A new scientific tool called collaboration

Apologies for my slowness (probably due to having my head stuck in the sand for too long) but it suddenly occured to me that “collaboration” is probably the new scientific “tool”. I am half joking here as we just co-edited a book that has “collaborative” in the title (full disclosure) and had some great collabortively contributed chapters… OK so clarifying 1:1 collaboration is probably not going to cut it but what about 1: many? There have been a few of these that are well known..think sequencing genomes..but what about also the framework collaborative grants..Yes that is more like it. Perhaps under represented is computers as the glue that holds collaborations together, enables communications, data sharing etc.. rather than the all powerful supercomputer for analysis.

I was just reading a New York Times article online that mentioned in one paragraph..

“Computing is reshaping scientific research in a number of ways…” .

“..independent scientists have increasingly given way to research teams as cited by scientific papers in the field of high-energy physics that routinely have hundreds or even thousands of authors. “

“…since the Web was invented as a collaboration tool for the high-energy physics community at CERN,”.

…research teams in all scientific disciplines are increasingly both interdisciplinary and widely distributed geographically.”

Maybe the NYT also had their head in the sand for a while (a few years/decade or so), surely there were some other examples of computers and collaboration they could have added in the article (which I enjoyed nonetheless)..but I am happy that their readers may know more about scientific collaboration now. Perhaps we will also see the NIH (follow the framework type awards) and think more deeply about how projects could get done with less money but in a more collaborative manner using computers (and a few human scientists)…such as database curation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>