Thursday, July 30, 2009

2009-07-30: Position Paper Published in Educause Review

The July/August 2009 issue of Educause Review has a position paper of mine entitled "Data Driven Science: A New Paradigm?" This invited paper is essentially a cleaned-up version of my position paper at the 2007 NSF/JISC Workshop on Data-Driven Science and Scholarship held in Arizona, April 17-19 2007. Prior to the workshop, we were all assigned topics on which we were to write a short position paper. My topic was to address the question of is "data-driven science is becoming a new scientific paradigm – ranking with theory, experimentation, and computational science?"

You can judge my response by the original paper's more cheeky title of "I Don't Know and I Don't Care". My argument can be summed up as "we've always had data-driven science at whatever was the largest feasible scale; it just happens that the scale is now very large." Scale is important, in fact some days I might argue that scale is all there is. But partitioning into paradigms does not seem helpful -- every other dimension of our life is now at web-scale, so why not our science?

Thanks to Ron Larsen for co-hosting (with Bill Arms) the workshop in 2007 and for resurrecting the paper for Educause Review.

--Michael

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