Voices from the future of science

April 2nd, 2008 by dwentworth

Over the past few months, you may have noticed that some of the posts here have been attributed to a mysterious “dwentworth.” That’s me — Donna Wentworth — and I’m here to start bringing more of your voices to the Science Commons blog.

The introduction may seem a little late, but it’s for good reason: I’ve had a lot learn. I’ve been writing about innovation and the net for ten years now — first at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Corante, and then at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Google. I’ve been a supporter of Creative Commons from the very beginning, as well as a fan of the eloquent James Boyle. Back in the fall, when I stumbled on a video of Jamie’s presentation at Google on Science Commons, I was riveted. Here, I thought, is where Creative Commons can make a difference on a whole new level — where innovative ways of licensing and sharing knowledge could actually end up saving lives.

A talk with my old friend from the Berkman Center, John Wilbanks, who now leads Science Commons, got me even more excited. Always full of infectious enthusiasm, John made it easy for me to see the possibilities for the “open science” movement — where a series of small but important changes could set in motion a profound transformation in the way research is carried out. I decided to join the SC staff to see what I could do to help, including bringing more people into a common discussion about what the next steps should be. But before jumping in, I needed to take a look around, see where the conversations were already happening and figure out how these conversations are being translated to action.

Here’s where you come in. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re passionate about the future of science. You may even be a part of the vast, incredibly diverse community of people that actually make science happen: scientists, publishers, research company representatives, research foundation officers, computer scientists, entrepreneurs, librarians and more. Some of you may be bloggers yourselves, who track developments in your area of science and ended up at Science Commons once or twice.

My hope is that you’ll join me in turning up the volume on the conversation surrounding open science. As part of this effort, I’m going to start profiling individuals and organizations working to open new frontiers for innovation and discovery in science. I am also building a community blog roll — or a public aggregator, if that works better — for open science. The goal isn’t to endorse particular viewpoints or blogs, but instead to showcase the work that’s already being done to midwife a new way of sharing and building scientific knowledge, as well as to start identifying ways we can all work together.

With more open research coming online, the freedom to integrate information from disparate sources, and the ability to use computers to sort through and make sense of it, scientists will be more empowered than ever to find the answers they’re looking for. Let’s figure out how we can get there faster.

Please take a few minutes to send me an email or add a comment to this post with your choices for people and organizations to profile here at Science Commons, as well as your favorite blogs and other resources on open science. I look forward to hearing from you.

11 Responses

  1. Over at the Science Commons blog… – Creative Commons, on April 2nd, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    […] at the Science Commons blog, an introduction and a call for suggestions / comments … “Over the past few months, you […]

  2. Graham Steel, on April 2nd, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks “dwentworth”,

    Jay Bhatt and I continue to build a resourceful page. and go to “Further Reading”.

    Thanks for pointing readers to the James Boyle talk. Riveting indeed !!

  3. Dorothea Salo, on April 2nd, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Stuart Shieber of Harvard, please!

  4. PlausibleAccuracy, on April 3rd, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Wow, thanks for the link here. I indeed have come to Science Commons quite a few times, looked around, and then left. Mostly this is because the content, while piquing my interest, didn’t seem to go much deeper than scratching the surface of what Science Commons is really doing, and I had a hard time discovering a “call to action” that I could respond to.
    As far as ferreting out where the discussion on Open Science is happening, I’ve become a fan of using Google’s Blog Search to find new people who are writing about Open Access. It makes quick work of pulling out anyone who writes a post using the search term. I’m sure this isn’t comprehensive, but it might help in expanding your list of resources.

  5. dwentworth, on April 5th, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Everyone, thank you — I’m excited that you’re listening and weighing in. I got some great responses via email as well, and I’ll be posting soon with an update. Stay tuned.

  6. Alexander Polonsky, on April 15th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Hello all,
    You may be interested to know that we recently launched iPad, a free flexible electronic laboratory notebook for experimental researchers: It would be great to get your feedback on this as it is closely linked to the issues you are discussing (an ELN like ours based on open standard formats could be a great first step in sharing scientific info with the greater community).
    Best regards,

  7. Science Commons » Blog Archive » Are you part of open science?, on April 16th, 2008 at 11:40 am

    […] few weeks ago, I asked you for your ideas for people and organizations to profile here at Science Commons, with the goal of […]

  8. Varun D, on April 16th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    I have a lot in mind, and a lot to say about this. I am 100% in for Open Science and “Open Engineering”, related; Open Design.

    I am just waiting to see this idea bring forth groups that are independent of government funding and business bureaucracy. However(!), money and capital matters are as important.

    Imagine an independent group like the ones taking part in Google X Prize to be completely O.A. and a body independently taking “Space Exploration” to a new level(this is just one aspect).

  9. Science Commons » Blog Archive » A Wellcome future for science, on April 28th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    […] that note, below is the first profile in our series on people and organizations working at the frontiers of open science: a look at the pioneering work […]

  10. Science, research – A Wellcome future for science | ::CafeAcademic.Com::, on June 12th, 2008 at 6:44 am

    […] that note, below is the first profile in our series on people and organizations working at the frontiers of open science: a look at the pioneering work […]

  11. Science Commons » Blog Archive » Voices from the future of science: Rufus Pollock of the Open Knowledge Foundation, on August 18th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    […] Voices from the future of science […]