Working with FuturICT is the closest that someone in my field may get to “Big Science” a la Human Genome project or Large Hadron Collider. We don’t tend to have projects of that scale in human-centred computing! But the over-arching theme of Complexity Science as a way of making sense of societal big data provides that scale of vision. The European Physical Journal does not spring to mind as the first place to look for work on ICT for learning analytics or collective intelligence – my particular interests – but it has an explicit focus on advances in Complex Systems, including socio-technical-economic systems, not just physical or biological. So it’s very satisfying to point to a more detailed account of the thinking behind the proposal, which we’ve just published as an open access special issue of EPJST.
Within the special issue, you’ll find a fascinating set of contributions from European scientists who set out a 10 year research agenda within their fields: what are the really tough problems? There are also visionary position papers outlining the kind of socio-technical infrastructure that FuturICT will investigate, and a foregrounding of the ethical dimensions that human Big Data and Analytics always raise.