Virtualization of Science and Scholarship
Historically, there has always been a virtuous cycle, with technology deriving from scientific insights, and in turn providing new tools for a scientific discovery. With the advent of the modern computational and information technology, this process has been greatly accelerated: the Web has transformed profoundly the way we do science and scholarship. The continuing exponential growth of data volumes and complexity has spurred the rise of virtual scientific organizations.
But cyberspace serves a larger role than just providing a set of research tools: it is increasingly becoming a complete environment within which much of the scholarly work and communication is done, results distributed, and knowledge preserved and used for practical and educational purposes. Our informational and cognitive universe has expanded into the cyberspace, and we increasingly work and communicate in it.
Today, this happens with the Web, but there is an emerging set of immersive and augmentative virtual reality technologies which may be as transformative and enabling as the Web was some 15 years ago, and which will shape profoundly the way science and scholarship (as well as most other aspects of a modern society) are done in the 21st century.
About the speaker
S. George Djorgovski is a Professor of Astronomy and a Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Computing Research at Caltech, and the Director of the Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics, the first professional scientific organization based entirely in virtual worlds.
After receiving his PhD from UC Berkeley, he was a Harvard Junior Fellow, before joining the Caltech faculty in 1987. He was a Presidential Young Investigator, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, among other honors and distinctions, and he is an author or coauthor of several hundred professional publications.
He was one of the founders of the Virtual Observatory concept, and was the Chairman of the US Nat'l Virtual Observatory Science Definition Team. His e- Scientific interests include definition and development of the universal methodology, tools and frameworks for data-intensive and computationally-enabled science, various aspects of data mining, and virtual scientific organizations.