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  • It’s a great pleasure to be here today, to talk about the splendid opportunity open science gives us to accelerate scientific discovery.
  • I find it helpful to divide my thinking about open science up in three ways: open data, open collaborative processes, and open community.In the talks today we’ve already heard quite a bit about one of these, open data, and so I won’t say much about it in my talk. Instead, I’ll start my talk with a discussion of open process, and how it can accelerate scientific discovery.
  • So that anyone in the world could comment, and perhaps help solve the problem.In the event, the project spread beyond Gowers blog...
  • ... also to the blog of another leading mathematician, Terence Tao, of UCLA, another Fields medallist.It also spread to a very active wiki.
  • By restructuring expert attention we can amplify our collective intelligence, and extend our problem-solving ability.I’ve focused on the Polymath Project, but it’s just one example of many.Another example, also from mathematics is the...
  • ... MathOverflow site.It’s a question and answer site where mathematicians can ask difficult, research-level questions.Many of the participants in the Polymath Project take part, as do other leading professional mathematicians.They get dozens of questions each day. More than 90% of the questions are adequately solved, sometimes within minutes.Although the site is less than a year old, some of the results are already being included in published papers.It’s another example of a restructuring of expert attention, in this case a kind of market in expert attention.A similar question and answer site has recently been set up for bionformatics...
  • ... called BioStar. It’s even newer, but is already attracting substantial traffic, and a lot of happy customers.Okay, so that’s a bit about some of the exciting things that are happening in open process.What about....
  • It’s like trying to change the side of the road everyone drives on by changing side yourself.It just won’t work.Instead, you need something else to happen, such as the government imposed change that took place in Sweden in...
  • ... 1967. Even then it caused some problems.
  • I find it helpful to divide my thinking about open science up in three ways: open data, open collaborative processes, and open community.In the talks today we’ve already heard quite a bit about one of these, open data, and so I won’t say much about it in my talk. Instead, I’ll start my talk with a discussion of open process, and how it can accelerate scientific discovery.
  • This kind of citizen science is just one example of how online tools can be used to create new types of bridging institutions.Other examples include open access, as discussed before, and science blogging.They also include news sites such as Slashdot and Reddit, which, although it’s tempting to be snide about them, do in a fundamental way change the way their readers relate to the news.The real question, of course, is how these institutions can grow and become more powerful, and what new kinds of bridging institutions we can create?Online tools are institution-generating machines, with the potential to change the relationship between science and society.
  • So with these three opportunities – open data, open process, and open community – an optimist might conclude that we’d see an...
  • Nielsen

    1. 1. Reinventing Discovery<br />Michael Nielsen<br />Open Science Summit, July 2010<br />http://michaelnielsen.org/blog @michael_nielsen<br />
    2. 2. open data<br />open process<br />open <br />science<br />open community<br />
    3. 3. 27 January 2009<br />
    4. 4. Tim Gowers<br />
    5. 5. mathematician at Cambridge<br />
    6. 6. Fields medallist<br />
    7. 7.
    8. 8. attack a hard<br />mathematical problem<br />
    9. 9. completely in the open<br />
    10. 10. comment section <br />of his blog as the <br />medium of collaboration<br />
    11. 11. anyone could comment<br />
    12. 12.
    13. 13. Polymath Project<br />
    14. 14. density Hales-Jewett theorem<br />
    15. 15. “love to solve”<br />
    16. 16. XXX – rules of <br />engagement (circle)<br />rules of collaboration<br />
    17. 17. two broad themes<br />
    18. 18. be polite<br />
    19. 19. just a single idea in each comment<br />
    20. 20. even if half-baked<br />
    21. 21. discouraged from doing<br />extensive work in private<br />
    22. 22. Opened conversation up on Feb 1...<br />
    23. 23. 37 days<br />
    24. 24. 27 contributors<br />
    25. 25. 800 comments<br />
    26. 26. 170,000 words<br />
    27. 27. “to normal research as<br />driving is to pushing a car”<br />
    28. 28.
    29. 29.
    30. 30.
    31. 31.
    32. 32. We had all the expertise to <br />solve Gowers’s problem<br />
    33. 33. latent<br />
    34. 34. co-ordinated attention in a new way, <br />activating latent expertise<br />
    35. 35. restructured expert attention<br />
    36. 36. expert attention is often the most<br />important scarce resource in<br />solving creative problems<br />
    37. 37. By restructuring it we can amplify <br />our collective intelligence...<br />... extend<br />our problem-solving ability.<br />
    38. 38.
    39. 39.
