The Culture and Practice of Science is Changing

The opening up of information, communication, and organization brought by the internet is changing business as normal in every field, making it far easier for ideas on the edge to gain support and activity. This is important for the development of rejuvenation biotechnology, as the changing nature of scientific work can speed the move to the mainstream, and allow for far more useful progress to be achieved while the flow of funding is still comparatively small: "our entire model of education and what it means to be a 'trained professional' is shifting. There's a hell of a lot of resistance from the status quo - which makes it difficult and inconvenient for rapid progress - but it isn't enough to stop it from happening. ... When the university system and the current PhD paradigm was invented, it was a different time. ... If you wanted to study advanced topics, or apprentice under someone famous to learn from their expertise, you needed to go to a university. But things are different now. Technology allows us access to some of the leading minds of our age [making] proximity to a university campus nearly irrelevant in order to meet other students and benefit from valuable peer-to-peer discussions. With the world's information available on the web, and with all of these advances in technology allowing for rapid data sharing and collaboration, how much value is there in the Ivory Tower? We are becoming a society of autodidacts, with information at our fingertips 24/7. Citizen Science is a natural consequence of that. Have an interesting scientific inquiry? Get on the web and investigate it. Learn from the millions of sources out there. Crowdsource some ideas, generate some hypotheses. Have discussions with others. Make a plan. Get your equipment. The scientific method is in-progress. Science is free for all to explore. Why waste time jumping through bureaucratic hoops when you can begin investigating what you want, when you want? Need to fund your research? Crowdsourced methods of funding, such as Kickstarter, are becoming more popular for these types of endeavors. Instead of 100 scientists chasing the same grant, why not go to the public and let them fund what they think is valuable? I think we'll be seeing a lot more of this in the future."

Link: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/4935

Comments

It's quite interesting article however the main problem and obstacle of further development is patent law and crazy attempts to patent everything and evrywhere.
When somebody have interesting new idea the first step is to go to Patent Office, and efect is that open platform of ideas is for me something astonishing. It will not work at all.
In my opinion copyright for 70 years is brake for ideas.
So assumption that open platforms of ideas will be developed is somehow too optimistic, bacaouse always you will find somebody "money oriented" who will steal the idea.
System of grants for scientific survey doesn't imply cooperation but competition.

Posted by: lebero at October 28th, 2011 9:20 AM

I'm all for anything that gets more minds working on the problem of aging. However, while we've been hearing about "garage biotech" for a while I have yet to see much science of merit actually come from such tiny ventures. I hope we will eventually, but who knows. The university system is still the main producer of science around the world and probably will be for a long time.

Posted by: KC at October 30th, 2011 5:28 PM

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