Open Data: How, why, and is there any point?

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Slides from a talk given at Manchester Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation on 13 October 2009. Focusses on the reasons why there is public funding of science and the issues that need to be tackled to insure this in the future.

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Open Data: How, why, and is there any point?

  1. 1. Open Data: What can we do? What should we do?
  2. 2. Open Data: What can we do? What should we do? poin t? a ny th ere nd is A
  3. 3. About me.
  4. 4. I live in Bath http://www.flickr.com/photos/andypowe11/3915450391
  5. 5. I work at RAL
  6. 6. I work for STFC...
  7. 7. But The opinions expressed in this talk are the personal views of the speaker given as a private citizen and should not unders any circumstances be taken of as indicative of STFC, RCUK, or government policy or of any discussions within these organizations of future policy....
  8. 8. I get up in the morning http://www.flickr.com/photos/andypowe11/3251538402
  9. 9. ...and catch a train http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbuck007/3710451826
  10. 10. ...and a bus
  11. 11. I work on... Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons Succinate_Dehydrogenase_1YQ3_and_Membrane.png MGMT BDNA_1T38.png
  12. 12. ...and get to do cool stuff
  13. 13. Mixture of small-lab work...
  14. 14. ...and big facility experiments
  15. 15. Lots of reading... http://www.flickr.com/photos/loty/326761635
  16. 16. ...meetings... http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/38961674
  17. 17. ...too much travel... http://www.flickr.com/photos/22819720@N02/2306780847
  18. 18. ...which leads to too much of this
  19. 19. Why?
  20. 20. Why do I do it?
  21. 21. Why do they pay?
  22. 22. Why do they pay? http://www.flickr.com/photos/mararie/3313582639/ CC-BY-SA
  23. 23. Why do they pay? w e http://www.flickr.com/photos/mararie/3313582639/ CC-BY-SA
  24. 24. A (naive) history
  25. 25. Before 1945 Wellcome Images
  26. 26. 1939-45
  27. 27. http://flickr.com/photos/14405058@N08/2618721930 Wikimedia Commons Kotzebue_AFS_Long_Range_Radar.jpg
  28. 28. Science won the war
  29. 29. ...therefore...
  30. 30. Science needs funding
  31. 31. ...but the war ended sixty years ago...
  32. 32. But that’s ok
  33. 33. We have new wars.
  34. 34. Clearly it is a lot more complicated than that http://www.flickr.com/photos/storm-crypt/2078500698/
  35. 35. But we seem focused on threats
  36. 36. We believe our own propaganda... http://www.flickr.com/photos/ansik/3844530655
  37. 37. ...leading to http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartpilbrow/3345896050 CC-BY-SA
  38. 38. So what’s the answer? http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrs_logic/3320303076
  39. 39. I don’t really know... http://www.flickr.com/photos/valeriebb/2248744703
  40. 40. ...but here are some ideas http://www.flickr.com/photos/ful1to/3783198574
  41. 41. 1. The personal
  42. 42. Be with yourself http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielle_scott/3690339561
  43. 43. My aim is to...
  44. 44. Maximise the (positive) impact I have on the world http://www.flickr.com/photos/amardilo/3231427553 CC-BY
  45. 45. ...through my work or through enabling others.
  46. 46. I work mainly on technique development and enabling technologies
  47. 47. I aim to maximise the ability of people to (re-)use my work
  48. 48. The web makes publishing easy
  49. 49. ...data, documents, media...
  50. 50. Publishing (broadcasting) is easy
  51. 51. ...sharing is harder. http://www.flickr.com/photos/missrogue/107787363
  52. 52. 2. The social (and technical)
  53. 53. Value of the network depends on connections Bollen J, Van de Sompel H, Hagberg A, Bettencourt L, Chute R, et al. (2009) Clickstream Data Yields High- Resolution Maps of Science. PLoS ONE 4(3): e4803. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004803
  54. 54. “I propose the seeming paradox that in science, private property is established by having its substance freely given to others who might want to make use of it.” Merton (1988) ISIS 79:606
  55. 55. Interoperability is the key... http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfllaw/222795669
