Day 2 | Technical Session 1 | January 28, 2021: 10:30 am to 1:00 pm

Theme: eScience - the fourth paradigm of research

Jim Gray coined the term ‘Fourth Paradigm’. Subsequently in his memory the book “The Fourth Paradigm: Data-intensive Scientific Discovery’—an anthology of essays edited by Tony Hey, Kristin Michele Tolle, and Stewart Tansley was published in 2009. This book outlined the first broad look at the way increasing use of data is engendering a paradigm shift to the nature of science leading to the fourth paradigm after the other three⎯empirical evidence, scientific theory, and computational science. eScience is a term created by John Taylor, Director-General of the United Kingdom’s Office of Science and Technology, to describe a large funding initiative that began in 2000. Since then the phrase fourth paradigm has become a catchall phrase to refer to the cross-disciplinary approach of data driven scientific research or eScience.

Science cannot afford to lag behind the real-time data world in its ability to infer meaning from data and take action based on that meaning, especially when it is possible to build systems that help turn individual data/observations/records into organized datasets that can be analyzed, modeled, and visualized. Our ability to study natural phenomena through the data science lenses and our ability to acquire, share, integrate, and analyze disparate types of data are believed to enhance scientific progress in many disciplines. However, realizing the full potential of data to accelerate science calls for significant advances in data and computational infrastructure to support collaborative data-intensive science by teams of researchers that transcend institutional and disciplinary boundaries. And cyberinfrastructure is expected to help achieve this goal.

John Taylor’s statement that  “eScience is about global collaboration in key areas of science and the next generation of infrastructure that will enable it.” captures the essence of eScience. the The two key components of eScience¾ Global scientific collaboration, and the cyberinfrastucture required to facilitate such a collaboration.Cyberinfrastructure⎯a term used by the National Science Foundation, US and other funders in the US, is a technological and sociological solution to the problem of efficiently connecting laboratories, data, computers, and people to enable derivation of novel scientific theories and knowledge.

This session aims to focus on the evolution, possibilities, and the challenges  of the fourth paradigm of research and how the advances in big data analytics could help meet those challenges.

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