Doing Science in the Metaverse: Challenges, Opportunities, and New Research Frontiers

Doing Science in the Metaverse: Challenges, Opportunities, and New Research Frontiers

the Metaverse Term coined from the novel “Snow Crash” by Neal StephensonAnd It stands out as a technological reality that promises to transform the way we live, work, and, above all, how we do science. With its ability to create interactive virtual environments, it offers new opportunities: According to the researchers, the metaverse can bring significant benefits to science in terms of accessibility, education, collaboration, and advanced science simulations. In this article, we will explore the results of a study by Diego Gómez-Zarra and colleagues on the potential use of the metaverse in science, highlighting specific advantages and challenges to be faced. Gomez Zara is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Notre Dame.

A key component of his work is applying social network analysis to exploit user decisions. He holds a PhD in Technology and Social Behavior from Northwestern University (USA). His research has already earned him a Microsoft Dissertation Research Grant 2020. Gomez-Zarra explains: “For someone who is training to become a surgeon, it is very difficult to perform a procedure for the first time without mistakes. And if you’re working with a real patient, one mistake can be very harmful. Experiential learning in a virtual environment can help you try something and make mistakes along the way without serious consequences, and freedom from harmful consequences can improve research in other fields, too.“.

Gómez-Zarra Studies on the Application of the Metaverse in Science:

Gómez-Zará has conducted several studies to evaluate the influence of the metaverse on science. In one of their experiments, they built a digital replica of the laboratory at the University of London’s School of Pharmacy, enabling scientists from around the world to meet and make joint decisions about research projects. This has made science more accessible by removing geographical barriers and facilitating the exchange of knowledge. Gómez-Zará also works with a team of Virtual reality lab Notre Dame to understand the associated benefits The social side of science. They found that virtual environments can help teams collaborate more effectively than video conferencing. “since he was there pandemicWe are all used to video conferencing“, He says. “But this does not mean that video conferencing is the most effective tool for every business. Especially for intense social activities such as team building and innovation, virtual reality is a much closer replica of what we would have offline and could prove even more effective.“.

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Benefits of Metaverse in Science According to Experts:

According to the researchers, the metaverse can benefit science in four main ways.

  1. Accessibility and barrier removalOne of the first promises of metaverses in science was to make the discipline more accessible. Virtual environments allow researchers from around the world to collaborate, make decisions and conduct experiments together, overcoming geographic restrictions. For example, creating virtual laboratories allows scientists to visit research spaces digitally and actively participate in international projects.
  2. Immersive training: the metaverse provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve science education. In the metaverse, science education abandons the traditional confines of labs and lecture halls to embrace virtual immersion. Students can now experience educational experiences engage, where they can interact with realistic virtual environments and detailed simulations. For example, a chemistry student could “get in” at iinside the molecule complex to observe their three-dimensional structure and better understand atomic interactions. This type of active, multisensory learning stimulates scientific curiosity and promotes a deeper understanding of concepts.
  3. Borderless global collaboration: Science often requires collaboration between researchers from all over the world. Imagine a virtual laboratory where researchers from different parts of the world meet to discuss and share data and models and conduct virtual experiments. Use custom avatarsThey can communicate and interact as if they were physically present in the same space. This collaboration promotes a diversity of scientific ideas and approaches.
  4. Advanced scientific simulation: Scientific simulations are another area in which the metaverse presents great opportunities. With advanced computing power and graphical representation, researchers can create detailed and realistic models within the metaverse. For example, physicists can simulateEvolution of a galactic system on cosmic scaleswhile biologists can observeInteraction between proteins within the cell. These simulations allow you to explore complex phenomena and test hypotheses virtually, reducing the need for expensive experimental equipment and speeding up the process of scientific discovery.
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Challenges and Opportunities of Using the Metaverse in Science

Gómez-Zará points out that in order to take full advantage of the metaverse’s advantages, it will be necessary to avoid many of the pitfalls associated with it. Despite the many benefits of metaphors in science, they do exist challenges to deal with. One of the main ones isAccessibility and fairness in using technology. Virtual reality glasses and related equipment still require significant investment. This problem is related to a larger problem: Who owns Metaverse? Right now, few tech companies control it, but Gomez-Zarra notes that agencies and others who support the research have been asked to invest in building an open, public metafire.

The other challenge is Data security and privacy in the scientific metaverse. It is essential to ensure the protection of intellectual property and to create a reliable research environment, where sensitive data is appropriately protected. However, its overall message is one of hope. “We still tend to associate the metaverse with entertainment and casual socializing.He claims.But look how quickly we have adapted to technologies we rarely used before the pandemic. The same thing could happen with the metaverse. We need the research community to explore that. This is the best way to plan for risks and at the same time be aware of all the possibilities“.

The metaverse has the power to change the way science is learned, shared, and conducted. From immersive learning to borderless global collaboration, this technology opens up new avenues that can accelerate research. While there are still challenges to overcome, collective efforts can make the metaverse a reality for the scientific community. Keeping track of the opportunities and dangers of science in the metaverse will help make the most of the future in the future.

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