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Christina's LIS Rant
Thursday, August 14, 2008
  What is e-science?
(this post was mostly written a while ago but is just being finished on 8/29/08)
There's an explosion of meetings and conferences and conference sessions on e-science, and in particular, how computer and information scientists and information professionals can/should/(do?) support e-science.

Ok, in that case, what is e-science? Carol H pointed out to me in e-mail that many of the current wave of librarian sessions seem to only be covering big science. Massive efforts using cloud computing to handle exabytes of data coming from telescopes and other big science instruments.

Also h/t Carol H, Carole Palmer quotes:
Data from Big Science is … easier to handle, understand and archive.
Small Science is horribly heterogeneous and far more vast. In time Small Science will generate 2-3 times more data than Big Science. (‘Lost in a Sea of Science Data’ S.Carlson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 23/06/2006.)
This is small-er science, but it's still data curation.

At the SLA session. librarians from the Biodiversity Heritage Library talked about their work. Other roles of librarians in e-science include as taxonomists, catalogers, and as digitization experts (maybe this is curation, too?)

I don't think that's all there is. I think that e-science is also leveraging the power of the web for collaboration and information sharing using both social software and more traditional databases.

So I'm asking and proposing that e-science is
What do you think? Is it just one of these or all or some subset?

Update: John weighed in. And there's a friendfeed string (with a couple of real scientists!).

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Comments:
My interest is also to garner some response from scientists of various sorts on what e-science encompasses.
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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