Mozilla Science Lab Week in Review, Oct. 6 – Oct. 12


Many thanks as always to our speakers for our monthly lab meeting: Brian Bot (Sage Bionetworks), Aure Moser (a Knight-Mozilla Fellow and contributor to Internews Kenya) and Laura Paglione (CTO ORCID), for their comments on working at the intersection of science and software, and on plans for the fast-approaching MozFest!

Also many thanks to Amye Kenall (BioMed Central) for her insightful blogpost on the need for badges in science – this is exciting work we’re all eager to jump into with Amye and her team at MozFest.

And last but not least, thanks to Shirish Goyal for submitting the first (of many!) pull requests to an open science project via our new collaboration pilot, Looking forward to many more from all of you!

In & Around the Lab

The big news landed on Thursday: Software Carpentry has been spun out into the Software Carpentry Foundation! The Science Lab joins the wider community in being thrilled that this champion project has found its feet in its own organization, and we are excited for the opportunities this brings to reach more students and scientists around the world. The Mozilla Science Lab will continue to enthusiastically support the Software Carpentry Foundation with organization, instructor training, and outreach going forward – read more on our blog post from earlier this week, linked above.

This week also saw the triumphant launch of the Mozilla Science Lab’s first collaboration program! This project has been a long time coming – it got its start back at Strange Loop and LXJS 2013 as Interdisciplinary Programming, when it was proposed in a call to action by Angelina Fabbro (Mozilla) and our own Bill Mills. Since then, the project has evolved into a study on how researchers, coders, educators and designers can all collaborate to build science together – and it’s only the beginning. We have a number of events planned surrounding this project, and even bigger things to come in the new year. For now, we hope you can find a project or two to jump into and hack on – all the scientists behind these projects are eager to work and learn with you. Check out the list, and don’t be shy to jump on the forum for questions and conversation surrounding all our projects.

Also this week, it was time for our monthly community call! With so many exciting things happening this month, we had no shortage of things to discuss. Brian Bot joined us from Sage Bionetworks as one of the project contributors behind our collaboration program to tell us about lessons learned by his org in getting scientists and developers to speak the same language and work effectively together; Aurelia Moser (Knight-Mozilla fellow, Internews Kenya) told us about her plans for MozFest to start a conversation on how to adapt existing software workshop material for librarians; and Laura Paglione (CTO, ORCID) joined us with comments on ORCID’s role in badging for scientists, and how people can jump in to that work with her at MozFest.

Next Week’s Forecast

Next week is round three of Instructor Hangouts! In response to your feedback, we’ve adjusted the times to avoid the weekend and give Asia, Australia and their time-zone neighbors some overlap with the North American community – we’ll be meeting on Thursday, October 16 at 9AM and 4PM PDT (UTC-7). Up next week, we’ll be taking another run by popular demand at instructor video reviews, and we’ll be discussing how to plan a flexible lesson for a workshop, that can most readily adapt to student needs. We hope you’ll join us!

Also next week, the Science Lab’s director, Kaitlin Thaney, will be speaking at the National Cancer Institute Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology Speaker Series. Kaitlin will be speaking on how we can better work together to advance the mission of more open, collaborative, web-enabled science, and how, together, we can influence the culture of science by demonstrating new and open ways to conduct research on the web. Watch Kaitlin’s talk live via the WebEx link in the announcement, or catch the webcast afterwards.

On the Forums

Some exciting conversations are happening on the Mozilla Science Lab Forum! A few notables this week:

How can we advance the scientific discussion process? In this thread, @wehlutyk presents some exciting ideas on what a platform for a more fluid discussion around papers, figures, data and analyses might look like. Interesting points were raised on what we can do with the tools we already have, how to motivate adoption of new paradigms, and how we can design & build the metadata infrastructure that will underpin them.

Cookiecutter examples of good scientific software project schemes. @codersquid riffs off an issue opened by Daniel Chen on our ongoing Code Review material in suggesting the compilation of some cookiecutter templates for exemplifying standardized project layout in various scientific subdomains. This sounds like a cool and doable project – add you proposed schemes to the list!

Gold Standards in Open Science: @DamienIrving pointed out that while there’s a lot of discussion surrounding defining and advocating open science, one resource that would be really helpful is a list of great examples of open science being done out in the wild, in various disciplines. Know of any great examples? Add them to the discussion!

Have another idea, question or conversation on open science? Feel free to start your own, we all want to hear from you!

Reading List

Why we need badges in science, by Amye Kenall

Svetlana Belkin talks about what tools are required for building a meta Open Science community

NIH Software Discovery Index meeting report, linking software, publications & users in research (comments welcome)

Reproducible research with rctrack (R package; see PubMed article as well)

UC3, PLOS, and DataONE join forces to build incentives for data sharing