Open Science Summit 2011: Opening the Door to Innovation

Mountain View, California (EastBayDaily) — On October 22-23, an expected 450 people will gather at Mountain View’s Computer History Museum, launching an initiative to make science more efficient, collaborative and productive.

Whether by sharing research data, publishing work to be freely accessible, providing community access to lab space or collaborating across industry, academia & society, people across the world are improving science by opening up. Given the magnitude of our world’s unmet challenges, founder Joseph Jackson says “we must grasp this opportunity to embrace open science.” The advent of social networking among scientists, increased public scrutiny and a revolution in computing speed have all had a hand in creating this historic moment.

“Open science represents a different kind of science. With the advent of massive computational power, there is a new way to do science and that often goes hand and hand with openness – and if you go with the traditional model, you’re ossified.” – Tomas Goetz, Wired.

The Open Science Summit is the first event of its kind, uniting open science advocates of all disciplines: everyone from citizen scientists to academic researchers and multinational corporations. For all their differences, these groups share one ambition: to make scientific research more public, sharable and scalable. Last year’s inaugural event saw over 300 attendees and nationwide media impact. This year, the Open Science Summit proves that Open Science is global and here to stay through the launch of the Open Science Alliance, an official coalition of these many complementary movements. The Alliance will launch a developer’s challenge this Spring, incentivizing students to develop solutions that benefit open science, as well as a number of joint publications and advocacy campaigns.

This year, open science has shown promise in crowd-sourcing clinical trials, determining interactions between genome-based and microbe-driven illnesses and even finding lost family members. This year’s Open Science Summit features a medical research track, exploring 2010-11 innovations and a pitch session where startups will present their contributions to open science collaboration. Confirmed speakers include recently-published Misha Angrist from Duke, Rade Drmanac, founder of Complete Genomics and Victoria Stodden, statistics professor at Columbia.

“Openness by far and away will win out if we actually measure people by their true contribution,” says Professor Jonathan Eisen. With that in mind, the Summit has a track dedicated toward new ideas on giving researchers due credit – and due reward – in an open science system. Confirmed speakers for this track include James Love of Knowledge Ecology International and David Thomson of UCSF. The summit also provides two more tracks: one dedicated to group problem-solving to address barriers to open science, and the other dedicated to youth education and advocacy around opening up. Visit for more details.


Khadijah M. Britton