The OSTIblog has been recognized by Juggle as one of the top government blogs on the web. Below you'll find an interview with Walter Warnick, the Director of OSTI.
- Your blog is part of the Office of Scientific & Technical Information – what is the function of this office in the Department of Energy?
OSTI fulfills the Department of Energy responsibilities related to the collection, preservation, and dissemination of scientific and technical information emanating from the agency’s research and development activities. For instance, DOE recently announced an award of up to $122 million over five years for top scientists to establish an Energy Innovation Hub aimed at developing revolutionary methods to generate fuels directly from sunlight. The results of that research will not only be collected and forever preserved at OSTI for future use – it will also be disseminated globally through our various cutting-edge information products, such as Information Bridge, Science.gov, and WorldWideScience.org.
- Can you give me a brief overview of the office’s history?
OSTI has long been committed to ensuring citizens have appropriate access to the government’s research results. Born in 1947 of General Leslie R. Groves' 1945 mandate to tell the American people about the formerly secret Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb, OSTI, rapidly became home to one of the world's most comprehensive collections of energy-related information.
Today, OSTI is nationally recognized for contributions to the sharing and exchange of science information, specifically through a suite of web tools and services designed to deliver science information to citizens everywhere. Check out ScienceAccelerator.gov (to find DOE databases and the results of the Departments great research endeavors), Science.gov (OSTI hosts this site which finds science information from 14 government science agencies) and WorldWideScience.org (global science information from more than 70 nations, now with multilingual translation capability!).
OSTI is one of the few Federal facilities in the United States with a ".gov" street address, 1 Science.gov Way, named for one of its projects of national import – Science.gov.
- Who are the primary bloggers for OSTI? Have they been with the blog from the start? What are their areas of expertise?
OSTI is staffed with a broad range of information experts. We have former university librarians, former national lab and university information specialists, information technology specialists, administrators, editors as well as consultants in the commercial world – the whole range. But most of all, the workers at OSTI are enthusiastic consumers of science information – home owners, parents, members of the education community, citizens who understand the need to find relevant science information fast. These are the people who are writing the OSTI Blog – they are the experts – the ones closest to our information products, and the ones who understand the public need to find the research results from our Nation’s R&D investment.
Besides our OSTI staff, the bloggers also include DOE officials and scientists who care about the knowledge management mission.
- How is OSTI utilizing this blog to promote e-science tools to Americans?
The blog contains four main categories: Science Communication, Personal Perspectives, Products & Content, and Technology.
- Science Communications contains articles that feature the impact of DOE-funded science on the nation.
- Personal Perspectives are statements by members of the OSTI community about their contributions to the OSTI mission and their experiences.
- Products and Content contains articles about OSTI's web products and the content that they include. These products are made available as a free public service.
- Technology presents articles about OSTI's advances in a number of web technologies that help OSTI fulfill its mission.
The OSTI Blog explains why we are motivated – it gives us a chance to tell people why we think our mission is important. The personal perspectives category especially allows us to make a statement of what animates us.
But every category – every blog article – is designed to help the public find the research results and science information they need. Through this blog, citizens can better understand how science information from often disparate and hard-to-find sources are integrated and delivered seamlessly to them.
- What else would you like to share with us about the OSTI blog?
The blog is really just an extension of our staff’s core belief, which we have come to call the OSTI Corollary. It is common knowledge that science can advance only if it is shared. The OSTI Corollary to this is: Accelerating the sharing of scientific knowledge accelerates the advancement of science.
Our staff is on a mission to do just that.