Blog Archives

Open science and the environmental movement

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By Shannon Dosemagen, co-founder and Executive Director of Public Lab.

Historically, environmental monitoring in the U.S. is by industrial polluters and those responsible for regulating and enforcing environmental laws. This leaves little room for engagement with those who are affected by the environmental health decisions being made about their communities.

The vision behind Public Lab is a community driven collaborative model that creates the physical means for independent people and organizations to engage in environmental data collection and the scientific research process.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Is science compatible with peer production?

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By Eduard Aibar, associate professor and researcher, UOC-IN3

Science has often been described by many sociologists as a collective enterprise. Most scientific research is done in collaboration, and collaboration can even involve thousands of scientists — as in the case of the Large Hadron Collider experiments. The standard publication system of science is based on colleagues’ collaboration and evaluation through the peer-review process.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014
About the Question
How many peers does it take to change a light bulb?

Systems like Linux and websites like Wikipedia are paradigmatic of a particular way of open collaboration known as peer production. Peer producers choose their tasks freely and coordinate their work using open digital platforms. They share the fruits of their labour as part of a global commons, and everyone works according to their abilities and benefits according to their needs.

Is this an emerging form of communism? Or the future of liberal capitalism? Or is it simply a new mode of production? In this blog we want to explore both the benefits and the downsides of such way of working.

UOC/IN3 degrees