Addressing the black box in research

In the last post, I laid out some of the key pillars we hope to hang our activities off for the Science Lab moving forward. There’s been some great feedback sent via various channels so far (thank you! and keep it coming), one message raising the issue of the “black box” in research.

The point made me realise that I may have assumed the broader vision of the project was clearly defined (the three areas outlined in the previous post more seen as the means in which we hope to execute on that vision).

Let me explain.

(Also, this allows me to include one of my favorite depictions of said problem … )

Image

The vision we’re working towards at the Science Lab is one where openness is the norm for research – where there’s unfettered access to knowledge and the components associated (articles, data, software, materials, methods), where work can be built upon without asking permission (setting our eyes on reproducibility), and where our modus operandi is more rooted in open collaboration (and we’re rewarded for such behavior).

We’ll be building out communities of practice and use cases around these points, from showing what’s possible on the tooling / technology front, to addressing some of the gaps in education (in many cases keeping researchers from using open tools to achieve this vision). And on top of that, amplifying the current work in this space and building out resources so that the researchers can easily find information on developments in this space, creating a focal point for the community.

It’s a big problem we’re aiming to tackle, but with the help of the community, I think there’s no better time to set out to help truly make the web work for science.

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