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‘The Science Node’ explores how tech works and why it matters to science, research

New weekly online publication demystifies advanced computing while celebrating its real-world impact

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Today’s researchers rely on network backbone technology and large-scale computing support to fuel discovery and breakthroughs. These services can often be invisible, complex, and intimidating, but their value is indisputable.

A weekly online publication, the Science Node, strives to make advanced computing and networks understandable to the masses. The US desk editor is based at Indiana University while the European desk editor works out of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, in Switzerland.

With over 11,000 subscribers in 190 countries, the Science Node was previously known as International Science Grid This Week (iSGTW). The publication has been engaging with the public and supporting the research computing community for over a decade. Now, with iSGTW’s reporting extending well beyond grid computing, the editors decided it was time for a new tech-neutral name — and an updated look and feel.

"The Science Node’s new look and name comes at a time when the roles of high performance computing centers and networks are also changing and being viewed as integrated tools for discovery," said Lauren Rotman, chair of the Science Node’s advisory board and group lead of science engagement for ESnet, the US Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network. "But since these facilities are so well integrated, the contributions they make to research are sometimes not fully apparent, an issue that the Science Node is ideally positioned to address."

The publication will help readers explore concepts like the cloud and the Internet of Things, using plain language and focusing on real-world impact. With an audience ranging from scientists and technologists to business and community leaders, the Science Node makes a broad case about why support for scientific research is important — not just for areas like physics and medicine, but also for the arts and humanities.

Sporting a new name and look, the publication is further expanding its scope to reflect the evolution of tech in support of science and research. Beyond grids, the Science Node explores the full range of computing and networking resources that have emerged: big data, simulations, visualizations on the high end — but also devices that take advantage of ubiquitous tech like cell phones.

Content will draw out what's interesting and relevant about these resources, showing how they impact our everyday lives. The publication’s expanded online presence, including a website and social media, is rich in stories and visuals that make large-scale resources more relatable.

The Science Node is supported by both the National Science Foundation in the United States and CERN in Europe. In addition, iSGTW previously received support from the US Department of Energy and the European Commission. After several years of the publication’s editor-in-chief being based at CERN, Indiana University is now taking over hosting of this position.