The New e-Science


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Provocation talk given by David De Roure at the e-Science Institute, Edinburgh, 19 November 2007 as part of the ESI Strategic Advisory Board Workshop or "e-Science Think Tank"

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The New e-Science

  1. 2. <ul><li>Between 19 th October and 23 rd November 2007 I attended six international meetings related to e-Science </li></ul><ul><li>Grid 2007 Scientific and Scholarly Workflows e-Social Science 2007 W3C </li></ul><ul><li>Open Grid Forum Microsoft e-Science </li></ul><ul><li>This is what I found </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Not just a specialist few doing heroic science with heroic infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is mashing up </li></ul><ul><li>Chemists are blogging the lab </li></ul><ul><li>People are buying multicore machines and mobile devices </li></ul><ul><li>The cloud and the “long tail” </li></ul>Everyday researchers doing everyday research 1
  3. 4. <ul><li>Data is large, rich, complex and real-time </li></ul><ul><li>There is new value in data, through new digital artefacts and through metadata e.g. context, provenance, workflows </li></ul><ul><li>This isn’t anti-computation – just design around data </li></ul>A data-centric perspective, like researchers 2
  4. 5. <ul><li>The social process of science revisited in the digital age </li></ul><ul><li>“ Users add value” is the very nature of research </li></ul><ul><li>e-Science now focuses on publishing as well as consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly lifecycle perspective </li></ul>Collaborative and participatory 3
  5. 6. <ul><li>This is new and powerful! </li></ul><ul><li>Community intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Review </li></ul><ul><li>Usage informing recommendation </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. OpenWetWare </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. myExperiment </li></ul>Benefitting from the scale of digital science activity to support science 4
  6. 7. <ul><li> terms of scholarly outputs and their reuse </li></ul><ul><li>Preprints servers and institutional repositories </li></ul><ul><li>Open journals </li></ul><ul><li>Open access to data </li></ul><ul><li>Science Commons </li></ul><ul><li>Object Reuse & Exchange </li></ul>Increasingly open 5
  7. 8. <ul><li>The technologies people are using are not perfect </li></ul><ul><li>They are better </li></ul><ul><li>They are easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>They are chosen by scientists </li></ul>Better not Perfect 6
  8. 9. <ul><li>The success stories come from the researchers who have learned to use ICT </li></ul><ul><li>Domain ICT experts are delivering the solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Anything that takes away autonomy will be resisted </li></ul>Empowering researchers 7
  9. 10. <ul><li>e-Science is about the intersection of the digital and physical worlds </li></ul><ul><li>Sensor networks </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile handheld devices </li></ul>About pervasive computing 8
  10. 11. <ul><li>Everyday researchers doing everyday research </li></ul><ul><li>A data-centric perspective, like researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative and participatory </li></ul><ul><li>Benefitting from the scale of digital science activity to support science </li></ul><ul><li>Increasingly open </li></ul><ul><li>Better not Perfect </li></ul><ul><li>Empowering researchers </li></ul><ul><li>About pervasive computing </li></ul>Signs of the Times
  11. 12. <ul><li>e-Science is now enabling researchers to do some completely new stuff! </li></ul><ul><li>As the individual pieces become easy to use, researchers can bring them together in new ways and ask new questions </li></ul><ul><li>“ The next level” </li></ul>Onward and Upward
  12. 13. <ul><li>Everyday researchers doing everyday research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT heroic infrastructure not being adopted </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A data-centric perspective, like researchers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT Grid gives APIs to computation not data </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaborative and participatory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT deeply rooted service provider mindset </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Better not Perfect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT aims to provide well-engineered perfect solution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Giving autonomy to researchers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT imposes institutional control (at this time) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>About pervasive computing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT about portals and not the next generation of users </li></ul></ul>The Grid Problem
  13. 14. e-Science Pipeline e-Science Technology Creators & Integrators Applications Research EE Research Socio-economic & Commercial Innovation e-Science bespoke tailoring Mass Use by Researchers 5 years 5 years 5 years CS Research e-Science 10s of integrators 100s of embedded consultants 1000s of research users The Arrow Problem Malcolm Atkinson
  14. 15. Web Services RESTful APIs cmd lines ssh http Web Browser Mobile phone iPod Car Equipment PDA P2P mashups workflows services applications Subject ICT experts Computer Scientists Software Companies Workflow tools Ruby on Rails ecosystem Scientists open source Software Engineers nesc
  15. 16. <ul><li>It’s about empowerment as well as provision </li></ul><ul><li>People power </li></ul><ul><li>Hence usability: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple interfaces for users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple interfaces for developers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No need for a summer school! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step into user space and look back </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Scientists as facilitators and problem solvers(?) </li></ul>For a flourishing ecosystem...
  16. 17. Tony Hey Others are saying this too...
  17. 18. Carole Goble
  18. 19. Geoffrey Fox
  19. 20. <ul><li>Contact </li></ul><ul><li>David De Roure </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks to </li></ul><ul><li>Malcolm Atkinson </li></ul><ul><li>Geoffrey Fox </li></ul><ul><li>Carole Goble </li></ul><ul><li>Tony Hey </li></ul>