It is with great sorrow that we close the door on this phase of the existence of Science Node.
At the same time, when we look back, we are amazed at the success we have had overall. We write to provide a brief perspective on this history and successes of Science Node.
What is now Science Node began as Science Grid This Week in April of 2005. It became international as international Science Grid This Week (iSGTW) in November 2006. In its early days, iSGTW was supported by grants and in-kind support in Europe from CERN and the European Commission. Additionally, we received help the Open Science Grid and FermiLab in the US.
At first, we focused heavily on grid computing. From 2012 through 2016 the US National Science Foundation supported Indiana University’s involvement in iSGTW (through award 1242759). In 2015, it seemed time to change our name to reflect a broader scope.
Thus, Science Node was born.
As Science Node, we were lucky enough to report on scientific breakthroughs and the cyberinfrastructure that enabled those discoveries
During our start in 2015, our total readership was about 15,000 people. As we close the doors for now, we have about 150,000 readers who regularly access Science Node material, and more than 200,000 unique people read one or more Science Node articles per year. We’ve written thousands of articles, and our total reads number in the hundreds of thousands.
Our audience never ceases to amaze us. Perhaps even more amazing is that between 2017-2021, Science Node was funded primarily through sponsorships from institutions of higher education and other not-for-profit institutions in the US and Europe. We are deeply grateful that these institutions found us worthy of their time and resources.
What made Science Node so special? Much of it was our staff. We would like to thank in particular the following people who have been involved in Science Node:
- Daphne Siefert – Communications officer at the IU Office of the VP for Information Technology. Daphne is THE critical person in the success of Science Node. Without her leadership, Science Node would never have existed.
- Lance Farrell
- Sarah Engel
- Alisa Alering
- Kevin Jackson
- Alicia Hosey
- Laura Reed
- August Reed
- David Orr
- Ivanna Park
- Alaa Fadag
- Greg Moore
- Tristan Fitzpatrick
- The members of our advisory committee
Of course, another of Science Node’s charms was our content. Science Node occupied a unique niche. We focused on readable stories about science, the scientists that make new discoveries, and the cyberinfrastructure that makes these discoveries possible.
One of the recurring features of which we are most proud is the “Women in HPC” series in which we interviewed dozens of female high-performance computing experts about their career paths.
If someone had told us in 2012 where Science Node would eventually end up, we wouldn’t have believed that much success was possible. Sadly, the difficulties of fundraising have seemed too great to be able to guarantee the essential commitments we make to our staff and our sponsors. So, we are attempting a graceful ending.
Indiana University has committed to maintaining the Science Node website until at least June 30, 2022. Leadership of this publication has already changed three times (Science Grid This Week, then iSGTW, then Science Node). If another organization would like to take on leadership of this fine publication, IU will happily provide mailing lists and transfer the relevant websites and social media accounts.
We dearly hope that some other institution will take up leadership of this fine publication.
In this moment, an old Arabic saying comes to mind. It roughly translates to “the good is in what happens.”
During the time that Science Node has been in operation, we have been able to inform hundreds of thousands of people about science and computing. As we all know, this a time when accurate information about the world around us has been a rare commodity. We are extraordinarily proud of what we accomplished here.
We informed thousands about science’s value and the importance of advanced computing. We hope that some of our readers were inspired. Much good happened.
So long, for now at least, and thanks for all the reads.