Categories: Mozilla Science

This April, Mozilla is Standing Up for Science

Mozilla supports the March for Science. And we’re leading projects to make scientific research more open and accessible, from extraterrestrial hackathons to in-depth fellowships


We believe openness is a core component not just of a healthy Internet, but also a healthy society. Much like open practices can unlock innovation in the realm of technology, open practices can also invigorate fields like civics, journalism — and science.

In laboratories and at academic institutions, open source code, data and methodology foster collaboration between researchers; spark scientific progress; increase transparency and encourage reproducibility; and better serve the public interest.

Open data has been shown to speed up the study process and vaccine development for viruses, like Zika, at global scale. And open practices have allowed scientific societies from around the globe to pool their expertise and explore environments beyond Earth.

This April, Mozilla is elevating its commitment to open science. Mozilla Science Lab, alongside a broader network of scientists, developers and activists, is leading a series of programs and events to support open practices in science.

Our work aligns with the April 22 March for Science, a series of nonpartisan gatherings around the world that celebrate science in the public interest. We’re proud to say Teon Brooks, PhD — neuroscientist, open science advocate and Mozilla Science Fellow — is serving as a March for Science Partnership Outreach Co-Lead.

From science fellowships to NASA-fueled hackathons, here’s what’s happening at Mozilla this April:

Signage for Science Marchers

We want to equip March for Science participants — from the neuroscientist to the megalosaurus-obsessed third grader — with signs that spotlight their passion and reverence for science. So Mozilla is asking you for your most clever, impassioned science-march slogans. With them, our designers will craft handy posters you can download, print and heft high.

Learn more here.

Seeking Open Science Fellows

This month, Mozilla began accepting applications for Mozilla Fellowships for Science. For the third consecutive year, we are providing paid fellowships to scientists around the world who are passionate about collaborative, iterative and open research practices.

Mozilla Science Fellows spend 10 months as community catalysts at their institutions, and receive training and support from Mozilla to hone their skills around open source, data sharing, open science policy and licensing. Fellows also craft code, curriculum and other learning resources.

Fellowship alums hail from institutions like Stanford University and University of Cambridge, and have developed open source tools to teach and study issues like bioinformatics, climate science and neuroscience.

Apply for a fellowship here. And read what open science means to Mozillian Abigail Cabunoc Mayes: My Grandmother, My Work, and My Open Science Story

Calling for Open Data

In the United States, federal taxes help fund billions of dollars in scientific research each year. But the results of that research are frequently housed behind pricey paywalls, or within complex, confounding systems.

Citizens should have access to the research they help fund. Further, open access can spark even more innovation — it allows entrepreneurs, researchers and consumers to leverage and expand upon research. Just one example: Thanks to publicly-funded research made openly available, farmers in Colorado have access to weather data to predict irrigation costs and market cycles for crops.

Add your name to the petition:

Calling for Open Citations

Earlier this month, Mozilla announced support for the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC), a project to make citations in scientific research open and freely accessible. I4OC is a collaboration between Wikimedia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a slate of scholarly publishers and several other organizations.

Presently, citations in many scholarly publications are inaccessible, subject to restrictive and confusing licenses. Further, citation data is often not machine readable — meaning we can’t use computer programs to parse the data.

I4OC envisions a global, public web of citation data — one that empowers teaching, learning, innovation and progress.

Learn more about I4OC.

Extraterrestrial Hackathon (in Brooklyn)

Each year, the Space Apps hackathon allows scientists, coders and makers around the world to leverage NASA’s open data sets. In 2016, 5,000 people across six continents contributed. Participants built apps to measure air quality, to remotely explore gelid glaciers and to monitor astronauts’ vitals.

For the 2017 Space Apps Hackathon — slated for April 28-30 — participants will use NASA data to study Earth’s hydrosphere and ecological systems. Mozilla Science is hosting a Brooklyn-based Space Apps event, which will include a data bootcamp.

Learn more at