Announcing our 2015 Mozilla Fellows for Science!

It’s my pleasure today to announce the first class of Mozilla Fellows for Science. The folks chosen are representative of the change we want to see in the community, championing openness, collaboration, and mentorship in science. Over the next ten months, the Fellows will work on projects to help their local communities engage with open data, open source software and teach forward to their peers. They will also receive training and support from Mozilla to hone their skills around open source, participatory learning, and data sharing.

This was a challenging decision, with over 130 top-notch open researchers applying for three spots. And while we wish we could accommodate all of the candidates, we learned that the need for support is high for researchers looking to champion openness in science.

We’ll be sharing more about our selection process and what we learned later this week, so do stay tuned.

Because of the strength of the candidate pool, we’re pleased to announce that we’re adding a fourth fellow to the mix.

Introducing this year’s class

We’re thrilled to welcome the following open science leaders as the first Mozilla Fellows for Science:
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Richard Smith-Unna (@blahah404) is a computational biology PhD student at the University of Cambridge. He is currently focused on understanding a particularly efficient kind of photosynthesis called C4. He develops and contributes to a wide array of open source software and teaching materials for bioinformatics, including the Content Mine,, and BioJulia.
Christie Bahlai (@cbahlai) is an insect ecologist and post-doctoral research associate at Michigan State University.  She works with the NSF-funded Long Term Ecological Research network, and is interested in how we can use big(ish) ecological data and open science approaches to help build sustainable agricultural systems. She’s an instructor with Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry and maintains a blog about open science and data management called Practical Data Management.
Joey Lee (@leejoeyk) is a geographer and computational media artist from San Francisco, California passionate about technological literacy and the engagement of art and science through computation and collaboration. He is co-author of “The Big Atlas of LA Pools” and co-creator of the “Aerial Bold” Kickstarter project (video here). He is currently based in Vancouver, Canada, balancing his time between his MSc research and teaching at the University of British Columbia, building workshops around opensource tools (e.g. Maptime Vancouver), and exploring projects around geography and technology.
Jason Bobe (@jasonbobe) is Associate Professor and director of the Sharing Lab at the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai where he leads the Resilience Project with Eric Schadt and Stephen Friend, a research study that aims to find and decode people who are able to avoid disease despite having genetic risk factors. He has founded two open science nonprofits, PersonalGenomes.orgDIYbio. With co-founder Madeleine Ball, he has created, a platform that connects people and their data with researchers that practice equitable data sharing. With George Church, he coordinates the Global Network of Personal Genome Projects, now with sites in four countries.

We have a few opportunities coming up to meet the fellows, starting this Thursday, October 8 at 11ET on our next community call. Join us to hear more about this year’s class!

The Fellows will also be at this year’s Mozilla Festival (“MozFest” for short), coming again to London November 6-8. Snag your ticket – we’d love to see you there!

A big thank you from us

We were overwhelmed with the interest and thoughtfulness of our applicant pool, and while we can only bring on four Fellows this round, we wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who applied.

And a big thank you to our funder, Helmsley Charitable Trust, for making this all possible. We look forward to sharing more about this year’s class over the coming weeks, but for now, please join me in giving a hearty open science welcome to Christie, Joey, Richard and Jason!