What famous scientist can we convert to open notebook science

Yesterday while at ScienceOnline 2012 I was in the Open Notebooks session and asked Jean-Claude Bradley if we can convert a famous scientist to open notebook science? Then I tweeted this.

By famous, I mean a very high impact, visible scientist that people hear about (and respect),  a big name.

This would serve several purposes. 1. An advocate or spokesperson that could spread the word. 2. They may have many collaborators and they would be encouraged to also use open notebook science. 3. The need for a figurehead that can engage the scientific and general public in the discussion 4. If they are well funded it could encourage funding agencies to also foster open notebook science use.

So who do you suggest and how do we go about doing this? There are challenges. As a non open notebook scientist because my day job requires closed science, it’s challenging to go this route. Perhaps I could become partially an open scientist as a step in the process. This might be something to suggest to the proposed famous scientist /s. I think we need to focus on the biomedical sciences as open notebook science could have a major impact here on collaboration and data sharing.

So how famous is famous? Do they have to be a nobel prize winner in chemistry, have a h-index that is very high etc? I feel that all scientists are notable and to require a single person to motivate the shift to open notebook science may be a vain hope but we can try? Perhaps rather than doing this all the time they could devote part of their time to it. I would take that as a first step because it has ramifications. Will your collaborators still want to work with you? There are plenty of philosophical questions here. How do we identify the right people to convert to the cause?


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