June 14th, 2013
We’re excited to announce the launch of the Mozilla Science Lab, a new initiative that will help researchers around the world use the open web to shape science’s future.
Scientists created the web — but the open web still hasn’t transformed scientific practice to the same extent we’ve seen in other areas like media, education and business. For all of the incredible discoveries of the last century, science is still largely rooted in the “analog” age. Credit systems in science are still largely based around “papers,” for example, and as a result researchers are often discouraged from sharing, learning, reusing, and adopting the type of open and collaborative learning that the web makes possible.
The Science Lab will foster dialog between the open web community and researchers to tackle this challenge. Together they’ll share ideas, tools, and best practices for using next-generation web solutions to solve real problems in science, and explore ways to make research more agile and collaborative.
Led by Kaitlin Thaney
The project will be led by Kaitlin Thaney, a long-time open science advocate. Kaitlin helped found and manage the science program at Creative Commons, and previously worked at Digital Science, a tech company focused on research tools and incubation for science startups. She also advises policymakers on digital infrastructure, data-intensive science and education to make scientific research more collaborative, open and reproducible.
Digital literacy for scientists
Kaitlin is joined by Greg Wilson, the founder of Software Carpentry, a program that teaches basic computing skills to researchers to help them become more productive. Over the past year, Software Carpentry has run over 70 workshops for more than 2200 attendees, and is on track to double those numbers over the next 12 months. As part of the Mozilla Science Lab, Software Carpentry will explore what “digital literacy” means for scientific researchers and how these digital skills can further aid their work.
Convening a global conversation
With support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Mozilla Science Lab will start by convening a broad conversation about open web approaches and skills training, working with existing tool developers and supporting a global community of researchers.
Stay tuned for more about how you can join the conversation. In the mean time, you can:
- Learn more about the project at the Mozilla Science Wiki.
- Follow @MozillaScience and @kaythaney on Twitter.
- Follow the project’s progress on Kaitlin’s blog.