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FastLane

Hardback
, 224 pages

2 b&w photos, 2 line drawings, 2 maps, 2 charts

ISBN:
9781421418681
November 2015
$34.95

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FastLane

Managing Science in the Internet World

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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.

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.

"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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