The nanoHUB is a rich, web-based resource for research, education and collaboration in nanotechnology. The nanoHUB hosts over 790 resources which will help you learn about nanotechnology, including Online Presentations, Courses, Learning Modules, Podcasts, Animations, Teaching Materials, and more. Most importantly, the nanoHUB offers simulation tools which you can access from your web browser, so you can not only learn about but also simulate nanotechnology devices. The nanoHUB also provides collaboration environment via Workspaces, Online meetings and User groups.
Resources come from 396 contributors in the nanoscience community, and are used by thousands of users from over 180 countries around the world. Most of our users come from academic institutions and use nanoHUB as part of their research and educational activities. But we also have users from national labs and from industry.
I like the idea of the nanoHub and I think if I were teaching courses in nano technology or collaborating with other scientists I might find it useful. To be honest, though, it is a little intimidating simply because it is often so technical. This might suggest a kind of social limit to open science, or at least a need for a kind of ‘plain speaking’ mirror to this site, where we could go to learn more.
Perhaps one day there will be open houses at these sorts of web-labs where we can go to look over scientific knowledge as it is being made. Looking around for more information on open science, I also found The Open Science Project, “dedicated to writing and releasing free and Open Source scientific software.”
What’s interesting about this group, founded by “the open source evangelist,” Dan Gezelter, is that they see their work as, in effect, popularizing the scientific method. “We are a group of scientists, mathematicians and engineers,” they write, “who want to encourage a collaborative environment in which science can be pursued by anyone who is inspired to discover something new about the natural world.”
Here too, though, there are access issues related simply to the technical nature of the work. What, for example, is a “multiphysics finite element code system”? In all fairness, though, Gezelter does have a good sense of the non-technical too. He has a weakness, for example for the cartoon called “Medium Large.”