Twenty years ago when we used the prefix “cyber” in Fossil Horses in Cyberspace (see the opening anecdote), it was an innovative use of the term. Today it is ubiquitous in our culture. Over the past several decades we have entered the computer era and this technology has revolutionized our lives. Of relevance here, it also has revolutionized the ways in which we can do Broader Impacts to reach out for societal impact. Many of the activities described in this book have been affected, or enabled, by computer technology.
The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Broader Impacts merit review criterion was officially introduced in 1997 (Rothenberg, 2010). This coincided with the beginning of the widespread use of the internet by scientists. At that time many of us considered that an appropriate use of this new technology was to create a website about our research.