Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Keeping Third World Scientists Connected Via Technology

Date:
January 27, 1999
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
Scientists from developing countries who return home after being trained in the United States often have trouble staying involved in cutting-edge research. Collaborative technology could help keep them in the loop, says Gary M. Olson, professor of information and interim dean of the University of Michigan's School of Information.

ANAHEIM, Calif.---Scientists from developing countries who return home after being trained in the United States often have trouble staying involved in cutting-edge research. Collaborative technology could help keep them in the loop, says Gary M. Olson, professor of information and interim dean of the University of Michigan's School of Information.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Olson discussed U-M "collaboratory" projects that allow scientists all over the world to work together as if they were in the same place. Olson spoke during a symposium titled "Science and the Internet: Globalization, Cooperation, and Development."

In one collaboratory project, Olson and other U-M researchers have developed and evaluated suites of computer-based tools that allow space weather researchers in different countries to share access to data, computer models and even scientific instruments scattered around the world. Although most of the scientists involved in the space weather project are from North America, Europe and Asia, experiences with this project suggest that the collaboratory approach could also attract researchers in more remote parts of the world. For example, in the space weather collaboratory, a core group of scientists works together during intensive observing "campaigns," but other scientists, as well as students, teachers and interested onlookers are welcome to log in to see what the researchers are up to. During one campaign, several curious Russians checked in from time to time.

"Scientists in Russia often experience a sense of isolation because they aren't able to travel to meetings, but this gave them a way to participate," said Olson.

Through the same project, faculty and students at small universities have gained access to expensive, distant instruments they normally wouldn't be able to use. They've also been able to interact with a wider range of scientists than they otherwise might encounter. Opportunities such as these could help keep Third World scientists connected and contributing to advances in their fields, said Olson.

One obvious obstacle is access to computers and Internet connections. Wireless technologies may help overcome that problem, said Olson. Other problems are more sociological than technological. In their work on collaboratories, the U-M researchers pay careful attention to how people use collaborative tools and how those tools change the nature and quality of their work. One lesson they have learned is that most people need to adopt collaborative tools gradually, mastering a few before adding others. By working closely with users, the U-M group has assembled suites of tools that fit not only the users' needs, but also their "collaborative technology readiness," Olson said.

A question that still needs to be investigated---and that could have implications for Third World scientists---is whether collaboratories will shatter or reinforce scientific hierarchies.

"If you allow the participation of new sets of people, how do the established ones accept them?" asked Olson. From what the U-M researchers have seen so far, the answer may depend on several factors, such as how competitive the field of research is, whether it has an established tradition of international collaboration, and whether the participants ever have a chance to meet face to face, which seems to be a key to developing trust.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "Keeping Third World Scientists Connected Via Technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990127080855.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (1999, January 27). Keeping Third World Scientists Connected Via Technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990127080855.htm
University Of Michigan. "Keeping Third World Scientists Connected Via Technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990127080855.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins