В числе десяти таких гениальных новых инструментов, появившихся в ХХI веке, журнал Science назвал crowdsourcing и network science, являющиеся двумя основными инструментами Witology.
Other organizations are harnessing the power of networking through crowd-sourcing, in which large numbers of researchers (even nonscientists) can contribute to solving problems, setting policy, or forecasting the future. An Internet company called InnoCentive, for example, posts problems online and offers rewards of up to $1 million for their solution. It boasts that 200,000 people have weighed in on more than 1000 problems in fields as wide-ranging as drug synthesis and brick manufacture and have solved two-thirds of them.
Networking programs also enable volunteers around the world to donate idle time on home computers for protein-folding calculations, to search for comets in images from the SOHO satellite, and to classify galaxy types in data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
To get a handle on all this interconnectedness and grasp the ways information travels through complex systems, theorists have spawned a new field called network science. The field took off about 10 years ago, after physicists developed mathematical models to explain some of the network phenomena sociologists had observed. Now, thanks to technologies that make possible measurements on thousands of genes or proteins at once and to computers that can track and analyze the movements, voting habits, or shopping preferences of millions of people, the network approach is bursting into full flower. A host of new insights are bound to lie just ahead.
But that is a tale for another decade.