Video: The Mudslide Hypothesis of Science

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In this video, Kaitlin Thaney from Digital Science presents: The Mudslide Hypothesis of Science.

The Web has transformed not only the way we approach modern day science, but a number of other facets of the research cycle: tools for analysis, mediums which now serve as “information inputs”, how we exchange ideas and even discover knowledge. Yet despite the pieces being there, changing practice is like trying to shake a castle. In scientific research, we’re dealing with special circumstances, trying to innovate upon hundreds of years of entrenched norms and practices, broken incentive structures and information discovery problems dramatically slowing the system, keeping us from making the advances needed to better society. Technological solutions exist and processes are slowly changing, but the machine is not nearly as well-oiled (or straightforward) as we’d like to think, and there are still breaks in the system keeping us from doing more efficient work. In this talk, Kaitlin will posit that we’re not only “getting this wrong” in the academic research context, but that we need a shift in mindset towards openness as well as better tools to truly disrupt the system, and bring our methods (finally) into the 21st century.

Recorded at OSCON 2012 in Portland. Most of the otherOSCON 2012 talks and slides are now posted.