The University of Southampton

Ending the Tyranny of the Grid

Published: 
26 June 2007
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Grid computing is promoted as the enabler for e-Science but may actually be missing the point. This is the argument that will be put forward by Professor David De Roure in his keynote address ‘e-Science is about Scientists too’ to be delivered tomorrow (Wednesday 27 June) at the eResearch Australasia conference in Brisbane.

‘Although it has the best intentions, the Grid is sometimes its own worst enemy’, said De Roure. ‘If we want to enable new science then we need to empower the scientist. Delivering a new infrastructure is only part of the solution.’

De Roure will argue that the grid community can learn from the evolution of the Web - and that e-Science developers should look to Web as well as Grid as their platform. ‘It remains a point of debate as to whether the functionality of the Grid can be delivered through the far simpler programming interfaces of the Web - I believe it can.’

De Roure, who pioneered the Semantic Grid initiative, is also organising the 2nd Grid and Web 2.0 workshop at the Open Grid Forum in Seattle (15-19 October 2007).

In the abstract of his paper to be given at Brisbane, De Roure writes: ‘eScience presents a vision of new scientific outcomes enabled by a new infrastructure. This cyberinfrastructure or eInfrastructure perspective brings with it a mindset of delivery of grid services to users. But is this approach fundamentally wrong? If we look at what researchers actually do, perhaps we will find that some new thinking is required. This talk promotes a people-centric perspective on eScience infrastructure and suggests that it is time to re-evaluate the Grid ambition.’

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