Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

OSTIblog Articles in the Science Communications Topic

The DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP): At the Center of Public Access for DOE

 

2015 DOE STIP Working Meeting Attendees2015 DOE STIP Working Meeting Attendees

Each year, representatives of the Department of Energy (DOE) Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP), led by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), convene for their annual meeting.  At this year’s working meeting of STIP representatives, held in April and hosted by Los Alamos National Laboratory, there was something different in the air.  Each year there is lively discussion, new contacts are made, and important information is shared, but this year's meeting had a different feel overall.  Perhaps it was the record number of participants, perhaps it was the number of first-time participants who were eager to learn and gain insight from strong scientific and technical information (STI) management programs in place at other labs and offices, or perhaps it was the feeling of being part of something groundbreaking as the DOE STIP community works together to implement the Department of Energy Public Access Plan.  In reflecting on the April meeting, I have concluded that it was “all of the above.”  

This is an important and exciting time to be a part of the Department's STIP.Whether one is a program manager, contracting officer,  technical information specialist, or other designated STIP participant, all play a role in management of Departmental research results.  STIP participants help ensure that the results of DOE-funded research and development (R&D) and technical activities are identified, collected, preserved, and then made accessible through submission to OSTI...

Related Topics:

Read more...

The Remarkable Legacy of Kenneth Geddes Wilson

16777

The Remarkable Legacy of Kenneth Geddes Wilson

It is rare when someone comes along whose ideas change science. Nobel Laureate Kenneth Geddes Wilson (1936 –2013) forever changed how we think about physics. Wilson left a legacy of his prize-winning problem solving in theoretical physics, the use of computer simulations and the modeling of physical phenomena, the establishment of supercomputer centers for scientific research, and physics education and science education reform.

Wilson was gifted mathematically at an early age. His grandfather taught him how to do mathematical computations in his mind. When he was 8 years old, he would calculate cube roots in his head while waiting for the school bus.  This brilliant and shy young boy went through grade school and high school at an accelerated pace to enroll in Harvard when he was only 16 years old. He obtained his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology, did postdoc studies at Harvard as a junior fellow that included a year at CERN, joined the faculty of Cornell University and later Ohio State University’s Departments of Physics. At the age of 46, he became one of the youngest winners of a Noble Prize when he received the 1982 Noble Prize in Physics based on his pioneering work developing a theoretical framework on the nature of phase transitions, such as the moment when metal melts at a certain temperature or when liquid transforms to a gaseous state. 

Wilson solved some of the most fundamental problems in theoretical physics. We owe much of our understanding of renormalization, effective field theory, phase transitions,...

Related Topics: effective field theory, renormalization, Supercomputers, theoretical physics

Read more...

A banner year expected for high-performance computing

14246

A banner year expected for high-performance computing

Just seven miles south of our OSTI facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee is a national treasure – the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  ORNL is DOE’s largest multi-program laboratory where remarkable scientific expertise and world-class scientific facilities and equipment are applied to develop scientific and technological solutions that are changing our world. ORNL’s National Center for Computational Sciences is home to two of ORNL’s high-performance computing projects -- the National Climate-Computing Research Center (NCRC), where research is dedicated to climate science, and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF).  OLCF delivers the most powerful computational resource in the U.S. for open science, allowing the world’s best computational researchers an opportunity to tackle problems that would be unthinkable on other systems.

OLCF has such a remarkable history. It was established in 2004 to deliver a supercomputer 100 times more powerful than the leading systems of the day. Its Cray XT4 Jaguar ran the first scientific applications to exceed 1,000 trillion calculations a second (1 petaflop) in 2008. In preparation for the exascale, OLCF elicited petascale computational science requirements from the international science community and began to prepare for next-generation science. OLCF continued to expand the limits of the Jaguar in 2011 to deliver a peak performance of more than 2.3 petaflops becoming the world’s most powerful supercomputer. OLCF has now upgraded the Jaguar to...

Related Topics: High-performance computing, Jaguar, ORNL, SciTech Connect, Titan

Read more...

Observing Gamma-ray Bursts in Distant Galaxies

13926

Observing Gamma-ray Bursts in Distant Galaxies

Star gazing seems especially good on a clear autumn night. From our back deck our amateur eyes scan the sky and its wonder. We first notice Venus, our closest planetary neighbor. A beautiful harvest moon rises over the hill, lighting up jet streams that crisscross the stars and planets. We see Orion, the bowl and handle of the Big Dipper, the Square of Pegasus, the vast Milky Way and we are fortunate to see an occasional falling star. We are in awe of the beauty of our night sky but it’s what we can’t see that is truly amazing.

