berlin5 : what did I say?

I am very grateful to Berlin5 and the ESF (European Science Foundation) for inviting me to speak on “Open Data”. In giving talks like this I don’t prepare a linear set of Powerpoint (which I despise technically and philosophically) but use a large set of HTML resources, including many active web pages. All told I think there are several thousand slides some of which I have written , some scraped from elsewhere, and efforts to capture some of the dynamic ones.
So it’s very exciting when a sponsor agrees to capture this on video. This happened at OIA4 (2005), Google (2006), and Caltech (2007). This captures some of the displays than cannot fit in a machine. It also means that I can speak to a wider audience – possibly including university administrators who have a large part in policy but were not represented at the meeting.
I had ca 27 minutes to speak and my style is to select those slides which I think are most relevant at the time. In some ways it’s a performance, not a lecture. I have a menu which leads to submenus, some of which I might not have seen for some time and which prompt me to say something.
The presentation was heavily influenced by Ilaria’s account of the absolute necessity to share genetic information about disease and the opposition she met when she made it public. I have three levels of polemic (GREEN, AMBER RED) and had intended to be at AMBER – occasionally prodding various sectors or organizations. But, after hearing Ilaria, I upped it to RED – full-scale rant. Rant against the scientific publication community for its ooposition to the free spread of information which is vital to the human race, for its lack of vision in the positive power of technology, for the overhanging cloud of FUD engendered by copyright and access controls. And a milder rant against the scholarly information community for not being braver in challenging the nonsense of copyright on scientific data. You’ve got to get up and speak. And your vice-chancellors and provosts.
I forgot what I urged in detail but it’s mainly in my blog. Theses. Clear Open licences. Positive permissions, rather than implicit fuzz (“PLEASE take our data and use it!”). Brief mention of the need for live semantic data.
Very simply, if we wish to save humanity we must make our data Open and positively share it. Otherwise we shall be spread-betting whether we are doomed by Asian ducks or melting penguins.
I look forward to seeing the video.
[NOTE: I asked how many in the audience knew the Keeling curve. Only 2/100 did… We have a little way to go.]

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2 Responses to berlin5 : what did I say?

  1. Pingback: Science in the open » Limits to openness - where is the boundary?

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