    40. 40. explosion in the rate of<br />scientific progress<br />
    41. 41. Failing<br />
    42. 42. Failed<br />
    43. 43. Failed<br />
    44. 44. Failed<br />Failed<br />
    45. 45. Failed<br />
    46. 46. science comment sites?<br />
    47. 47. Failed<br />
    48. 48. scientific social networks?<br />“Facebook for scientists”<br />
    49. 49. Failed<br />
    50. 50. little incentive for scientists to contribute<br />
    51. 51. why share knowledge on a science wiki when:<br />They’re not very good<br />It might help your competitors<br />You won’t get any academic credit for it<br />
    52. 52. When we share results in journal<br />papers, we give something up...<br />... but we get a <br />reputational reward in return.<br />
    53. 53. When we contribute to a science wiki <br />or comment site or otherwise share <br />ideas, data, & code, we give <br />something up...<br />... and we don’t get enough <br />reputational reward for it to be practical<br />
    54. 54. New media have great potential...<br />...but unless there’s reward<br />for contribution, the opportunity<br /> cost leads people to do other things<br />
    55. 55. What’s successful....<br />...projects such as the <br />Polymath Project which have <br />conventional scientific ends (papers)<br />
    56. 56. missingsome big opportunities<br />
    57. 57. How to move to a more open system?<br />
    58. 58. Individually, it’s daunting to act<br />
    59. 59. ... benefits of open science<br />come from co-operation with others<br />
    60. 60. we can’t individually cause <br />mass co-operation<br />
    61. 61. It’s like trying to change the side<br />of the road everyone drives on<br />by changing sides yourself<br />
    62. 62. Sweden, 3 Sep 1967<br />
    63. 63. A very similar situation arose<br />at the dawn of science...<br />
    64. 64. “Exploitation of the mass medium [books]<br />was more common among pseudoscientists<br />and quacks than among Latin-writing <br />professional scientists, who often witheld<br />their work from the press.”<br />- Elizabeth Eisenstein<br />
    65. 65. Hooke’s Law<br />restoring force on a spring is proportional<br />to extension<br />published in 1676 as an anagram: ceiiinossssttuu<br />revealed in 1678 as the Latin uttensio, sic vis<br />“as the extension, so the force”<br />
    66. 66. if someone else made the same discovery, <br />Hooke could reveal the anagram, and claim priority, without having shared his initial discovery<br />
    67. 67. Galileo, Huygens and <br />Newton also employed anagrams<br />
    68. 68. atcgat<br />aacgtt<br />
    69. 69. discoveries were routinely kept secret<br />A secretive culture of discovery was a natural <br />consequence of a society in which there was <br />often little personal gain in sharing discoveries. <br />
    70. 70. The scientific advances in the time of <br />Hooke and Newton motivated patrons <br />such as the government to subsidize<br />science as a profession.<br />
    71. 71. The public benefit was strongest if <br />scientific discoveries were freely shared<br />
    72. 72. It took several decades to achieve the<br />required social change...<br />... a scientific <br />culture which rewards the sharing<br />of discoveries – in scientific journals! – <br />with jobs and prestige for the discoverer. <br />
    73. 73. a discovery not published in a <br />scientific journal was not truly complete<br />
    74. 74. Michael<br />Faraday<br />William<br />Crookes<br />“Work. Finish. Publish.”<br />
    75. 75. the first open science revolution<br />
    76. 76. achieved by subsidizing <br />scientists who published their<br />discoveries in journals. <br />
    77. 77. That same subsidy now inhibits<br />the adoption of more effective <br />technologies...<br />...because it continues to <br />incentivize scientists to <br />share discoveries in older media<br />
    78. 78. One template for change<br />Create new ways of earning a reputation<br />
    79. 79. preprints have begun to attain<br />status as an end in themselves in physics<br />
    80. 80.
    81. 81. Preprints could be seen merely as<br />a step toward “real” publication<br />
    82. 82. that’s (slowly) changing<br />
    83. 83. SPIRES keeps track of citations both between<br />arXiv preprints and regular journal articles<br />
    84. 84. SPIRES makes it possible to <br />demonstrate the impact of your work, <br />even if it’s not “published”<br />
    85. 85. Many physicists now put even<br />unpublished preprints on their CVs<br />
    86. 86. Make preprints citable, <br />and the impact measurable<br />new types <br />of reputation<br />small,<br />but real<br />More open science<br />data<br />code<br />questions<br />ideas<br />
    87. 87. can lead to a more <br />open scientific system<br />
    88. 88. second open science revolution<br />
    89. 89. Thankyou<br />http://michaelnielsen.org/blog<br />@michael_nielsen<br />
    90. 90.
    91. 91. open data<br />open process<br />open <br />science<br />open community<br />
    92. 92.
    93. 93. cosmological census<br />
    94. 94. recruiting online volunteers<br />
    95. 95. classify galaxy images<br />spiral or elliptical?<br />
    96. 96. humans still surpass the<br />best computers<br />
    97. 97. More than 250,000 volunteers...<br />... have done more than 150 million classifications of 930,000 galaxies<br />
    98. 98. 16 scientific papers<br />
    99. 99. Hanny van Arkel<br />“What’s the blue stuff below?”<br />
    100. 100. Hanny van Arkel<br />No-one knew<br />
    101. 101. Hanny van Arkel<br />followup observations<br />
    102. 102. Hanny van Arkel<br />quasar light mirror<br />
    103. 103.
    104. 104.
    105. 105. Aida Berges<br />From the Dominican<br />Republic, lives in<br />Puerto Rico<br />500 galaxies per week + forum posts<br />+ participates in several side projects<br />
    106. 106. Aida Berges<br />From the Dominican<br />Republic, lives in<br />Puerto Rico<br />“I went to Galaxy Zoo...<br />and my life changed forever…<br />It was like coming home for me.”<br />
    107. 107. broadening who can be a scientist<br />
    108. 108. Society as a whole<br />Bridging institutions<br />Scientific community<br />citizen science<br />open access<br />science blogs<br />news sites<br />????<br />Online tools are institution-generating <br />machines...<br />... change the <br />relationship between science and society<br />
    109. 109. open data<br />open process<br />open <br />science<br />open community<br />
    110. 110. scaled up<br />scientific conversation<br />
    111. 111. Polymath is a small part of <br />a much bigger transformation<br />
    112. 112. transformation in how <br />discoveries are made<br />
    113. 113. by new tools for sharing ideas <br />and data on the network <br />
    114. 114. Newton claimed to have invented <br />calculus in the 1660s and 1670s, <br />but didn’t publish until 1693<br />

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