FastLane: Managing Science in the Internet World

FastLane: Managing Science in the Internet World

by Thomas J. Misa, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Overview

FastLane: Managing Science in the Internet World by Thomas J. Misa, Jeffrey R. Yost

Since 2000, the National Science Foundation has depended upon its pioneering FastLane e-government system to manage grant applications, peer reviews, and reporting. In this behind-the-scenes account Thomas J. Misa and Jeffrey R. Yost examine how powerful forces of science and computing came together to create this influential grant-management system, assessing its impact on cutting-edge scientific research.

Why did the NSF create FastLane, and how did it anticipate the development of web-based e-commerce? What technical challenges did the glitch-prone early system present? Did the switch to electronic grant proposals disadvantage universities with fewer resources? And how did the scientific community help shape FastLane?

Foregrounding the experience of computer users, the book draws on hundreds of interviews with scientific researchers, sponsored project administrators, NSF staff, and software designers, developers, and managers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421418681
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2016
Series: Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Thomas J. Misa is the director of the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota, where he holds the Engineering Research Associates Land-Grant Chair in the history of technology. He is the author of Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present. Jeffrey R. Yost is the associate director of the Charles Babbage Institute and a faculty member in the history of science, technology, and medicine department at the University of Minnesota. He is the coauthor of Computer: A History of the Information Machine.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Managing Science 1

2 Origins of E-Government 17

3 Developing a New System 37

4 Principal Investigators as Lead Users 65

5 Research Administrators as Lead Users 96

6 NSF Staff as Legacy Users 118

7 Legacies, Lessons, and Prospects 141

Appendix A University Site Visits 163

Appendix B Interview Summary Statistics 165

Notes 169

Essay on Sources 195

Index 201

What People are Saying About This

Joseph A. November

This fundamentally important book for historians of science and technology uses the testimonies of scientists and computer experts to demystify the workings and construction of NSF's FastLane grant application system. Skillfully drawing from more than four hundred interviews and an impressive range of archival sources, Misa and Yost have masterfully crafted an accessible, engaging, and frank history.

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