Category Archives: Technology

Regulatory steps toward open science and reproducibility: we need a science cloud

This past January Obama signed the America COMPETES Re-authorization Act. It contains two interesting sections that advance the notions of open data and the federal role in supporting online access to scientific archives: 103 and 104, which read in part: … Continue reading

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Open peer review of science: a possibility

The Nature journal Molecular Systems Biology published an editorial “From Bench to Website” explaining their move to a transparent system of peer review. Anonymous referee reports, editorial decisions, and author responses are published alongside the final published paper. When this … Continue reading

Posted in Open Science, Peer Review, Reproducible Research, Technology | 3 Comments

Science and Video: a roadmap

Once again I find myself in the position of having collected slides from talks, and having audio from the sessions. I need a simple way to pin these together so they form a coherent narrative and I need a common … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Open Science, Talks, Technology | 10 Comments

My Symposium at the AAAS Annual Meeting: The Digitization of Science

Yesterday I held a symposium at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington DC, called “The Digitization of Science: Reproducibility and Interdisciplinary Knowledge Transfer,” that was intended to bring attention to how massive computation is changing the practice of science, particularly … Continue reading

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Letter Re Software and Scientific Publications – Nature

Mark Gerstein and I penned a reaction to two pieces published in Nature News last October, “Publish your computer code: it is good enough,” by Nick Barnes and “Computational Science…. Error” by Zeeya Merali. Nature declined to publish our note … Continue reading

Posted in Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, Software, Technology | 8 Comments

Startups Awash in Data: Quantitative Thinkers Needed

We know unix logs everything, which makes web-based data collection easy, in fact almost difficult not to do. As a result internet startups often find themselves gathering enormous amounts of data, for example site use patterns, click-streams, user demographics and … Continue reading

Posted in Software, Startups, Statistics, Technology | 3 Comments

Open Data Dead on Arrival

In 1984 Karl Popper wrote a private letter to an inquirer he didn’t know, responding to enclosed interview questions. The response was subsequently published and in it he wrote, among other things, that: “Every intellectual has a very special responsibility. … Continue reading

Posted in Developing world, Intellectual Property, Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, Software, Statistics, Technology | 6 Comments

Ars technica article on reproducibility in science

John Timmer wrote an excellent article called “Keeping computers from ending science’s reproducibility.” I’m quoted in it. Here’s an excellent follow up blog post by Grant Jacobs, “Reproducible Research and computational biology.”

Posted in Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, Software, Statistics, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

My answer to the Edge Annual Question 2010: How is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?

At the end of every year editors at my favorite website The Edge ask intellectuals to answer a thought-provoking question. This year it was “How is the internet changing the way you think?” My answer is posted here: http://www.edge.org/q2010/q10_15.html#stodden

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Post 2: The OSTP’s call for comments regarding Public Access Policies for Science and Technology Funding Agencies Across the Federal Government

The following comments were posted in response to the second wave of the OSTP’s call as posted here: http://www.ostp.gov/galleries/default-file/RFI%20Final%20for%20FR.pdf. The first wave, comments posted here and on the OSTP site here (scroll to the second last comment), asked for feedback … Continue reading

Posted in Intellectual Property, Law, Open Science, OSTP, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, Software, Statistics, Technology | 4 Comments

The Climate Modeling Leak: Code and Data Generating Published Results Must be Open and Facilitate Reproducibility

On November 20 documents including email and code spanning more than a decade were leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University in the UK. The Leak Reveals a Failure of Reproducibility of Computational Results It appears … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, Software, Statistics, Technology, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Software and Intellectual Lock-in in Science

In a recent discussion with a friend, a hypothesis occurred to me: that increased levels of computation in scientific research could cause greater intellectual lock-in to particular ideas. Examining how ideas change in scientific thinking isn’t new. Thomas Kuhn for … Continue reading

Posted in Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, Software, Technology | 2 Comments

My Interview with ITConversations on Reproducible Research

On September 30, I was interviewed by Jon Udell from ITConversations.org in his Interviews with Innovators series, on Reproducibility of Computational Science. Here’s the blurb: “If you’re a writer, a musician, or an artist, you can use Creative Commons licenses … Continue reading

Posted in Intellectual Property, Law, Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, shameless self-promotion, Statistics, Technology | 2 Comments

Optimal Information Disclosure Levels: Data.gov and "Taleb's Criticism"

I was listening to the audio recording of last Friday’s “Scientific Data for Evidence Based Policy and Decision Making” symposium at the National Academies, and was struck by the earnest effort on the part of members of the Whitehouse to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Internet and Democracy, Law, Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, Statistics, Technology | 2 Comments

What's New at Science Foo Camp 2009

SciFoo is a wonderful annual gathering of thinkers about science. It’s an unconference and people who choose to speak do so. Here’s my reaction to a couple of these talks. In Pete Worden’s discussion of modeling future climate change, I … Continue reading

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Bill Gates to Development Researchers: Create and Share Statistics

I was recently in Doha, Qatar, presenting my research on global communication technology use and democratic tendency at ICTD09. I spoke right before the keynote, Bill Gates, whose main point was that when you engage in a goal-oriented activity, such … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Developing world, Economics, Human Rights, Internet and Democracy, Middle East, Open Science, Statistics, Talks, Technology | Leave a comment

Wolfram|Alpha Demoed at Harvard: Limits on Human Understanding?

