Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Science 2.0

Robin Lloyd from LiveScience wrote a nice article about how the internet has in many ways resulted in less secrecy and more openness in science

I recommend reading the article, if only because I'm quoted in several places :-)


  1. Dear Bee,

    thanks for the link, that's an interesting article!

    However, I'm not sure if one can say that, for example, the arxiv enforces or is creating a new openness that hasn't existed before. The arxiv has boosted enormously the speed and range of distribution and the amount of documents shared, but the general culture of sharing has been there in the first place - that's why these papers on the arxiv are called "preprints", a term from the era before the internet. In this point, the article seems a bit sloppy to me.

    Cheers, Stefan

  2. Stefan - Many more people are able to download the articles from the arxiv than could when it was the old preprint culture. If you were at Harvard, that culture worked well. Too bad if you weren't at a major University, though.

    Michael Nielsen

  3. Michael: You don't have to post as 'Anonymous'. Chose option Name/URL, it will open a box where you can enter a name. URL is optional.

  4. Hi Michael,

    that's definitely true. In the article, Lloyd calls the arxiv an example how open science also has the potential to prevent discrimination in access to information., and I completely agree with that.

    What I wanted to say is that this "discrimination in access" was more because of practical constraints and the technological means of the pre-web era than because of "scientific secrecy", as the title of the article seems to imply.

    With respect to overcoming more traditional "scientific secrecy", projects such as Wikis in biology may be much better examples than the arxiv.

    Cheers, Stefan


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