Spectacular explosions, which can’t be detected with the human eye, light up the gamma-ray sky about once a day. These explosions, called gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), are from distant galaxies hundreds of millions of light years away from earth and are thought to be triggered by supernovae or exploding stars. They release more energy than our sun will put out in a lifetime.

GRBs have been an observational and theoretical challenge since they were first observed in the 60s. An ongoing international collaborative effort is working to gain a better understanding of the GRBs, how they are formed and how they affect our universe. Department of Energy scientists like Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) Brenda Dingus and Gus Sinnis are major players in the GMB research. They are both leaders of LANL’s Milagro Gamma-Ray Observatory and the follow-up highly sensitive High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Gamma-Ray Observatory (HAWC), a bi-national project between Mexico and the United States. These unconventional telescopes view the universe at very high energies rather than with visible light.  

You can learn...

Related Topics: galaxies, gamma-ray burst, SciTech Connect, supernovae, telescopes

Read more...

The Successes of Government Science and Technology

Sorry due to allocation we can serve no more gasoline today


Theodore Roosevelt, in his famous speech “Citizenship In A Republic” starts by saying “it is not the critic who counts;” What makes the speech poignant is that all too often it is the critic who counts because we see time and time again the media pointing out “how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”

Too often we only hear about failures and waste in government, yet the contributions and success of government-funded science and technology are ubiquitous and often under-reported.

Mission X

Anyone who is old enough remembers President Nixon making a phone call from the oval office to Neil Armstrong on the moon. At the time, it was an almost superhuman feat of engineering. Yet today no teenager would be amazed because today they can take a cell phone out of theirpocket and place a call to the international space station…if we only knew the number. In fact, school children routinely have video conferences with our astronauts as part of NASA’s policy. The NASA space program of the 1960s helped make modern communications possible. By helping to create the integrated circuits and by re-purposing the missile technology of the cold war to launch satellites, NASA engineers deserve special praise. They deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. In my mind they already are.

A topic also not receiving the fanfare it deserves was recently noted by Pete Domenici, senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy...

Related Topics: Bureau of Mines, communications, hydraulic fracturing, nasa, nuclear weapons technology, Oil Shale

Read more...

Name Ambiguity and ORCID

13434

Name Ambiguity and ORCID

The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) was one of the first federal organizations to embrace and champion the ORCID concept; the National Institutes of Health is the other. As yet, there are very few DOE authors sending ORCID IDs to OSTI's databases.  OSTI is encouraging Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP) representatives across DOE to, in turn, encourage authors at their labs and offices to sign up for an ORCID.  Anyone desiring more information about OSTI's participation in ORCID can contact OSTI's Point-of-Contact for ORCID, Jannean Elliott.

This SciTech Connect Record has an example of an author with an ORCID ID. If you select this author’s name on the citation screen, you will be given the choice of searching the author's name in SciTech Connect, searching the author's ORCID number in SciTech Connect, or searching the author’s ORCID number at orcid.org for other publications from the author not found in SciTech Connect. While ability to search SciTech Connect by ORCID ID is now available, the search by ORCID number won’t yield many results until we get a significant number of DOE authors registered with ORCID IDs.

ORCID’s potential to be useful as a vehicle for connecting journal articles to technical reports is of particular interest to OSTI.  This is a long-standing challenge for publishers of scholarly journals, as well as for federal agencies that produce technical reports.  For DOE national laboratory contracts, OSTI will rely upon ORCIDs to enable linking between journal articles and associated technical reports. Unlike a grant number, there is no number that uniquely identifies a lab project. While OSTI’s internal reports system captures contract numbers, such numbers cover...

Related Topics: author names, disambiguation, identifiers, name ambiguity, orcid, SciTech Connect

Read more...

The National Library of Energy(Beta): A Gateway to Information about the “All-of-the-Above” Energy Strategy

10222

The National Library of Energy(Beta): A Gateway to Information about the “All-of-the-Above” Energy Strategy

While I have not taken a formal survey, my experience over many years as a Department of Energy (DOE) employee suggest to me that most people have no idea what DOE does.  Let me amend that.  Many people know exactly what we do.  DOE controls the price of gas at the pump; it manages natural gas drilling, builds pipe lines and regulates refineries.  As it turns out, people know a great deal about DOE, it’s just that most of it is dead wrong.

Look it up and you’ll find that “[t]he mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.”  Hmm.  Nothing about gas prices there.

