While there has been substantial interest in using e-science and cyberinfrastructure technologies to enable synchronous remote participation in experimental research, the details of such participation are in question. On the one hand, there is a desire to give remote participants the same views and capabilities that they would have as local participants. On the other hand, there are settings where experimental specimens and apparatus are large and difficult to manipulate effectively or view from a remote vantage point. This article argues for more novel forms of remote participation by drawing on exploratory interview and observation data gathered in civil engineering laboratories. It is shown that, while experiments are in progress, the engineers studied focus primarily on detecting and preventing specimen failures, and that their unease about remote participation stems from doubts about the ability of remote participants to detect failures adequately. It is argued that this presents the opportunity to consider novel roles for remote participants that exploit the features of e-science technologies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications