NSF Workshop 2006

The purpose of this workshop series is to initiate a learning process across three distinct communities:

  1. Social scientists and historians studying the design, development, and cross-linking of existing infrastructures (including very recent ones)
  2. Practitioners in relevant infrastructural domains (e.g. transport, communication, etc.)
  3. Funders, NSF and broader science policy communities.

The chief goal of this project is to build analytic capacity while providing useful input to the cyberinfrastructure design process. The important audiences are NSF program officers charged with implementing cyberinfrastructure.

Subject: Invitation to June 26 workshop on infrastructure at NSF, 8:30-10 and 3-4:30

You are cordially invited to attend a workshop on "History and Theory of Infrastructure: Distilling Lessons for New Scientific Cyberinfrastructures," to be held in Room 920 at NSF on June 26th, 2006.

The organizing group has identified you as someone who will be specifically interested in this event. This scoping session is preparatory to a major workshop on this theme to be held in Ann Arbor Sept 28 - Oct. 1 (contingent on funding). An agenda is attached.

We are asking program officers to join us during two periods: 8-10 AM and 3-4:30 PM, to help us understand issues of concern to the NSF which our group may be able to address.

We hope you will be able to join us. Please RSVP with your availability.

Paul N. Edwards

Additional information:

Workshop organizers are Paul N. Edwards (School of Information, Univ. of Michigan), Geoffrey Bowker (Director, Science, Technology & Society Program, Univ. of Santa Clara), and Steven Jackson (School of Information, Univ. of Michigan). In addition, a core group of distinguished external participants will join us for the session. They are:

  • Fran Berman, Director, San Diego Supercomputer Center
  • Tineke Egyedi, Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) and President, European Academy for Standardization
  • Christopher Lee, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina
  • Jane Summerton, Dept. of Technology and Social Change, Linköping University (Sweden)
  • JoAnne Yates, Sloan School of Management, MIT
  • Johan Schot, History of Technology Dept., Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) and Director, Transnational Infrastructures of Europe (TIE) Project

The core group has been asked to read the following documents before this meeting. You are welcome (but of course not required) to do so as well.

a) Report of the National Science Foundation Blue-Ribbon Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure (aka the Atkins report, 2004) - download at http://www.nsf.gov/od/oci/reports/toc.jsp). For those of you unfamiliar with the recent push for cyberinfrastructure at the NSF, this is essential reading.

Other reports on this topic are available at the Office of Cyberinfrastructure website, http://www.nsf.gov/dir/index.jsp?org=OCI.

b) Paul N. Edwards, excerpts from draft of Chapter 1, The World in a Machine: Computer Models, Data Networks, and Global Atmospheric Politics (MIT Press, expected publication 2007). (pdf)

c) Erik van der Vleuten, "Infrastructures and Societal Change. A View from the Large Technical Systems Field" (2004). (pdf)