Archive for March, 2009
An event entitled Options for a New Britain was held yesterday at Whitehall to mark the launch of the homonymous book that reviews key economic, social and constitutional policy options from the mid 1990s.
The event was featured as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences and attended by an audience which included academics, politicians, civil servants, consultants and members of civil society organisations. The panel of speakers included some of the editors of the book, who presented an overview of Labour’s performance since they were first elected, as well as setting out the major challenges and policy options that will face any incoming government, regardless of its political persuasion. The other speakers, who were politicians and commentators, responded to the remarks and shared their reflections on current policy options, before opening the discussion to the floor.
While many of the most salient and current policy areas appear to have a wider global dimension (climate change, energy security..), the open debate that followed focused on the global economic downturn. As the room for manoeuvre is reduced, the key difficulty will be moving from an awareness of the several options possible to a ranking of priorities. This activity, as one of the panelists remarked, will inevitably need to bring back Politics and values in the picture, and a lively discussion ensued on the extent to which policy can really be claimed to be evidence based today, despite acknowledging the importance of collecting evidence and producing insightful analysis of it. Elisa.
The isle of Sicily saw an influx of people with conference bags and geek t-shirts last week (as well as some suits) as the co-located EGEE User Forum and OGF25 kicked off in Catania. The delegates were in for a week packed full of sessions, side meetings and good food.
One of the main talking points of the conference was the European Grid Initiative (EGI) as the EGI process is starting to produce important decisions. After the publication of the EGI blueprint, the next milestone was the decision on where EGI.org, the coordinating office, would be located. And the winner is: Amsterdam. Hmm… that might make it easier to hire the 50 odd staff required.
While at the conference, I had ample time to take part in meetings with members of the EGEE and OGF communities. I spent some time with Andy Turner from Leeds and the people from the Grid Application Support Service at Westminster to work on porting the MoSeS Population Reconstruction code to the NGS and EGEE using the p-Grade portal. Also talked to Mike Jones about setting up an e-Social Science Virtual Organisation (VO) on the NGS. More news on this soon…
Last night I went to my first GeekUp event in Manchester. GeekUps are social events for web developers and techies to meet up and talk all things geeky. GeekUp holds regular events in cities across the NorthWest, including Preston, Leeds, Liverpool and Chester. In Manchester the events are held every second Tuesday of the month at Revolution in Deansgate.
As a learning technologist and web developer at NCeSS, I found this a great opportunity to talk about and learn about loads of new things. . I heard about lots of things I knew nothing about and people were friendly in explaining what they meant, as geeks usually are . I’m hoping that if I go to enough events I might turn into a geek, although some might say that I am already there last night confirmed I am not!
I would recommend going to this event if you work in web development, want to learn new things or share ideas in the field.
You can find out more about GeekUp and any events near you here: http://geekup.org/
From Stephen Downe’s always useful OLDailycomes this:
This is a very good slide presentation on how networks and sociology. According to David Armano, though technology doesn’t change human nature, it changes human behaviour, because it gives us the capacity to communicate effortlessly and instantly. This gives rise to networks, and networks have come increasingly take the place of institutions in the function of major roles in society
Well worth a look
The Microsociology of Networks
As we start the process of moving our website onto Drupal, an interesting article emerges on the problems facing Dreamweaver. (more…)
Four sources of information about Grid computing have been launched or updated over the past few months.
GridCafé claims to be the place for everybody to learn about Grid computing and it offers ‘Grid computing in 30 seconds’. Its ambition is ‘to provide a broad and balanced introduction to grid technology. The goal is to inform, rather than to proselytise, and so critical viewpoints are included alongside optimistic scenarios’. Find it at: http://www.gridcafe.org/index.html
GridBriefings are articles written in jargon-free language that summarise key issues about the Grid, aimed at non-technical academics, policymakers and the general public. For example, issue two has the title ‘Grid computing in five minutes’. The full list is accessed from: http://www.gridtalk.org/
GrideGuide opens with an interactive world map which provides the route to information about some of the institutions involved in Grid computing projects: http://www.gridguide.org/index.php
GridCast is where people at Grid events blog about their experiences. Access it via: http://www.gridtalk.org/
All four are part of an EU-funded project, GridTalk: http://www.gridtalk.org/