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I gave this talk at a conference for young scientists in New Zealand, "Running Hot": www.runninghot.org.nz. It was a great meeting. My slides are mostly images, so may not make too much sense.
Abstract follows: Impressed with the telephone, Arthur Mee predicted in 1898 that if videoconferencing could be developed, ‘earth will be in truth a paradise.’ Since his time, rapid technological change, in particular in telecommunications, has transformed the scientific playing field in ways that while not entirely paradisical, certainly have profound implications for New Zealand scientists. The Internet has abolished distance, as Mee also predicted–a New Zealand scientist can participate as fully in online discussions as anyone else, and their blog can be every bit as influential. Exponential improvements in networks, computing, sensors, and data storage are also profoundly transforming the practice of science in many disciplines. But those seeking to leverage these advances become painfully familiar with the ‘dirty underbelly’ of exponentials: if you don’t constantly innovate, you can fall behind exponentially fast. Such considerations pose big challenges for the individual scientist and for institutions, for researchers and educators, and for research funders. Some of the old ways of researching and educating need to be preserved, others need to be replaced to take advantage of new methods. But what should we preserve? What should we seek to change?