In the same way that the Internet has combined with web content and search engines to revolutionize every aspect of our lives, the scientific process is poised to undergo a radical transformation based on the ability to access, analyze, and merge large, complex data sets. Scientists will be able to combine their own data with that of other scientists to validate models, interpret experiments, re-use and re-analyze data, and make use of sophisticated mathematical analyses and simulations to drive the discovery of relationships across data sets. This “scientific web” will yield higher quality science, more insights per experiment, an increased democratization of science, and a higher impact from major investments in scientific instruments.
In January, 2006 I sent an e-mail to Paul Allen's website (PDPplanet.com) describing the University's Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-7 computer. I suggested that this computer, the last PDP-7 in operation in the world, should have a museum home. The PDPplanet people immediately came to see the machine and stated that they would keep it in operation if it came to their "Living Computer Museum".