Our research institutions are disconnected from the public they serve… Research today is driven by industry (money), government (politics), and academia (prestige). These institutions have an important place, but they should not be the only place for science and research. They tend to produce expensive, closed, large-scale solutions which are not responsive to the the values of the researchers doing the work or the needs of the communities benefiting from it.
Communities don’t believe they are capable of doing research and development… We failed to realize that science – the process of experimentation and a culture of scientific rigor – is not the sole domain of academia and industry. Communities do not need to wait in line and pay too much for someone else to solve their problems.
But the traditional barriers to science are gone… Information is accessible, communication is borderless, sensors are cheap and the sharing economy is quickly becoming the new normal. We can now connect connect people + sensors to tackle both local and global problems.
And the benefits are both deep and wide… Students and teachers are looking for meaningful learning opportunities, researchers want to analyze global data sets, and individuals are seeking the tools to pursue their interests and collaborate at scale. And we all want to reap the huge long-term benefits from our shared data.
So if we do this right… Accessible + welcoming to everyone, producing high-quality comparable data, building robust communities of practice, and creating a culture of sharing. Equitable and collaborative. With software, hardware, and data which is free as in freedom.
We can take back science… And drive positive change in the science that already exists.