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Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC)


Here's the thing about the internet: it's not meant to last.

In the beginning, nobody really knew that. We all thought that every Geocities patchwork would be cool forever. A website was the pinnacle of marketing savvy. (In the case of the incredibly still relevant Space Jam, we have to admit it might have been true.)

As internet users and makers have gotten more sophisticated, it's become clear that even the best sites have expiration dates. Change is inevitable. Nobody in the internet world really cares what you were doing ten years ago. But the functionality and information from ten years ago can still be useful. Long-running projects like MRSEC become a study in adaptation to changing times and changing needs while keeping what works.

Navigating such a long-term project (with rapidly evolving tools) has given us a perfect forum to experiment. As a result, as we've updated the site to better available platforms in the last ten years, we've become experts in migration.

This project also aligns perfectly with our mission: using the handy parts of the internet to help researchers do research, and in this case, to find each other. The centers included in this group were all recipients of the same NSF grant. They weren't randomly plucked from a top hat; they actually had a few things in common. If they could find useful links to each other—well, we wanted to help make that happen.

We believe connecticity and flexibility are key to making websites into the useful tools they can be. That is, unless the goal is just to be cool like Space Jam, in which case the secret is staying exactly the same until the 90s get cool again.

National Science Foundation (NSF)