Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Molecular Workbench downloaded over one million times

I checked our Web log today and the statistics showed that the Molecular Workbench software (Java version) has been downloaded for 1,014,439 times since 2005. This number doesn't include those instances in which MW is embedded in other software or run as an applet. And the number doesn't include the 30+ employees of the Concord Consortium who could conceivably inflate the data a bit.

While I can't say this number translates into a million people (on the other hand teachers tend to have multiple students working together in front of one computer), this is still a significant number that forms a substantial international user base, indicating that the need for this kind of simulation is probably not a false one.

We are often scrutinized by funders whether their investments would turn out worthy. The story of MW suggests a potential weakness in the typical cost-effectiveness analysis based on the initial investment. Federal funding for a project may take a long time to pay back. And the impact tends to accelerate after a critical mass is reached. I bet that the two-million milestone will be reached much sooner than the seven years it took for the first million.

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