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My lab:
ScienceOnline09First up for me this morning was Bill Hooker's and my session on "Open Access publishing: Future and Present". Because of the presence of several High-School students in the audience, I asked Bill to explain a little more about what Open Acces is and means. After about 25 minutes summarizing the present of OA, we got into discussing the future of OA. To my surprise, we were not preaching to the choir when we asked for ideas about reform, but were faced with a bunch of questions and comments of how on earth we could possibly make it better. Specifically, Bob O'Hara argued that where something was published was so incredibly useful in assessing indivdual researchers and wondered wat we would replace it with. We didn't get into the specifics of that, because this will be more part of the second session. Others wondered about the technical feasibility of substantial reform or how important it was to block "low-impact" science or "bad papers" from wasting anybody's time. It appears to me that we didn't really do a good job at getting to the important issues and steer the discussion towards the sort of brain-storming I had in mind for the 'future' part of the session. Something Pete Binfield and I will have to think about for the next session. For more info, read the session wiki or this blog post.
I next sat in the video session of Moshe Pritsker from JoVE and Apryl Baily from SciVee. I really enjoyed this session as I really like both platforms.
For me the most fascinating session was hosted by John Willbanks on the semantic web. Awesome presentation by John and a very lively discussion. If you ever have a chance to see joh tak, don't miss it! The future of the semantic web is bright, in my opinion, even though John seemed to paint a bleaker picture. The potential is huge, the problems needing to be solved are there, so it will happen. I'm looking forward to it. After the session the guy sitting next to me all the time turned towards me and introduced himself to me. I was so excited to learn he was Michael Nielsen, a person I hold in the highest esteem, with an impressive vita  and I had, until then never met before.
So all in all a very exciting morning of the first day. I'm currently in the "Web and History of Science" session which is very lively and throws around way more ideas than could possibly exhaustively covered in such a short time. Next up are two sessions on Open Science, which will be very interesting as well, I'm sure.
Posted on Saturday 17 January 2009 - 21:17:46 comment: 0

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