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Science at Scale: Innovation, Value, and Governance in the Networked Ecological Sciences

18 Jan 2013

This talk examines the challenges, tensions, and opportunities that confront efforts to develop new computational infrastructure in existing (read: historically and socially embedded) fields of science. Reporting on several years of comparative ethnographic fieldwork around computational development, collaboration, and large-scale research networks in the US ecology and earth science communities (including the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network, the Ocean Observing Initiative (OOI), and the now-defunct WATERS Network) it examines the relationship between new forms of infrastructure and existing forms of practice, collaboration and value in the sciences. Theoretically, it advances a model of distributed governance that better accounts for the social and material embedding of scientific research, even in new computationally and network-intensive forms. It concludes with a series of policy recommendations intended to change how we think about, fund, and practice scientific collaboration in an increasingly networked world.


Dr Steven J. Jackson

Department of Information Science, Cornell University