What has the public ever done for us...?

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A talk given at the June London Tech Meet, Kings College London, on the general issue of public engagement and involvement in research.

Transcript of What has the public ever done for us...?

  • What has the public ever done for us?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/untitlism/22800371 CC-BY

    Cameron Neylon - BioGeeks Tech Meet - London - 18 June 2010

  • Disclaimer...

    The opinions expressed in this talk are the personal views of the speaker given as a private citizen and should not under any circumstances be taken as indicative of STFC, RCUK, or UK government policy or of any current or past discussions of future policy....

  • Helen BermanLorie LeJeune

    Iain Emsley

    Neil Saunders

    Brian Kelly

    Harry Collins

    Michael Nielsen

    Jen Dodd

    Greg Wilson

    Timo Hannay

    Maxine Clarke

    Jenny RohnRicardo Vidal Paulo Nuin

    Jenny HalePeter Murray-Rust

    Deepak Singh

    Jon Udell Tim OReilly

    David Crotty

    Rafael Sidi

    Richard Akerman

    Jean-Claude Bradley

    Mike Ellis

    Liz Lyons

    Andy Powell

    Gavin Baker Peter Suber

    Victor Henning

    Sabine HossenfelderFlickr

    Google

    Steve Wilson

    Andrew Milsted

    Frank Norman

    Dave de RoureJeremy Frey

    John Cumbers

    Bill Flanagan

    ISIS LSS Group

    Lakshmi Shastry

    Catherine Jones

    ISIS Computing GroupSTFC

    Plausible AccuracyJohn

    Dupuis

    Chad Orzel

    Ken Shankland

    Martyn Bull

    Jonathan Gray

    Rufus Pollock

    Clay Shirky

    Kevin Kelly

    Gavin Bell

    Shirley Wu

    Euan Adie

    Richard Curry Ian Mulvany

    Jamie McQuay

    Atilla Csordas

    Pawel Szcsesny Gabriel Cavalli

    Matt WoodTIM HUBBARD

    DUNCAN HULL

    Richard Grant Branwen Hide

    PLoS

    Friendfeed

    Bora Zivkovic

    Peter Binfield

    John Wilbanks

    Kaitlin ThaneyThe BioGang

    Tony WilliamsEgon Willighagen

    Martin FennerYaroslav Nikolaev

    Jon EisenMichael Eisen

    Richard Akerman

    Jeremiah FaithMichael Barton

    Lee Smolin

    Garret Lisi

    Victoria Stodden

    Simon ColesTony Hey Noel Gorelick

    Jon Tansley

    Benjamin Good Dorothea Salo

    Paul Walk

    Mitch Waldrop

    Bjrn Brembs

    Rich Apodaca

    Bill Hooker

    Pedro Beltrao

    Mat Todd

    SciFoo 2008/9

    campers

    Stephen Brenner

    Brian Matthews

    Allyson Lister

    Phil Lord

    Steve Koch

    Koch Lab

    Carole Goble

    Stephen FriendEva Amsen

    JOHN WILLINSKY

    TIM HUBBARDTIM HUBBARDTIM HUBBARD

    Steph Hannon

    Rebecca Goulding

    Leigh Dodds

    Paul Miller

    Mark BorkumDan Hagon

    Jim Downing

    Nico Adams

    @gnatFabiana Kubke

    Hope LemanLisa Green

    Ariel Waldmann

    @tGrace Baynes

    Simon Philips

    Matt Johnson

    Lee Dirks

    Microsoft

    NPG Ben Goldacre

    Arfon Smith

    Nicholas Cole

    Chris Leonard

    PIERRE LINDENBAUM

    ALAN CANN

    Jo Badge

    Mummi Thorissson

    Andrew Kasarskis

    Glyn Moody

    @communicating

    PT Sefton

    Andrew Farke

    Josh Sommers

    Gilles Friedmann

    Ant Beck

  • Preface:

  • http://bit.ly/cJCDi0

  • Why do we do science?

  • Why do they pay?

  • Why do they pay?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mararie/3313582639/ CC-BY-SA

  • Why do they pay?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mararie/3313582639/ CC-BY-SA

    we

  • Cures...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/59334544@N00/2322167178

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/natematias/310642831 CC-BY-SA

    Prestige...

