Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New briefing...and hello from Stefan

February 2012 e-ScienceBriefing can be downloaded here.

February sees the launch of a special e-ScienceBriefing on networks and e-science connectivity. The vast quantities of data heralded by the looming data deluge are being dealt with through novel technologies and coordination of networks both within and across continents. But it’s a cat-and-mouse game: as new architectures and systems are built to withstand this flood of information, the need for scientists to tackle the big problems of the 21st century entails ever-larger and more data-intensive research. It’s a time of big challenges, and even bigger opportunities. Fundamental to helping us deal with some of these challenges are initiatives like the pan-European network GÉANT, daily shifting data by the petabyte to tackle everything from drug discovery to radio-astronomy, and the dawn of the Universe.

Despite all the big talk, some of the most profound benefits of e-science continue to take place on a more human scale. DECIDE, a neurological diagnostic tool that employs the high-speed research links of GÉANT to allow doctors to quickly compare brain scans is bringing better treatment to patients at a time when healthcare budgets are being squeezed. AfricaConnect, meanwhile, takes advantage of GÉANT to deliver international information networks to researchers in Sub-Saharan Africa, unlocking intellectual potential through videoconferencing and distance learning.

Science is a very human endeavour, at its most sublime when it interfaces with the social sciences and humanities, giving us information that truly enriches our understanding of our place as people. Projects like ASTRA (Ancient instrument Sound/Timbre Reconstruction Application) are making using of GÉANT to reconstruct sounds of instruments long gone through physical modeling of an instrument’s sound qualities – a boon for archaeological scientists and music-lovers alike.
It’s certainly an exciting time to be joining the eScience Talk team and wider grid community. I’d like to thank Zara Qadir for doing such a wonderful job on the latest briefing, which is being launched today at ISGC. By the way, you can read it here. If you'd like to subscribe, please click here. If you'd like to tell us how you think e-ScienceBriefings can be even better, please click here.

As for me, well…I’ve always had a passion for computers since being given a second-hand VIC-20 for my eighth birthday…and I’ve long had a passion for communicating science! My last real (research) taste of the grid was running some quantum chemistry packages on the nascent White Rose Grid (Leeds, Sheffield, York) back in 2003, and while doing a (nanofabrication/physical chemistry) PhD and working as a science communicator for the MRC, I’ve been trying to break back into the grid community. Now, that opportunity has presented itself. I’m glad to be on board!

1 comment:

Catherine Gater said...

Thanks Stefan! The new e-ScienceBriefing is available at the event from the EGI booth as well. Don't forget to let us know what you think...

Welcome to the team Stefan, pleased to have you on board!