The UK e-Science programme always recognised the importance of data.
This book recognises that data-intensive science is dramatically changing the way research is done, and is an excellent compendium of progress with this new approach.
It is also dedicated to the memory of Jim Gray, who christened data-intensive research "The New Paradigm", who shaped the transactional model of databases we all depend on, who led Microsoft into supporting the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and into developing new database technology to support data-intensive research. Sadly, Jim was mysteriously lost at sea in January 2007.
The book has several connections with UK e-Science as the prime mover and first editor is Tony Hey and Carole Goble and Dave De Roure have a chapter in it. They are all at the book launch at the Microsoft e-Science Conference, in Pittsburgh today.
The book will be available for free download from the website: http://research.microsoft.com/fourthparadigm.
It is attractive and full of chapters well worth reading.
The New York times also had a highly relevant article this week: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/technology/12data.html?_r=3