The Rise of e-Science in Asia. Dreams and Realities for Social Science Research: Case Studies of Singapore and South Korea
In spite of the growing interest in e-science and e-research among scholars as well as policy-makers, most of the existing published works concentrate on the developments in the Western countries, such as in the U.S. and U.K. To address the research gap in existing literature, this chapter focuses primarily on issues related to scholarly practice in e-research within the context of Asian countries. Amongst countries in Asia-Pacifi c, both South Korea and Singapore have acquired internationally-recognized status for their strong Internet networks. Technological discourse dominates the education and digital media scenes in Singapore with technology perceived as an indispensable tool in ensuring that the small nation-state stay ahead of its competition, and South Korea functions as an important node in both international and regional research networks. In spite of the clear emergence of e-science as a new way to conduct research and development, little is known about the practices of e-social science research and if, and how these tools facilitate Asian scholars in conducting better research and collaboration in the digital age. Through the insights gained from policy reviews, in-depth interviews with policymakers and social scientists from diversifi ed research backgrounds, this chapter elucidates the general imperatives behind e-science programs in Asia and the state of e-science application in the fi elds of social sciences. We also identify the key challenges that inhibit the transformation of the e-science dream into a reality for social science scholars and propose recommendations on how some of these barriers may be overcome.