The Great Scientific Domains and Society: A Metascience Perspective from the Domain of Computing

By Paul S. Rosenbloom.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The concept of a great scientific domain spans the traditional distinctions of science versus engineering, research versus applications, and quantitative versus qualitative methods. It focuses on understanding and shaping the interactions among a coherent, distinctive and extensive body of structures and processes. It not only includes the traditional sciences and engineering, but also mathematics, the humanities and the “professions”, such as medicine, law, business and education. There are three traditional great scientific domains – physical, life and social – but there is now also a fourth domain that deserves the appellation: computing. Based on an earlier analysis of the computing domain, the Metascience Expression (ME) language has been developed to aid in understanding the structure of, and relationships among, great scientific domains. For computing, ME yielded a novel multidisciplinary organization capable of spanning its cacophony of subfields. Here, ME is applied – along with key themes from the study of science in society and results from ME’s use in computing – to provide new insight into the relationship between science and society.

Keywords: Great Scientific Domains, Computing, Society, Multidisciplinary, Metascience

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.133-144. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.604MB).

Prof. Paul S. Rosenbloom

Professor, Department of Computer Science,, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

Paul S. Rosenbloom is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC). He received a B.S. degree from Stanford University in mathematical sciences in 1976 (with distinction) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 1978 and 1983, respectively. Prof. Rosenbloom spent twenty years at USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI), most recently as its Deputy Director. He has also served as Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (SIGART) and as a Councilor of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). Prof. Rosenbloom was a co-developer of the Soar cognitive architecture, and co-PI of the interdisciplinary, multi-university Soar Project from 1983 until 1998. He was elected a Fellow of the AAAI in 1994. Prof. Rosenbloom is currently writing a book on the structure and scope of computing in a multidisciplinary context, grounded in reflections on his ten years leading new directions activities at ISI.