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Published on Apr 19, 2010
Google Tech Talk April 6, 2010
Presented by Dr Matthew Todd, School of Chemistry, University of Sydney.
Open Science: how can we crowdsource chemistry to solve important problems?
Science shaped itself in the founding days of learned societies: individuals or teams competed, in secret, with paper-based communication in subscription journals. Why are we all still doing science like this? The internet has had a major impact in our sharing of data by traditional means, but it has not yet radically changed the way we actually perform science.
My lab is involved in a new project a government/WHO-funded research project that is completely open, where we are trying to solve a serious problem in public health through basic research in organic chemistry. The project involves a wonder drug used to treat a tropical disease but we need to improve it, and fast:
With an eye on the bigger issue, we propose open methods can allow science to happen faster than traditional means, but we do not yet have the tools to make this happen. This talk is about hard science and soft human nature. It is also an appeal for decent tools scientists need to collaborate properly. The over-riding requirement: low barrier to entry.