Time to move the scientific process on the web

A fascinating paradox is that, for all the innovations around the web, and the fact that it was created to support a research community (CERN researchers around the world) and a research consumption model, the scientific method still operates largely as it did in the time of Newton. This presentation at MIT shows some of what needs to be done in order to fix that

I particularly liked John Wilbanks’ slide saying that we need to move from

  • old collaboration:
    • reading the canon on paper
    • querying single-access databases
    • human as mediator
    • artisanal tool manufacturing
    • tightly controlled distribution

to

  • new collaboration:
    • reading the canon with machines
    • integrating databases
    • computer as mediator
    • industrial tool manufacturing
    • standardized distribution

The time is more than ripe for just getting this done, lest academic research fall so far behind industrial and commercial research that it becomes completely irrelevant (it already has, in some fields). MIT understands it and will build the future. Many other universitites, especially in Europe, do not. I am sorry to say, but I think it is a generational problem as well.

(That being said, it is irritating to have to download Realplayer to see MIT’s videos. Real has this constant nagging to have you try out a "free trial version" rather than the truly free version, which you have to look hard for to locate.)

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One thought on “Time to move the scientific process on the web

  1. Ron

    “That being said, it is irritating to have to download Realplayer
    to see MIT’s videos. Real has this constant nagging…”
    That’s because you’re using the wrong player. Real has also
    been caught giving people spyware (Real Jukebox). Try the
    freeware “Real Alternative”. Google will find you lots of
    spots to load it; here’s just one:
    http://www.codecguide.com/about_real.htm

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