scientific needs.” Richard et al. “Community‐developed Geoscience Cyberinfrastructure.” Eos 95, no. 20 (2014): 165-166
  • 3. Governance: formal vs. informal
  • 4. The Tower of Babel… Heritage of multiple disciplines, sensors, data analysis methods Cacophony of formats, metadata, software Earthcube survey of ~175 scientists (2011): need… Common data formats Better metadata and metadata standards Better ways to find data Coupled web-based services, such as visualization tools
  • 5. Cyberinfrastructure and climate change informatics (Rood & Edwards 2014) R. B. Rood & P. N. Edwards, “Climate Informatics: Human Experts and the End-to-End System,” Earthzine, May 2014
  • 6. The loading dock model of cyberinfrastructure Data Models Services Loading Dock Model
  • 7. Access is not the main problem Beyond the loading dock model Need for translational information for (many) particular users and uses Human communication — often informal — remains the most basic process for effective data sharing Metadata as product vs. metadata as process Always provide for communication with data creators
  • 8. This morning A little history of infrastructure … and of governance in meteorology What is governance? Governance and software in Earth system science
  • 9. This morning A little history of infrastructure … and of governance in meteorology What is governance? Governance and software in Earth system science
  • 10. Infrastructure: a historical model Paul N. Edwards System building: designed, coherent, centrally organized Proliferation of systems; variation Networks: dedicated gateways link heterogeneous systems Internetworks: generic gateways link heterogeneous networks Decentralization, fragmentation Abandonment, substitution time Edwards et al. 2007
  • 11. Dedicated or improvised gateways (Egyedi 2001) Paul N. Edwards Whose responsibility? Who sets standards? Who pays?
  • 12. Computer networks link computers Paul N. Edwards
  • 13. Generic gateways the ISO standard container Paul N. Edwards
  • 14. Internetworks link networks Paul N. Edwards Routers are gateways connect computers to each other (network) … and connect the local network to other networks “The” Internet connects millions of networks
  • 15. This morning A little history of infrastructure … and of governance in meteorology What is governance? Governance and software in Earth system science
  • 16. 1872 War Dept. synoptic map Paul N. Edwards
  • 17. The Victorian Internet (Standage 1998): British telegraph network, 1890 17
  • 18. 1870 1900 1930 1960 Surface station coverage: evolution Source: J. Hansen and S. Lebedeff, “Global Trends of Measured Surface Air Temperature,” Journal of Geophysical Research 92, no. D11 (1987), 13,346-13,347. Diameter of circles drawn around each station
  • 19. Stages in the history of weather forecasting 20 Systems: national weather services Set own standards Networks: national and international The Réseau Mondial Internetworks Integrating heterogeneous data sources Surface stations Air bases and airports Marine data Satellites Governance International Meteorological Organization (1873-1949) World Meteorological Organization (WMO, founded 1950) Set standards, assisted coordination — but lightweight relative to national services
  • 20. an internetwork World Weather Watch • Planned early 1960s • Operational 1968
  • 21. This morning A little history of infrastructure … and of governance in meteorology What is governance? Governance and software in Earth system science
  • 22. What is governance? Aligning an organization’s practices and procedures with its goals, purposes, and values Oversight, steering, and articulating organizational norms and processes vs. management: detailed planning, supervision of work, allocation of effort
  • 23. Modes of governance Hierarchy Network (of firms) Market or firm Bazaar Contractual framework Employment contract Neoclassical contract Property contract Open source license Incentives intensity Low Medium High Low Control intensity High Medium Low Low Social relations Strong ties Strong ties Anonymous Mostly anonymous or weak ties Membership Employees selected Members select each other Buyer selected by seller Open; many free riders Timeframe Long-term commitment Long-term commitment Transaction or contract Variable; no commitment Source: adapted from B. Demil and X. Lecocq, “Neither Market Nor Hierarchy Nor Network: The Emergence of Bazaar Governance,” Organization studies 27, no. 10 (2006): 1447-66
  • 24. Open source culture: bazaar governance E. Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” Linux is ‘a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches’ Characteristic: chaotic market, huge variations in quality “Low levels of control and weak incentives intensity are distinctive features of bazaar [governance], lending a high uncertainty to governed transactions.” Source: B. Demil and X. Lecocq, “Neither Market Nor Hierarchy Nor Network: The Emergence of Bazaar Governance,” Organization Studies 27, no. 10 (2006): 1447-1466.
  • 25. …but how does governance really work? Highly competent groups can get a lot done without much management from above — but there are limits to leaderless teams, especially when work is time-sensitive and requires coordinating complex, interdependent activity.
  • 26. This morning A little history of infrastructure … and of governance in meteorology What is governance? Governance and software in Earth system science
  • 27. Organizations in science… Organizations provide space, equipment, money, and support Stable, long-lasting (decades) Well-defined roles and routines Have boundaries, hierarchies, and entrenched cultures Research (NCAR, GFDL, universities) vs. operational (NOAA, NASA, DOE) National laboratories and military research Funding agencies (NSF, NIH) and foundations They strongly structure work incentives and disincentives
  • 28. … vs. projects ...but most scientific work takes place in projects, teams, and working groups Varying sizes Lifespans vary, but mostly short (1-5 years) Depend heavily on funding cycles Often cross organizational boundaries Many scientists are involved in several projects at once Overlapping membership Funding is an ongoing concern
  • 29. Governance: norms & rules (Elinor Ostrom) Constitutional rules Collective choice rules Operational norms and rules
  • 30. Operational norms and rules Expectations that govern everyday interaction among project members Largely informal and tacit (unarticulated) May be embedded in organizational routines or tools Usually surface only during crisis or conflict Difficult to change without a forcing factor Tools can embody operational norms — but usually can’t force changes
  • 31. Cyberinfrastructure pitfalls 35 Software makes it seem easy to build gateways between systems and networks… “You just…” … but social, institutional, and security gateways are even more important Multiple institutional cultures Complex projects with many working groups Multiple security and legal standards can block interchange
  • 32. Conclusions: some lessons from history 36 Centralized design and control is not the primary path to working infrastructure Instead, build gateways (couplers) Standards technologies, institutions Must be lightweight, readily understood, easily transferred across regions and cultures (including disciplinary cultures) International governance of data standardization and exchange in meteorology was achieved by the 1960s in the face of enormous technical obstacles (communication channels) and social obstacles (Cold War, decolonization)
  • 33. EarthCube goal “…to design, build, and maintain an easy-to-use system based on existing resources that embraces open-source culture and methods to align technology development with scientific needs.” Richard et al. “Community‐developed Geoscience Cyberinfrastructure.” Eos 95, no. 20 (2014): 165-166
  • 34. Conclusions: some lessons from history The tensions between hierarchy, network, and bazaar modes of governance will be difficult to resolve Cyberinfrastructure can help, but it can also hinder Social and organizational issues must be addressed along with technology The EarthCube experiment is enormously important, and worth doing!
  • 35. 25 July 2014Paul N. Edwards , University of Michigan School of Information Edwards et al., Knowledge Infrastructures: Intellectual Frameworks and Research Challenges (2013) knowledgeinfrastructures.or g

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