22 November 2009

Opening up the Black Box of Scientific Research

I've written before about the idea of applying openness/open source ideas to science, but here's an interesting new project that attempts to go much further:

our fundamental goal is to render transparent the black-box of scientific research by affording all individuals an opportunity to both access and participate directly in the scientific research process. To achieve this goal, we are working toward developing an entirely research-based scientific curriculum, and three additional resources (the discussion forum, research microfinance platform, and research log platform) which shall function to dynamically feed information to this curriculum - thereby ensuring the accuracy of the information contained within it, and its ability to maintain par with the course of scientific research.

In addition, each of these resources will also serve to increase the accessibility of the scientific research process for non-researchers by allowing individuals to (1) directly invest in research projects (via the research microfinance platform), (2) pose questions directly to researchers working at the cutting edge of scientific research (via the discussion forum), and (3) observe the progress of ongoing publicly-funded research (via the research log platform).

Not quite sure how this will scale, but anything whose "fundamental goal" is "to render transparent the black-box of scientific research" sounds good to me.

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