May 9, 2011 | Ian Foster

As I pondered what tone to set for this blog, I tried to put myself in the shoes of the professional researcher. While I’ve lived that life, the everyday life of the dedicated, full-time researcher today has changed (and is changing) beyond what I’ve experienced, and I feel for you all out there who are challenged day-in, day-out with getting your work done in a rapidly changing world. For many researchers today, it’s all about wrangling massive data using faster and faster computers, while also struggling to keep ahead of the crowd by forging and sustaining ever-more-ambitious interdisciplinary collaborations. Those of you who have access to the right tools for these tasks are in the minority: Sure, big science projects have capabilities for getting and working with the data they need. But the average hardworking independent researcher or smaller lab does not. So the challenge (and opportunity) is to make these capabilities accessible not just to a few “big science” projects but to every researcher everywhere.