Blog archive for April, 2008

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.