You know and love the Mozilla Science Lab (MSL) for its programs like Global Sprint, Open Leadership Training, Working Open Workshops, mini grants and fellowships. At their core, these offerings are about open leadership, which is much bigger than science alone. In fact, several of the programs “born” in the Mozilla Science Lab have grown and become broader offerings for the community of people working towards a healthier internet.
As the fight for an accessible internet continues to change, Mozilla must continually evaluate how our programming is working to help us reach our strategic goals. From rampant misinformation to ever scarier privacy and security threats, the need to focus on improving the health of the internet grows more important every day. It’s clear that we, as Mozilla, need to use our assets – our brand, our megaphone, our global community, our money – to confront internet health head-on. For this reason, we have made the strategic decision to continue to support those working on open science and research under the auspices of our Open Leadership & Events Team rather than through the Mozilla Science Lab.
What this means for current programming
Beloved Science Lab institutions, such as the Study Group Programs and Community Calls, will continue to be supported by some of our partner organizations. For example, long time-collaborators, the Carpentries, will take on the management, scaling and evolution of the Study Group program. We will have a separate blog post with more information on this development coming soon.
We are also working with multiple partners to develop collaborative hosting of Community Calls. There is an opportunity to share the facilitation, theme selection and speaker invites with our many colleagues and partner organizations that support open science & open research. Code for Science & Society and eLife have already been testing this out with us by hosting calls earlier this year. If your org is interested in partnering on these calls, please let us know at email@example.com.
How we will continue to support open research
Since expanding the focus beyond science, the Mozilla Open Leaders mentoring program and the Global Sprint, both of which originated in Science Lab, have gained momentum, attracted more participants with varied skills and provided a richer experience for all. We’ve seen 170% year over year growth in the Open Leadership Mentorship program with 262 graduates and 42% of those graduates returning as mentors. The Global Sprint saw a 55% increase in participation from 2017 to 2018.
In Mozilla’s unified Fellowship program, scientists like Chris Hartgerink work side-by-side with policy experts like Amba Kak, or activists like Joana Varon. Our new cohort of fellows promises to be just as exciting and present ever more opportunities for this type of cross-disciplinary collaboration and innovation: We just announced twenty-six new fellows for 2018-2019. Thanks to the generous support of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Siegel Family Endowment, there will be six fellows in the open science and open research focus area.
Additionally, our Mozilla Science Mini Grant program launched last year with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and this year is being supported by the Helmsley Trust. Seven of the project leads awarded mini-grants this year will be joining us at the Mozilla Festival, our annual celebration of the open web, to demonstrate what they’ve accomplished and reach out for new collaborators. We will be announcing a new call for project proposals at MozFest, so stay tuned!
How to stay connected
Content from the Science Lab’s website will be folded into the broader Mozilla Foundation site in the coming months. MSL blog content will be archived and remain accessible. The @MozillaScience Twitter feed will also remain active, and we’ll continue to share news, resources and information for the open science community there, at @MozOpenLeaders and on the Mozilla Open Leaders blog.
Telling our story together
As we move into this new phase, we’re also looking back at everything our community has accomplished throughout the life of the Science Lab. Do you have a favorite moment, blogpost, event or resource from the Science Lab? Please share it with us on the Mozilla Science Twitter feed! We’d love to hear it!
We’re excited to strengthen and deepen our connections within the open science and research communities, within Mozilla itself and with our external partners. We’re looking forward to your continued participation in a year-long cycle of events and opportunities – from Open Leaders and the Global Sprint to MozFest – to further open research and innovation worldwide.