The traditional model for scientific research“Is it Open Source?”. That’s the question all of my developers friends ask when it comes to any piece of software. Answer no and they won’t use it (unless it is an Apple product, which by law we are all forced to carry in the Bay Area). In this era, collaboration and transparency are king, but that’s not the rule of thumb in the science world.
Scientific research is traditionally a conservative field, with many scientists working in relative isolation. Data is being generated at extraordinary rates without the infrastructure to meaningfully parse or share it. Worse yet, the public is going increasingly dissatisfied with the rate of progress in light of the billions of public dollars invested.
For the last few years, voices have emerged within the scientific community on Open Science. This topic means different things to different people: from public access to literature to free, open access to any data funded from public sources. The movement is largely grounded that public access to knowledge will drive innovation and involvement in research.
Many organizations have begun to address specific issues along this spectrum – accessible literature, addressing the legal hurdles related to sharing research, and even creating community place for everyone to conduct research. For the first time, a publicly accessible conference is being convened to bring these groups together.
The Open Science Summit scheduled for July 29-31, will address many of the issues of Open Science, largely within the framework of Biology. Conversations will cover the future of biology, a new model for the scientific process, the rise of the citizen scientist, and attendee generated short talks. What’s most exciting is the breadth of attendees – university professors, web 2.0 entrepeneurs, writers, DIYers, even the FBI.
I’m most excited to check out the sessions on Citizen Science in Biology. Tito Jankowski of Pearl Biotech will be discussing his work on OpenPCR, a <$1000 machine that allows anyone to work on DNA sequencing. Another session in that track is on ethics, safety and security concerns, opening into a discussion on Open Source BioDefense.
In case you can’t make the event, follow the event with live tweeting of sessions.
Open Science Summit
When: Thursday, July 29th-July 31st
Where: Chevron Auditorium, International House, Berkeley
Details: The Open Science Summit is the first and only event to consider what happens throughout the entire innovation chain as reform in one area influences the prospects in others. The three day conference will cover many aspects of the Open Science spectrum and is open to anyone.