The Mudslide Hypothesis of Science

Kaitlin Thaney (Digital Science)
Keynote
Location: Portland Ballroom
Average rating: ***..
(3.47, 49 ratings)

The Web has transformed not only the way we approach modern day science, but a number of other facets of the research cycle: tools for analysis, mediums which now serve as “information inputs”, how we exchange ideas and even discover knowledge. Yet despite the pieces being there, changing practice is like trying to shake a castle.

In scientific research, we’re dealing with special circumstances, trying to innovate upon hundreds of years of entrenched norms and practices, broken incentive structures and information discovery problems dramatically slowing the system, keeping us from making the advances needed to better society.

Technological solutions exist and processes are slowly changing, but the machine is not nearly as well-oiled (or straightforward) as we’d like to think, and there are still breaks in the system keeping us from doing more efficient work. In this talk, Kaitlin will posit that we’re not only “getting this wrong” in the academic research context, but that we need a shift in mindset towards openness as well as better tools to truly disrupt the system, and bring our methods (finally) into the 21st century.

Photo of Kaitlin Thaney

Kaitlin Thaney

Digital Science

Kaitlin comes from Digital Science, a new technology company started out of Macmillan Publishers, providing tools for researchers. She’s a technologist, open science advocate, and data nerd who works in her day job to make scientific research more efficient through better use of technology. Prior to moving to the UK to work for Digital Science, she managed the science division of Creative Commons where she worked to enable better knowledge sharing and research. For more about Digital Science, visit http://digital-science.com. You can follow her at @kaythaney

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