Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Introduction to #EGICF13!

It doesn't always rain (CC-BY-SA David Dixon)
EGI’s 2013 Community Forum has now begun is earnest. The joy induced in the throng of attendees by the programme of exciting talks is perfectly piqued by an abundance of pies at lunch and fried bread at breakfast. #Properfood. Keeps everyone smiling. We are here, of course, in Manchester…capital (unofficially) of the north of England. As Steve Coogan says to Rob Brydon in Michael Winterbottom’s brilliant The Trip, “the North has an identity of itself. It could be a separate country.”

The industrial revolution, the first commuter railway in the world, the first programmable electronic computer, reinvention after reinvention from Northern Soul to Post-Punk to Acid House to Madchester to the Underground Disco revival (you heard me, Dalston). Famous football teams. Eccles cakes. It all happened here.
Manchester's 808 State were named after the TR-808
 drum machine, which only had one core. EGI now have
 hundreds of thousands that you can use!

Sorry, I got carried away then, especially when coming from someone who grew up on the other side of the Pennines. It’s been sunny here for Monday and Tuesday, which has made a world of difference, though I hope it rains just so first time visitors get a real flavour of the place. Anyway, before I write a blog post proper, I’d just like to introduce the team.

We have (and I’ll add to this over time if new people join):

David Wallom
Dr David Wallom is the Associate Director for Innovation of the Oxford e-Research Centre, where he leads three different activities, Energy and ICT, Cloud Computing and Volunteer Computing. He has led over 20 research projects in areas such as Cloud utilisation, Smart Energy Grids, Research data management, Green IT, ICT security and institutional repositories. He is a passionate member of the e-Science Community and likes to debate the best way to implement emerging technologies.

Catherine Gater
Catherine has a background in Materials Science and a keen interest in talking about scientific research rather than doing any herself. Catherine is now Chief Administrative Officer and Dissemination Manager for in the Netherlands and is project coordinator for the e-ScienceTalk project.

Simon Hettrick
Simon leads the Software Sustainability Institute's policy team and manages its communication strategy. He works with stakeholders from across the research community to develop policies that support research software, the people who develop that software and the researchers who rely on it. Before working at the Institute, Simon worked for OMII-UK and prior to that he worked in patent law.

Zara Qadir 
Zara has a background in Biological Sciences, and has worked within the fields of e-learning, pharmaceutical marketing and scientific programme and curriculum development. She is now a Dissemination Officer at e-ScienceTalk, and works part-time as a freelance science writer.

Beatrice Bressan
After a degree in Mathematical Physics and a Master's in Science Communication, Beatrice completed a PhD and postdoctoral fellowship in Knowledge Management and Technology Transfer at Helsinki University within the research programs at CERN. She has worked several years in these areas as a researcher, writer and head of communications.

Corentin Chevalier
Corentin is e-ScienceTalk's technical wizard. He's specialized in website conception, (particularly flash, animations and dynamic systems) and doing some grid computing webcasts. He also keeps close track of new technologies and concepts, of which grid computing is a biggie.

…And yours truly, Tony Wilson. I mean, Stefan Janusz
Stefan has always had a passion for communicating and writing about science. After an undergraduate degree and PhD that included research projects on computational chemistry and nanofabrication/biointerfaces, he worked for several years as a science communicator for the MRC. He is really excited about the power and potential of e-science technologies. He also likes old computers and cooking.

Keep watching for news on how the community reacts to all the hottest developments covered at EGICF13. New grid funding models, for instance: are they mad fer it, or have they got a right cob on? Certainly the status quo won’t do (mainly because they’re from London, not Mancunia).

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