  • ...excitementhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/penmachine/2109311458/

  • Why do I do it?

  • Mortgage...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/2143212474 CC-BY

  • ...curiosity...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/emiliodelprado/225161313

  • Fun!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/2908834853

  • This is a privilege.

  • Not a right.

  • My aim is to...

  • Maximise (positive) impact

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/amardilo/3231427553 CC-BY

  • ...through my work or through enabling others.

  • What is impact?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/valeriebb/2248744703

  • and how do you measure it?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/3209939998

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattymatt/3017263513

    I dont have a good answer...

  • But at least focus on...

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/3947254236

  • I work mainly on technique development and enabling

    technologies

  • I aim to maximise the ability of people to (re-)use my work

  • http://flickr.com/photos/virtualsugar/316200555/ CC-BY

  • Open data...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jwyg/4528443760/ CC-BY-SA

  • Open process...

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/24801682@N08/2957964645 CC-BY

    Open materials

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomarthur/3593729997

    Optimise for....

  • ....not this

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vrogy/514733529

  • ...at least thats the aim...

  • http://flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/2756494307/ CC_BY

    What about papers... or peer review?

  • Publication in traditional journals represents the state

    of the art for scientific communication...

  • ...if you are using 17th century technology

    Michael Nielsen

  • 25B on publication?2B on peer review?

    http://www.rin.ac.uk

  • The web makes publishing easy

  • ...data, documents, media...

    Text

  • Publishing (broadcasting) is easy

  • ...real engagement is harderhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/missrogue/107787363

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tranchis/3708549622Less of this...

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/4637981216 CC-BY

    ...more of this...

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/flavinsky/3410980137 CC-BY

  • ...we are the public...http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/613445810 CC-BY

  • ...but...

  • 21C rate of information...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dylanroscover/3450505729 CC-BY-SA

  • ...with 19C filter systems

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveyll/332723930

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mgifford/3558463424 CC-BY-SA

  • Find a balance...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/what_i_see/2790184219 CC-BY

  • ...build the right tools

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wheatfields/3408358703 CC-BY

  • Maximise the return on the public investment

  • Maximising impact

  • =

  • Maximising (real) engagement

  • Lets assume...

  • we can communicate and engage...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/3088582622

  • Will we want to?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/66164549@N00/2162663143

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/biscuitsmlp/2247299538 CC-BY-SA

  • Because every time a permanent job is advertised...

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/t3rmin4t0r/3947963283 CC-BY

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/t3rmin4t0r/3947963283 CC-BY

    The one with the most Nature papers

    gets to mate...

  • None of this will get you a job or funding...at least not yet.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/erix/27946743 CC-BY

    and the consequences...

  • ...so whos going first then?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/divemasterking2000/3827673841

  • We need the right incentives...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/3238300837 CC-BY

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/frozenchipmunk/197591546 CC-BY

    Value use and re-use...

  • ...rather than

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/klausnahr/4437823757 CC-BY-SA

  • But that has to come from the top...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/3033524024 CC-BY

  • If we get this right...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidcjones/1422043515

  • Hundreds of thousands...

  • ...of champions and advocates...

  • ...and contributors

  • And if we get it wrong...?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phobia/2308371224 CC-BY-SA

  • But this is the medias fault!

    Nothing to do with us right?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/secretlondon/3104523439 CC-BY-SA

  • Consider the following...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jakecaptive/3205277810/ CC-BY

  • Its too much work to make the information available

    I dont want it to get into the hands of people who might misuse or misunderstand it

    Properly qualified experts need to look over it first.

  • Its too much work to make the information available

    I dont want it to get into the hands of people who might misuse or misunderstand it

    Properly qualified experts need to look over it first.

    From a scientist?

  • Its too much work to make the information available

    I dont want it to get into the hands of people who might misuse or misunderstand it

    Properly qualified experts need to look over it first.

    From a politician?

  • Its too much work to make the information available

    I dont want it to get into the hands of people who might misuse or misunderstand it

    Properly qualified experts need to look over it first.

    From the CEO of BP?

  • You expect government information to be free.

  • You expect public health information to be free.

  • You expect company information to be free.

  • What made you think your science was any different?