The MUCM (Managing Uncertainty in Complex Models) project came to an end in December 2012. MUCM has made important contributions to the field of quantifying uncertainty in the outputs of complex mechanistic models, not only in terms of its research outputs but also through its efforts to create and support a community of people who work in this field – researchers, modellers and model users.
The MUCM project team would like to see this part of its efforts continue following the end of the MUCM project. We would like to see the community grow to embrace all who work in this area worldwide, and to become the primary resource for that community.
So the MUCM team have proposed and put into place a way to make thishappen.
We have established a provisional MUCM Community Steering Group. The Steering Group will take over the responsibility for the services that MUCM currently provides to the community, will begin the process of growing the community and resources, but equally importantly will oversee the development of appropriate structures to create a sustainable, well-managed and democratic community.
We are providing a Community Manager until December 2013. We have secured funding for Jo Green, who has been the MUCM Project Manager from the start of the project in 2006, to continue providing administrative support.
MUCM is not the only important initiative in this area. SAMO (Sensitivity Analysis of Model Outputs) held its first conference in 1995 and has been active ever since. In France, there are currently two separate teams – the ReDICE project (http://www.redice-project.org, a continuation of DICE) is an industrially-funded initiativecollaboration, while MASCOT-NUM (http://www.gdr-mascotnum.fr) is a government-funded research project. There are of course research groups in other countries, particularly in the USA and Canada.
We hope that the MUCM Community will come to embrace all of these as well as the large number of modellers and model users in so many disciplines that need to consider uncertainty in model outputs.
MUCM has always had the creation of such a community as one of its objectives. MUCM's grant proposal was to build a technology that bridged the gap from research to application and made the methods of quantifying model uncertainty available to the wide community of modellers and model users, as well as other researchers. The development of the MUCM Toolkit, the ucm mailing list and the UCM series of conferences was a fundamental part of the MUCM project.
We are pleased that we have already secured new funding to pay for Jo Green to continue as the MUCM Community Manager, and why we propose to turn over the existing community services, including the toolkit, website and mailing list, to the new MUCM Community.
Until now we have called the community UCM, to distinguish it from the MUCM project. However, we believe that MUCM is a recognisable and respected “brand name”, and we felt it would be helpful to call the community MUCM now that the project is ending.
We really do wish the MUCM Community to be inclusive, international and democratic. However, to engage in a dialogue with the many other groups about the name, the constitution, the management, etc., would take time. We propose instead to start the MUCM Community now, to set up a provisional MUCM Community Steering Group of people invited by us and to let the new MUCM Community take things forward in its own directions and at its own pace.
The new UCM community initiative aims to involve a variety of pages to inform and keep readers updated with activities being undertaken to support the UCM community. We already have this dedicated UCM section on our MUCM website, through which we aim to provide information and services such as a regular news digest on our mailing list activity, a calendar of events etc.
We'd be interested to hear what you think would be useful.
Comments and suggestions on the MUCM Community are welcomed from everyone via the UCM Mailing list
For further information on the MUCM Community Steering Group, please email Jeremy Oakley