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Happy Birthday, Science Node

September 16 marks our second year as the premier place to find stories about how advanced computation aids the scientific project and how it touches your life.

March for Science, Barcelona, Frankfurt, solar eclipse —  what a second year it has been!

March for Science

Without a doubt, the March for Science was the biggest story of the year. Over one million people from more than 600 cities around the world took to the streets to counter the trending hostility toward science.

Spurred on by assaults from the incoming Trump administration (as seen in purging mention of climate change from government websitesgagging scientists, and the appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA), science lovers took a stand for the importance of rational public policies.<strong>Family tradition. </strong> Alarmed by the assault on science, mother and daughter took to the streets of Washington DC at the March for Science. Courtesy Rachel Klein.

Science Node heard from participants the world over: Boston, Philadelphia, Halifax, Charleston, Toronto, France (Bordeaux and Marseilles), Milwaukee, San Antonio, Hamburg, Norway, Italy (Rome, Milan, Caserta), Hawaii, Korea, Memphis, Puerto Rico, and Minnesota.

We traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Internet2 Global Summit, and met up with 100,000 of our closest friends on a drizzly day. On hand were children, families, professors, scientists, musicians, politicians, pets, and all manner of wet walkers.

Gretchen Goldman of the Union of Concerned Scientists kindly hosted us for the morning, speaking us to live on Facebook about the historic event. Mother and daughter duo Sally Moody and Rachel Klein (and dad too!) shared their tale of why science is so important to their family.

See our recaps of the event here and here.


It wasn't long before we left the worries of Washington behind. In May we bounced across the big pond to behold the sun-drenched beauty of Barcelona.

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) sponsored our visit to the home of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and treated us to a nice chat with Josep Maria Martorell, BSC associate director.

<strong>Vlasiator.</strong> Named after the Russian physicist Anatoly Vlasov, the Vlasiator offers six-dimensional massive scale simulations of the earth's magnetosphere. Courtesy Minna Palmroth.

Minna Palmroth introduced us to the Vlasiator code, the largest simulation of near-earth space weather.

Toni Collis of Women in High Performance Computing explained her efforts to rebalance the HPC workforce. Sinead Ryan told us what it’s like to be a particle physicist in Ireland, and Lee Margetts showed how PRACE connects great ideas in academia to profitable applications in the business sector.

Lots of great people, good food, amazing architecture, and terrific weather. Can’t wait to get back to Barcelona.


Not to be outdone, the ISC High Performance 2017 event was a smash in Frankfurt, Germany.

Damian Borth and Janis Keuper threw us in the deep end, and Peter Bauer pulled us out of the wet.

Umesh Upadhyaya of the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) speaks at ISC2017 about high-performance computing in Nepal.

(See how Borth’s deep learning research saves lives.)

Thomas Sterling, director of the Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies (CREST) at Indiana University was one of the keynote speakers at the European HPC highlight, and kindly sat with us for a not-to-miss three-part interview series.

It was in Germany that we met Umesh Upadhyaya, who told us about HPC in Nepal. Rugged and remote terrain pose a challenge to establishing advanced computing there, yet in the wake of the 2015 earthquake, the need has never been greater.

Star struck

It would take quite a feat to (ahem) eclipse those highlights. But as it turns out, there was such an event. A mad dash to Kentucky resulted in some spectacular shots of everybody’s favorite star.

We learned about the history of human eclipse experience and followed along with 2,500 miles of citizen scientists.

Did you miss the once-in-a-lifetime celestial event? No worries: You’ll have a twice-in-a-lifetime chance in 2024.


Long time readers may recall Science Node used to be known as International Science Grid this Week (iSGTW). In 2015, we switched to our new name.

This year saw another change when we stepped out from under the National Science Foundation's (NSF) wings and welcomed our new network of sponsors. Thanks to their support we’re able to continue bringing you the stories about science made possible by advanced and distributed computation.

(To learn more or join or team of sponsors, visit our sponsorship page.)

And you, dear reader, are the real reason we’re here. Your unflagging participation here on our website, in our bi-weekly newsletters, and through all our social media channels, motivates us to keep on keepin’ on.

You’ve tripled our newsletter subscriptions over these last two years. You’ve more than doubled our social media community. Because of you, we’re boasting over 60,000 connections across the world, and the number is still climbing.

We've got plenty of nifty new ideas for teling the story of how computation is changing the face of science and our lives. 

So hold on tight, because here comes year three.

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