Paul Edwards is of course not a “new scholar to watch”, he is a well known scholar of infrastructuration. But he is also a Blogger, in a way at least. His recent book on climate data (which is already on my shelf, a review will follow) has its own blog, his research on cyberinfrastructures for scientific activity together with Geof Bowker, David Ribes, Steve Jackson, Tom Finhol and Chris Borgman also has a blog. And of course there is the old (last post form 2007) “Infrastructuration” blog.
A Vast Machine is a historical account of climate science as a global knowledge infrastructure. Weather and climate observing systems cover the whole world, making global data. This infrastructure generates information so vast in quantity and so diverse in quality and form that it can be understood only through computer analysis — by making data global. These processes depend on three kinds of computer models: data models, used to combine and adjust measurements from many different sources; simulation models of weather and climate; and reanalysis models, which recreate climate history from historical weather data. A Vast Machine argues that over the years data and models have converged to create a stable, reliable, and trustworthy basis for establishing the reality of global warming.