While science advances technology, it is also true that technology advances science. Thus, the two bodies of knowledge are increasingly recognized as interdependent. Nonetheless, recent advances in information communication technology (ICT), in particular, may have profound implications for the norms by which science is conducted. For example, treatment of data will increasingly be in terms of probability distributions, rather than as point estimates, because the cost of computation is now so low that more robust approaches to treatment of uncertainty are within the grasp of normal science. Perhaps more importantly, the techniques by which scientists collaborate, communicate, and curate science are undergoing a rare period of rapid change. The papers in this special section exemplify the evolution of the relationship between technology and science in these two important ways: (1) treatment of data uncertainties and (2) participation in novel methods of publication and review. The latter was fostered by the 2016 meeting of the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technologies (ISSST), at which all of the papers in this special section were presented. This editorial summarizes some of the trends in ICT that are the subject of experimentation in ISSST and introduces the idea that scientific societies in the information age are more likely to take the form of a network than they are likely to look like the societies of the last several centuries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)