I have a brief window in SFO – I love airports with free wifi
The OSS was mindblowing. The advances since last year are spectacular. Simply put: OSS has arrived and will – I am sure – be mainstream for years to come until everything is Open.
The primary message I took away is :
"Science needs democratization and we now have the tools and vision to make it happen"
The point of "garage PCR" is not that it's a fun hobby – it shows that science belongs to everyone. The advances in sequences were so tremendous that we can see everyone determining their own genomic information in their own home.
And they must control it. The technology is coming to the highstreet, so let's make sure it's OURS, not theirs. As David Rowan (WIRED) said two weeks ago at the Serpentine:
"If something is free, the YOU are the product"
Stick that on your bathroom mirror. It's critical to remember that we must continuously fight for our democracy.
I was blown away by Biocurious – a warehouse lab that Joseph Jackson and others have set up. In it a FOUR-YEAR old is able to work with the Green Fluorescent Protein. (Yes they are very aware of safety regs – they have autoclaves, etc.). I'd love to have a Biocurious in Cambridge and I have suggested they should look into cloning it, though country and state regs are the main complication.
The Open Science movement is coming together , just like the Open Knowledge movement has and the Open Source and Open Access ones. There are so many economies of scale by pooling resources and meeting other people doing the same and different things. (Last night we went to a hackerspace in SF where they had things like a sewing area, a mushroom growing area, a woodworking area.
And a Scanning Electron Microscope.
If you get the culture right then almost nothing is impossible.
Science is for all of us, not just academia. Academia has recently made a very bad job of doing science on behalf of the community. Open Science shows that the vision is much larger.
After all public libraries are not just for academics.
So why shouldn't we have public science labs?
No reason – and we will. If this catches anyone who'd like to help then just mail Joseph Jackson or contact the OSS page