Governing Collaborative Science: Cyberinfrastructure, Scale, and Collaboration in the Networked Ecological Sciences
Jackson, S.J., Barbrow, S., Steinhardt, S.B.
Long Term Ecology Research Network All Scientists Meeting | Estes Park, CO | September 10, 2012
Investments in advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) represent a large and growing percentage of the U.S. science budget. Underwriting such investments are a number of broadly transformational claims: that new computational resources and paradigms will enable new modes of data-driven discovery and innovation; that new capacities for data storage and exchange will render scientific stocks of knowledge more durable, open and accessible; that CI will extend and improve science teaching and training at all educational levels; that CI will lead to new and efficient modes of distributed collaborative working in the sciences, notably in the form of novel â€œvirtual organizationsâ€; and that CI will improve the efficacy and openness of the science-society interface, better connecting researchers to citizens and public decision-makers. For some, such changes contribute to an ongoing transition from postwar “big science” (still the dominant model in some domains), towards “networked science” in which sociotechnical issues of scale, integration, and governance are central. This poster describes the background, methods, and early findings of the Governing Collaborative Science project, an NSF CAREER-funded effort that since Fall 2009 has been exploring patterns of infrastructure development, adoption, and collaborative work in the fields of ecology, oceanography, and water science, including significant work with the LTER itself. The poster is meant as an introduction to the work (including a primer on the particular social science traditions it draws on), a description of the particular model of collaborative governance it develops, and a report on early findings, with special reference to the interests and activities of the LTER itself.