Once you get a bead on the DOE mission you are ready to mine its extraordinary set of resources.  And if you are looking for the ultimate search experience in exploring  DOE’s vast holdings of diverse types of science- and energy-related information, you will want to use the newly developed National Library of EnergyBeta (NLEBeta) search tool.  That little “Beta” notation means we are still testing NLE, and it’s an invitation to help us improve the site before we “go live.”

The  NLEBeta is an important DOE open government initiative – and an easy-to-use gateway to information in all of DOE’s broad mission areas: science and R&D; energy and technology for industry and homeowners; energy market information and analysis; and nuclear security and environmental management. 

It’s an especially handy way to find out more about the Department’s all-of-the-above energy strategy.  And you don’t have to know DOE’s organizational structure to use the NLEBeta.  Believe me, even people that work here get confused about that.

The NLEBeta operates as a library that virtually integrates and makes searchable the disparate and decentralized...

Related Topics: DOE Virtual University, mission, National Library of Energy (NLE) - Beta, strategy, training

Read more...

The Imperative for Accelerating the Advancement of Science

American Citizens Need Basic Research

Some time ago, a friend, a young father of two, lay in a hospital bed seriously ill. The physician said there was no treatment. The pancreas was secreting substances that were digesting itself and destroying surrounding tissue. Some patients recover on their own; others do not.

Natural laws may allow some remedy which will assist the body's own defenses and cause the pancreas to heal. If there was such a remedy, why did the physician not use it? The answer is the lack of knowledge -- not of just one physician, but of the medical profession as a whole. Unless the physician is a researcher, he waits for others to discover the remedy. He waits because no predecessor mastered the natural laws which govern the pancreas.

The young father in my story is a real person. His name is Vince Dattoria. As it happened, fate was kind to him. He recovered and eventually he returned to work for the Department of Energy. But he almost died because of ignorance, or shall we call it a lack of knowledge of natural laws?

Knowledge of natural laws requires research. The sharing of this knowledge helps keep us from relying on luck to survive. Almost every advance in the medical sciences has been made possible by a previous advance in the physical sciences. Daily, we see the results of research that have so improved people's lives. The human body is a chemical and physical problem, and these sciences must advance to enable us to conquer disease.

Exploratory surgery, done when the physician lacks any other way to learn the nature of a patient's problem, is less common now than in years past. This decline is attributable in large measure to imaging technology like computer-aided tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. CT and MRI scans came from research in physics. For creating the mathematical algorithm...

Related Topics:

Read more...

How Science.gov’s Features Help Improve Access to Scientific and Technical Information Across the Federal Government

 

 Science.gov, the gateway to federal government science information and research results, is commemorating 10+ years of service to the American people.    

The portal was launched in December 2002 and is an interagency initiative of 19 U.S. government science organizations within 15 federal agencies.  These agencies form the Science.gov Alliance, which governs Science.gov on a collaborative basis. Many of the of the agencies that participate in Science.gov are members of CENDI, an interagency working group of senior scientific and technical information managers, which provides administrative support and coordination for Science.gov.

 I am very proud  that the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) has played an important role in conceiving, developing and hosting Science.gov.  I am grateful to the many OSTI federal and contractor employees who have helped CENDI and the Science.gov Alliance make Science.gov truly “Your Gateway to Federal Science Information.”

 Science.gov enables a user to access more than 55 databases and 200 million pages of science information via a single search box.  The content for Science.gov is contributed by its participating agencies; it places no new burdens on them but offers each agency a government-wide resource where it can display content in which it has already invested.

...

Related Topics: media, nih, pubmed, science.gov

Read more...

OSTIBlog has a new look

The redesign of OSTIblog makes it easier to find and view blog articles.  The OSTIblog home screen now displays the title, image and opening paragraph for the last five articles.  Earlier articles can be paged through, again viewing five per page. 

The new menu bar has tabs for Topics, Authors, and Archive. The Topics tab allows users to browse OSTIblog articles assigned to one of four topic areas:  Personal Perspectives, Products and Content, Science Communications, and Technology.  There is also an option to browse by the name of an OSTI database, search tool or other product.  The last choice under the Topics tab is to browse OSTIblog articles by subject tags.  The Authors tab let users search for an author or browse through the list of names of all who have contributed to OSTIblog.  Those looking for articles from a specific time period and use the Archive tab to access articles by month and year, dating back to November 2007.  

If you have not been keeping up with OSTIblog, you might want to take a little time to check out some of the recent OSTIblog posts: 

Pages