Software - the hidden infrastructure behind the world's largest scientific facilities

Rutherford Appleton LaboratoriesBy Neil Chue Hong.

When we think of the infrastructure at scientific facilities, we think first of the huge gleaming machines: the particle accelerators, next-generation sequencers and supercomputers. But behind the scenes, a very different type of infrastructure – software – is needed to manage, store and analyse the data that these machines produce.

Investment in scientific software is large and is often overlooked. This is despite much of the software being used, extended and maintained over a period of decades. Far from being a disposable consumable, software is an enduring part of the infrastructure of a scientific facility.

We were invited by the UK Science Parks Association to contribute our thoughts on the role of software in scientific facilities, and feature the work we have done with the I-CAT team at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories to their quarterly publication, Innovation into Success.

Read the full article on pages 28-29 of the Spring 2013 issue.

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