Business - Written by Anthony D. Williams on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 16:34 - 0 Comments
Alliance pioneers new paradigm in collaborative science
One of my favorite chapters in Wikinomics describes the rise of a new paradigm we call collaborative science or Science 2.0. Of course, the pursuit of scientific knowledge has been a collaborative activity for a long time — at least since the ideas of the Enlightenment inspired pioneers such as Newton and Bacon to devise the scientific method. Now as blogs, wikis, and Web services are adopted by a younger, more Web-literate generation of scientists we are seeing something new: the rise of open and collaborative research efforts the draw resources and insights from large, inter-disciplinary communities of scientists.
Wikinomics goes into all kinds of examples of collaborative science ranging from OpenWetWare, an MIT project designed to share expertise, information, and ideas in biology, to the Tropical Disease Initiative (with its efforts to apply open source software development practices to drug discovery), to science blogs such as Bioethics, NodalPoint, Pharyngula, and RealClimate. One of the stories we didn’t get to go into revolves around a project called the Alliance for Cellular Signaling (“AFCS”), a bold new open science initiative. The project is not only breaking scientific ground, it exemplifies the emerging scientific paradigm and provides a template for how open source tactics could be leveraged to solve complex biological problems.
Led by Nobel-prize winning scientist Alfred Gilman, the Alliance is building a virtual model of the cell and all of its cellular processes. This fully functional computerized model will provide researchers and companies with an incredible new engine for research and pre-clinical drug testing — potentially taking a huge chunk out of the cost of developing new medicines. Perhaps even more outstanding is the vast, self-organized community of scientists that is contributing the project and the novel forms of research, publication, and peer review that the Alliance is pioneering.
I’ve recently finished polishing a brief essay on the Alliance and its activities from the rough text we axed from the book. Read the full piece here first!
Business - Oct 5, 2010 12:00 - 0 Comments
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