Yesterday Stephen Wolfram gave the first demo of Wolfram|Alpha, coming in May, what he modestly describes as a system to make our stock of human knowledge computable. It includes not just facts, but also our algorithmic knowledge. He says, “Given … Continue reading

Posted in Open Science, Reproducible Research, Statistics, Talks, Technology | 2 Comments

Stuart Shieber and the Future of Open Access Publishing

Back in February Harvard adopted a mandate requiring its faculty member to make their research papers available within a year of publication. Stuart Shieber is a computer science professor at Harvard and responsible for proposing the policy. He has since … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Developing world, Economics, Intellectual Property, Open Science, Talks, Technology | 1 Comment

Craig Newmark: "no vision, but I know how to keep things simple, and I can listen some"

Craig Newmark was visiting the Berkman Center today and he explained how founding Craiglist brought him to his current role as community organizer. But these are really the same, he says. In 1994, Craig was working at Charles Schwab where … Continue reading

Posted in Berkman, Internet and Democracy, Media, Technology | 1 Comment

Sunstein speaks on extremism

Cass Sunstein, Professor at Harvard Law School, is speaking today on Extremism: Politics and Law. Related to this topic, he is the author of Nudge, Republic.com 2.0, and Infotopia. He discussed Republic 2.0 with Henry Farrell on this bloggingheads.tv diavlog, … Continue reading

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A2K3: Communication Rights as a Framework for Global Connectivity

In the last A2K3 panel, entitled The Global Public Sphere: Media and Communication Rights, Seán Ó Siochrú made some striking statements based on his experience building local communication networks in undeveloped areas of LCDs. He states that the global public … Continue reading

Posted in A2K3, Conferences, Developing world, Human Rights, Internet and Democracy, Technology | 1 Comment

Legal Barriers to Open Science: my SciFoo talk

I had an amazing time participating at Science Foo Camp this year. This is a unique conference: there are 200 invitees comprising some of the most innovative thinkers about science today. Most are scientists but not all – there are … Continue reading

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A2K3: Technological Standards are Public Policy

Laura DeNardis, executive director of Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, spoke during the A2K3 panel on Technologies for Access. She makes the point that many of our technological standards are being made behind closed doors and by private, largely … Continue reading

Posted in A2K3, Conferences, Developing world, Internet and Democracy, Technology | 2 Comments

A2K3: Tim Hubbard on Open Science

In the first panel at A2K3 on the history, impact, and future of the global A2K movement, Tim Hubbard, a genetics researcher, laments that scientists tend to carry out their work in a closed way and thus very little data … Continue reading

Posted in A2K3, Conferences, Developing world, Human Rights, Intellectual Property, Open Science, Technology | 4 Comments

Book Review: The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric Raymond

I can’t believe I haven’t read this book until now since it intersects two areas of deep interest to me: technology (specifically programming) and freedom. Essentially the book celebrates liberty as a natural mode for creativity and productivity, with open … Continue reading

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Vacations or "Vacations" :)

I’m here at the Global Voices Summit in Budapest and I just listened to a panel on Rising Voices, a group within Global Voices dedicated to supporting the efforts of people traditionally underrepresented in citizen media. (See their trailer here). … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Developing world, Media, Technology | 3 Comments

Internet and Cell Phone Use in the Middle East

When people talk about the Internet and Democracy, especially in the context of the Middle East, I wonder just how pervasive the Internet really is in these countries. I made a quick plot of data for Middle Eastern countries from … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, Statistics, Technology | 1 Comment

Lessig stars at the Stanford FCC hearing

After Comcast admitted to stuffing seats at the FCC hearing at Harvard Law School February 24th, the FCC decided another hearing was necessary. They chose to hold it at Stanford April 17 and I’m watching the FCC’s videocast of the … Continue reading

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David Weinberger: How new technologies and behaviors are changing the news

David Weinberger is a fellow and colleague of mine at the Berkman Center and is at Berkman’s Media Re:public Forum discussing the difference the web is making to journalism: “what’s different about the web when it comes to media and … Continue reading

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Robert Suro: Defining the qualities of information our democracy needs

Robert Suro is a professor of journalism at USC and spoke today at Berkman’s Media Re:public Forum. His talk concerns journalism’s role in democratic processes and he draws two distinctions in how we think about journalism that often get conflated: … Continue reading

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Richard Sambrook at the Media Re:public Forum

I’m at Berkman’s Media Re:public Forum and Richard Sambrook, director of Global News at the BBC is giving the first talk. He is something of a technological visionary and his primary concern is with how technology is affecting the ability … Continue reading

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Reducing Election Violence Cheaply – eVoting?

I can’t help but notice the violence surrounding the recent elections in Kenya, Pakistan, Zimbabwe (where I still have family) and many other places. To the extent that the problem is citizen mistrust of the voting process, this seems like … Continue reading

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