eSI Public Lecture: "Adoption and Sustainability of e-Research Technologies: From prototype to commodity" by Alex Voss

In Association with eSI Thematic Programme:
Adoption of e-Research Technologies

25 October, 2006 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

e-Science Institute, 15 South College Street, Edinburgh

Organiser: Dr Anna Kenway
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Any slides or other material generated as a result of this event can be found at:

This lecture can be viewed by live webcast via this link (windows media format). The talk will start at 16:00.

Alexander Voss
National Centre for e-Social Science

The e-Science Institute is delighted to host a public lecture by Alexander Voss. The public lecture is open to all interested parties in academia and industry. There is no need to register for this event and those attending the lecture are invited to join us for wine and nibbles at 17:00.

Alexander Voss


The success of the UK e-Science programme has encouraged other disciplines – notably within the social sciences and the arts and humanities – to explore the benefits of e-Research approaches and technologies. The vision is that e-Infrastructure should be available to underpin all research activities, regardless of discipline, location, organisational context, etc. That is, e-Infrastructure should become the "seen but unnoticed" fabric that underpins research activities of any kind, be it high-energy physics in big multinational organisations like CERN or the study of environmental changes conducted in schools and at home.

However, before this vision of "democratic e-Research" can be realised, there are significant obstacles to be overcome. These relate to issues such as the commodification of Grid technologies, the shaping of national infrastructures and organisational context as well as developments within research traditions. The lecture will give an overview of e-Science applications in a range of disciplines before discussing issues encountered and possible ways to approach the task of resolving them. A number of small vignettes demonstrating good practice in the development and use of e-Research will be presented in order to inspire discussion about how experiences in one area can potentially be transferred to other areas.


Alex is at the National Centre for e-Social Science at Manchester University. His main research interests are the organisational use of ICTs and, in particular, how people meaningfully relate practices, technologies and organisational arrangements to each other as they grapple with the practicalities of their day-to-day work. He has studied this in a range of contexts from Diesel engine manufacture to cancer research. It is this experience that he brings to the study of usability and adoption of e-Research methods and tools. As a theme leader, he will be working towards an understanding of how we might best shape technologies to make the vision of ‘democratic e-Research’ a reality, how we can take technologies and research practices out of the traditional research labs and make them available to a broader audience, taking into account their varying needs and means.

Alex is the leader of the eSI Thematic Programme Adoption of e-Research Technologies. Full details of the theme are available at:

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