Fabiana Kubke reflects on the launch on the Open Science Prize
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It gave me great pleasure to see the launch of the Open Science Prize in the middle of this year’s Open Access Week. Sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, this prize provides a great incentive for international collaborations that help foster Open Science.
Science should be Open and collaborative – anything else just creates barriers for the application of or challenges to the findings, which are at the core of how science works and moves forward. As researchers we have, however, managed to build communities that tend to disincentivise this open collaboration. We have traded the Mertonian values for a form of commodified science that does not take advantage of the opportunities offered by the technologies of today (cue in Internet, digital technologies). As our individual ability to openly and freely communicate our science increases, so do the forces that fight to control the knowledge increase.
It is in this context that the Open Science Prize is important. Backed by three major international funding agencies the Open Science Prize sends a clear signal to researchers about what the Science enterprise should be expected to look like and puts their money where their mouth is. This prize is not just about celebrating successes in Open Science, it is also about specifically funding it. It brings Open Science into the mainstream, and, I hope, will get people thinking (and talking) about why it is important.
At the end of the day, Open Science should not be seen as some odd peripheral way of doing things or contrasted against mainstream science – but rather as a synonym of Science itself. I look forward to the day when we frame the conversation around contrasting Science to ‘Closed Science’ instead.
I am honoured to have been invited to join a great panel of expert advisors, and of course to bring a ‘down under’ perspective to the process. I look forward to working on the rest of the process with the rest of the team.
Fabiana Kubke is a neuroscience researcher and teacher at the University of Auckland. She is an Academic Editor for PLOS ONE and PeerJ and Chair of the Advisory Board of Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand.
She is on the panel of Expert Advisors for the Open Science Prize