  56. 56. Technical interoperability... ...formats, vocabularies http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffsand/3871415191
  57. 57. Legal interoperability... http://www.flickr.com/photos/spunter/3239363956
  58. 58. Legal interoperability... http://www.flickr.com/photos/spunter/3239363956
  59. 59. Legal interoperability... http://www.flickr.com/photos/spunter/3239363956
  60. 60. Technical Legal interop. interop. Process interoperability
  61. 61. Systems need to work with existing process
  62. 62. A short story...
  63. 63. MyTea project: A fully semantic laboratory record for chemistry http://mytea.org.uk/
  64. 64. But not molecular biology
  65. 65. General MyTea Specific Unstructured Structured
  66. 66. General ? MyTea Specific Unstructured Structured
  67. 67. General Blogs ? MyTea Specific Unstructured Structured
  68. 68. A recipe for chaos? http://www.flickr.com/photos/benuski/3452291541
  69. 69. Yes to start with...
  70. 70. But then something interesting happened...
  71. 71. Templates Metadata
  72. 72. Self assembling ontology? Sequence ontology: SO:0000696 “oligo” SO:0000155 “plasmid” ...but... SO:0000006 “PCR product” or SO:0000412 “rest. fragment”?
  73. 73. Capture first... http://www.flickr.com/photos/furtwangl/3851841424
  74. 74. Dionaea muscipula Musca domestica chomped on ...then add structure
  75. 75. Map our process onto agreed vocabularies
  76. 76. ...when we write the paper http://www.flickr.com/photos/tnarik/366393127
  77. 77. Machines do structure http://www.flickr.com/photos/yeowatzup/2463225297
  78. 78. ....humans tell stories
  79. 79. Tools that capture structure as we choose the pieces for our narrative
  80. 80. We can make it easy to share http://www.flickr.com/photos/doubledareya/2443303399
  81. 81. ...but will we want to share? http://www.flickr.com/photos/66164549@N00/2162663143
  82. 82. Not according to this paper...
  83. 83. We need agreed goals... http://www.flickr.com/photos/frli/3586354961
  84. 84. 3. The political
  85. 85. Why do we fund science? http://www.flickr.com/photos/mararie/3313582639/ CC-BY-SA
  86. 86. If we don’t have answers... http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattymatt/3017263513
  87. 87. ...then at least...
  88. 88. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/3947254236
  89. 89. Optimise for.... http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomarthur/3593729997
  90. 90. ....not this http://www.flickr.com/photos/vrogy/514733529
  91. 91. Less of this... http://www.flickr.com/photos/ehnmark/463965443
  92. 92. ...more of this http://www.flickr.com/photos/chadmiller/2740551034
  93. 93. ...and a lot less of this http://www.flickr.com/photos/tammra/283690669/
  94. 94. More open research.
  95. 95. An opportunity to engage... http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidcjones/1422043515
  96. 96. Hundreds of thousands...
  97. 97. ...but not if data is locked away http://www.flickr.com/photos/andypowe11/3759152528
  98. 98. More open research.
  99. 99. Measure ourselves... http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/3209939998
  100. 100. ...and then do something about it http://www.flickr.com/photos/silas216/149401489
  101. 101. More. Open. Research.
  102. 102. But fit the existing processes... http://www.flickr.com/photos/38485387@N02/3581504276
  103. 103. Open Data: What can we do? What should we do?
  104. 104. What can we do?
  105. 105. Technically able to share http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/3088582622
  106. 106. What should we do?
  107. 107. Tools for capturing... http://www.flickr.com/photos/pandawan/3950755957
  108. 108. And is there any point?
  109. 109. <insert answer here>
  110. 110. Cameron.Neylon@stfc.ac.uk http://blog.openwetware.org/scienceintheopen http://slideshare.net/cameronneylon Twitter: @cameronneylon Friendfeed: cameronneylon Thanks to: Sciencetwists, Friendfeeders, and the wider online community for ideas, criticism, and conversations. Deepak Singh, Larry Lessig, Andy Powell, and John Wilbanks for presentation inspiration. Flickr (and in particular @andypowe11) for images

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