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Open Science Session at PSB 2009?

17 January 2008 8 Comments

Shirley Wu from Stanford left a comment on my New Years Resolutions post suggesting the possibility of a session on Open Science at the PSB meeting in Hawaii in 2009 which I wanted to bring to front for peoples attention.

[…] Since you mentioned organizing an international meeting on the subject and publicizing open science, I’m curious what your thoughts (and anyone else’s who reads this!) would be on participating in a session on Open Science at the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing at PSB. They don’t traditionally cover non-primary research/methods tracks, but they do pride themselves on being at the cutting edge of biology and biocomputing, so I am hoping they will be amenable to the idea. If there was support from, shall we say, the founders of this movement, I think it would help a great deal towards making it happen. […]

She also has a post on her new blog One Big Lab where she fleshes out the idea in a bit more detail and which is probably the best place to continue the discussion.

Hi Shirley! Great to have more people out there blogging and commenting. I am not sure whether I really qualify as a ‘founder of the movement’. I know things are moving fast, but I don’t think having been around for nine months or so makes me that venerable!

This sounds broadly like a good idea to me. I was considering trying to organise a meeting in the UK towards October – November this year but the timelines are tight and really dependent on money coming through. I would be happy to push back to Jan 2009 in Hawaii if people felt this was a good idea; if the grant comes through we could use this as the first annual meeting. My only concern is that Hawaii probably increases average costs for people as more people have to come further and book accomodation than if it is either Western Europe or East Coast US. The other issues is how and whether to focus such a session. I also don’t see a problem with having two meetings ~6 months apart. What do people think?


  • The difference is only a few months, and being part of an established meeting provides infrastructure and mainstream exposure. If PSB is amenable I think it’s probably a good idea. (Obdisclosure: I’m selfishly in favour of pushing back the date, because it increases the chance that I could attend.)

  • The difference is only a few months, and being part of an established meeting provides infrastructure and mainstream exposure. If PSB is amenable I think it’s probably a good idea. (Obdisclosure: I’m selfishly in favour of pushing back the date, because it increases the chance that I could attend.)

  • Thanks for highlighting my post! Here is probably as good a place as any to discuss this idea, since your blog has a regular and wider audience.

    The point about accessibility is a good one. PSB does offer some travel funding, but I’m not sure how they go about awarding it. If there is another large conference around the same time (meaning proposals for sessions due late winter/early spring) that is more centrally located, I am all for throwing our effort behind that one. And, as you said, it might not hurt to have more meetings, at least in the beginning, so we could always work on PSB, and if it goes through, it goes through. That might give another conference more incentive to include a session on it, as well.

    (Incidentally, I noticed that Heather Piwowar – http://researchremix.wordpress.com – presented a poster at PSB two weeks ago on the patterns of data sharing in the biomedical sciences. Maybe we could find out how her poster was received there?)

  • Thanks for highlighting my post! Here is probably as good a place as any to discuss this idea, since your blog has a regular and wider audience.

    The point about accessibility is a good one. PSB does offer some travel funding, but I’m not sure how they go about awarding it. If there is another large conference around the same time (meaning proposals for sessions due late winter/early spring) that is more centrally located, I am all for throwing our effort behind that one. And, as you said, it might not hurt to have more meetings, at least in the beginning, so we could always work on PSB, and if it goes through, it goes through. That might give another conference more incentive to include a session on it, as well.

    (Incidentally, I noticed that Heather Piwowar – http://researchremix.wordpress.com – presented a poster at PSB two weeks ago on the patterns of data sharing in the biomedical sciences. Maybe we could find out how her poster was received there?)

  • I will be in California starting next month and for a couple of years so for me sounds like a good idea.
    Wherever such a meeting is organized it will always be difficult to get enough people that are already interested in working in ONS methods.
    Even if we cannot use PSB meeting as a place to get everyone that already is interested in working on ONS it would still be useful to spread the idea. It could be presented more broadly as a tutorial to discuss how the internet can be used efficiently to improve research.

  • I will be in California starting next month and for a couple of years so for me sounds like a good idea.
    Wherever such a meeting is organized it will always be difficult to get enough people that are already interested in working in ONS methods.
    Even if we cannot use PSB meeting as a place to get everyone that already is interested in working on ONS it would still be useful to spread the idea. It could be presented more broadly as a tutorial to discuss how the internet can be used efficiently to improve research.

  • Jeremy

    I support the idea of a session, perhaps we can use it to show how the the links between biological and chemical communities (and others) can be improved by making the science more open.

  • Jeremy

    I support the idea of a session, perhaps we can use it to show how the the links between biological and chemical communities (and others) can be improved by making the science more open.