Monday, June 13, 2011

Open Science

A friend forward me this a few days ago. It's a brief article on the Guardian website discussing open science. The general theme, I've been aware for some time now. A decent chunk of the open science desiderata  has it as an alternative to the publish or die model of science that we have now, where a lot of a scientists career is influenced by how many papers they have published and in which journals. There is some merit to the current system, alongside significant flaws. The new open model that is being proposed is idealistic, I'm just not sure how it would work down the road, career wise. Especially given the amount research that is done these days in collaboration with business, which brings the whole intellectual property question into play (though don't get me wrong, I think our conception of intellectual property and it's management is seriously flawed as well). For all that it's idealistic, it's something I'd like to give have a crack at. Ideally, I'd like to be starting a PhD soon, both of the projects that I'm keen to have a crack at involve people who will be concerned about the intellectual property angle, so I'm not sure how that would go.

Which is not to say that the system works, I've seen a critique involving the mathematician Timothy Gowers, that is used as an example in the book. It's entirely possible that the model worked in that instance because Gowers was already renowned and was talking to a small, very specialised community. Thus possibly making it impractical if you're starting out in the scientific community as I will be, a complete unknown.  Worth a shot though.

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