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Supporting the arts and humanities with e-science

Many thanks to Brian Westra for forwarding this readable op-ed.  Key points :

– All disciplines rely on core cyberinfrastructure
– Computational methods extend disciplines by fostering new subfields and interdisciplinary possibilities.
– Emerging research communities don’t need to develop new infrastructures. Plug into successful existing structures, get as much out of them as possible, and customize only if needed.


There’s a reason why certain tools become classics, almost indispensable for everyday life. Image courtesy Annette Gulick, stock.xchng

Supporting really useful general tools is often the best way to support specialists, says EGEE’s Danielle Venton.

The early days of the World Wide Web were primarily an exclusive, though not a closed, party. Its main attendees were elites in the physics and computer science communities.

Today, the bulk of the developed and developing world is involved. Every sector of society puts the Web to use: your local dance company, church and city council likely all have Web sites. Through these you can learn about and communicate with them in ways not possible before.

Similarly, managing data with e-Infrastructures (distributed computing systems and the like) was, like the Web, initially confined to specialized communities. Today, however, nearly all researchers, including those in the arts and humanities, can use distributed computing systems, and every year more do.

And, like the Web, it is making it possible for them to investigate their field in ways that were not conceived of, or not possible, before. MORE >>


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