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4D Workshop: Deep-time Data Driven Discovery and the Evolution of Earth

[4D Workshop poster session]
One of the two poster session receptions. Photo credit: Jennifer Mays.

The 4D Workshop: Deep-time Data Driven Discovery and the Evolution of Earth brought together 150 participants and observers from a variety of fields, including geology, biology, data science, modeling and visualization, and science administration, to explore the evolution of our planet and ourselves. The workshop was convened from 4 to 6 June 2018 at the historic Carnegie Institution for Science Headquarters in downtown Washington, DC, USA, and focused on the application of data-driven discovery techniques to important “big questions” in the earth and life sciences: 

  • What was the geological and geochemical context for life’s origins?
  • Did biological catalysis follow from the chemistry of rocks and minerals?
  • How did Earth’s earliest microbial life interact with and influence the geosphere?
  • How did plate tectonics begin and to what extent are the Earth’s surface and deep interior linked?
  • When, and at what rate, did photosynthesis modify our planet’s near-surface environment?
  • How did life’s subsequent complexification and migration to land alter geological and geochemical processes? 
[4D workshop group]Group photo. Photo credit: John Strom.
 

Each day’s collaborative, interdisciplinary program included a small number of plenary talks followed by a series of breakout groups. The breakout groups targeted particular subjects in data-driven discovery, and together the participants of each group assembled a set of PowerPoint slides summarizing their discussion. Workshop organizers are using these slides, along with other input gathered at the workshop, to compose a white paper outlining needs and opportunities in data-driven discovery.

Recordings of the workshop’s plenary talks, as well as breakout group PowerPoint slides, are available on the workshop website’s archive page.

The workshop was led by an Organizing Committee, chaired by Yana Bromberg (Rutgers University) and Robert Hazen (Carnegie Institution for Science), and a Senior Advisory Council, chaired by Marcia McNutt (National Academy of Sciences). 

10 December 2018