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Science Commons Symposium

March 9th, 2010 by Lisa Green

The videos from Science Commons Symposium are now live online!

As many of you know, we recently held an event called Science Commons Symposium at the Microsoft campus in Redmond Washington. It was a day full of presentations from leaders in the fields of Open Science, Open Access and Open Data. The conversations that took place during the breaks and the post-event reception were just as stimulating as the presentations. I was thoroughly exhilarated by the exciting ideas and bright, passionate people discussing them.

One topic that was heavily discussed in both the speaker presentations and in the hallway conversations was Panton Principles. The Panton Principles are a set of best practices for open data, and were official launched at the symposium by Cameron Neylon in the opening talk. Cameron Neylon, Peter Murray-Rust and John Wilbanks were all instrumental in crafting the Panton Principles and all three addressed them in their presentations. You can find links to video of the presentations below.

Though John Wilbanks did address the Panton Principles, he did so with the perspective of a bigger picture. John’s keynote summed up the history and the future goals of the Open Science movement. John said that the real goal is generative science and defined generative with a quote from Jonathan Zittrain:

“Generativity is a system’s capacity to produce unanticipated change through unfiltered contributions from broad and varied audiences.”


There are several excellent blog posts by people who attended the symposium.

Jean-Claude Bradley, one of the speakers, provides a personal perspective on the day, a brief summary of the presentations and his presentation slides on his blog Useful Chem.

Another speaker, Antony Williams blogged about how the generative science message in John Wilbanks’ keynote resonated powerfully with him and is very well-aligned with his motivation for ChemSpider. You can read Antony’s post and see his presentation slides on his ChemSpider blog.

There were quite a few science librarians in attendance at the symposium. Alison Aldrich sums up the presentations from a librarian’s point of view on her blog Dragonfly. Leave it to a librarian to provide clear, concise summaries of all the presentations along with links to supplemental information.

If you weren’t able to attend in person – or if you were but just need a refresher on the overwhelming amount of excited ideas that were discussed – you will really appreciate the detailed notes taken by Brian Glanz of the Open Science Foundation. Brian diligently took notes on his pad throughout the day and has posted them in an open blog on the Open Science Foundation website.

The Microsoft Research team was our gracious host. In addition to providing us with a wonderful space for the event, keeping everyone well fed and caffeinated, and giving out copies of the new CC-licensed book The Fourth Paradigm, they did an excellent job of capturing the presentations on video. The video is now live and can be watched online at:

Session 1 Featuring Lisa Green, Lee Dirks, Stewart Tansley & Kris Tolle, Cameron Neylon and Jean-Claude Bradley

Session 2 Featuring Antony Williams and Peter Murray-Rust

Session 3 Featuring Heather Joseph and Stephen Friend

Session 4 Featuring Peter Binfield and John Wilbanks

The videos are a wonderful resource – for those of us who were there as well as the people who were not able to be physically present at the symposium. I know that I will be watching them more than once in the near future. The ideas presented at Science Commons Symposium are among the most important in science; they are the ideas that will shape the future of science.

One Response

  1. Greg Grossmeier, on March 10th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get the videos to work under Linux using Moonlight :(