Archive for category Open Science..all its forms
Next week I am looking forward to co-hosting the JC Bradley Memorial Symposium. How did this come about? The symposium is of course catalyzed by the tragic loss of our friend and colleague Jean-Claude. This hit Andy Lang and myself very hard (and of course many others) because for a number of years we had been collaborating together on a number of projects regarding Open Science, many of these to be discussed in some detail next week at the symposium. When we talked and discussed about ways to memorialize JC we happened upon an instance where we would both be in the UK at the same time and, since JC had so many interactions in place with European scientists and advocates for Open Science, we decided to try and make a go of a symposium to celebrate his work.
We received general support for a gathering and went seeking a venue that would be kind enough to host us. Thank you so much to Christoph Steinbeck for trying to make this work at EBI but because of the popularity of the venue no rooms were available. We extended our hand to Bobby Glen at the University of Cambridge and, gentleman that he is (!), he immediately gave us a home for the gathering. Bobby is Director of the Unilever center of molecular science informatics at the university and may well known scientists and open science evangelists work there, one of these of course being Peter Murray-Rust. Peter threw his support behind the symposium 100% and, together with Susan Begg, has taken all responsibility for local coordination. Despite Peter’s demanding travel schedule we have been able to coordinate the event and we owe a debt of gratitude to Susan for all the work she has done in the background to bring this together in such a short time. Literally, this event will come together as a result of a few skype calls between Andy and I and a series of email exchanges between us, Peter and Susan. When the event comes together, starting Sunday evening with a social gathering, and finally on Monday morning when the formal gathering kicks off, then intention, collaboration, trust and willingness to get it done will be the underpinnings of the meeting.
“Intention, collaboration, trust and willingness to get it done” speak volumes regarding how JC Bradley approached science. He was a get-it-done type of guy. The speakers that will gather next week, listed here, operate in the same way in my mind. They are driven, passionate and getting it done. We thank every one of them for taking their time to come and celebrate JC.
The gathering will honor his work and enormous contributions to open science. He was ahead of his time. With this gathering of people, and the support of the attendees, we hope that we will be able to discuss how to drive forward what he had put so much effort into…OPEN NOTEBOOK SCIENCE. Peter Murray-Rust has already outlined his thoughts and will expand at the gathering. What we will need to do is consider how to turn discussions into actions and deliverables to get it done. The symposium will be a start…the “networking events” (call them pub gatherings) will continue the discussions and what we do afterwards makes it work. Hope to see you in Cambridge!!!
For those of you who CANNOT attend on Monday of next week….you can still contribute…
If you have any photos of JC please send them through to me at tony27587ATgmailDOTcom for a photo loop
If you want to send a dedication to JC send a few words that I will show on a dedication loop sometime during the meeting.
Over the past few years I have learned how to use a lot of the social networking tools and platforms to host and share my publications (when I am allowed to), my presentations, videos etc. I have started using a new website, www.growkudos.com, to help me enrich, expose and measure my publications. This is VERY EARLY in my exposure and usage of the platform but I am already excited by the possibilities. I applied KUDOS to one of the articles I co-authored with Sean Ekins and Joe Olechno regarding “Dispensing Processes Impact Apparent Biological Activity as Determined by Computational and Statistical Analyses“. With almost 10,000 views it has become a very interesting article and has been discussed many times so there was a lot of online information to enrich the article with. The resulting KUDOS page is here: https://www.growkudos.com/articles/10.1371/journal.pone.0062325
My friend Jean-Claude Bradley was a dreamer. To lose him is a nightmare, a tragedy ….
When I received the sad news that JC had passed I went into the sad, dark place that losing family and friends sends me. And I went there fast. As we age we all need to face the challenge of increasing loss around us..it is inevitable. And in recent years it is with increasing frequency. In two weeks time I turn fifty years old and for sure I am more conscious of my time on this planet than ever. My priorities have shifted over the years to more balance between life and work, WAY more quality time with the people I love and especially to my twin boys (while they still want me around!) and yet I am still driven to leave my mark in my domain of science. It doesn’t have to be dramatic, it doesn’t have to glorious…but I would like it to be catalytic and, hopefully, important. And someone pointing at it with a “Tony was involved with that”…will make me happy. Likely for less than a generation…but nevertheless. We should all be pointing at JC and LISTING the “JC was involved with that…”. I believe it would make him happy.
JC Bradley did something important. He did something catalytic. Actually he did a lot that was important and catalytic. And even though he has gone he will not be forgotten by his peers, his collaborators and his followers for a long time. And I believe his legacy will survive and flourish. JC was, for me, and many others, the father of Open Notebook Science. Fortunately he is remembered in this way on Wikipedia as coining the term.
I first met JC as a PhD student while I was at Ottawa University. I used to run 2D NMR for him in the days when walk-up 2DNMR wasn’t available….300MHz XL-300 Varian instrument. The good old days. We used to spread out spectra on the floor of my apartment and assigned data. Many a long night. Even then it was clear JC was a character…an interesting character. Driven. Focused. Serious..about his science. With a laugh for all the right reasons.
I lost track of JC until he got to Drexel but since we reconnected we have spent many, many long hours on phone calls, worked on many projects together for the sake of Open Science, and I have sat and laughed and visited the many trials and tribulations of openness with JC and people including Cameron Neylon, Andy Lang and many others. JC was driven, he was humble, he was a doer. He challenged the status quo with the spirit of a change agent but without the arrogance and brutality of some in the world of openness in chemistry.
I am not going to belabor the contributions he has made to Open Science. Many others will do that in the next few days. I will do it in presentations and in my writings for sure. His legacy will live on. For now I am going to grieve the loss of an evangelist, a driven practitioner in the world of Open Science, a humble man and my friend.
He traveled the world of Second Life while here and wherever he is now, and I am making no judgments of peoples views of where that might be, I hope Horace Moody, the cat JC was in Second Life, is purring somewhere. In my head he is smiling, he is purring and he is proud. He should be. As Mays tells us….it is a calamity not to dream…and JC did….
“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.” -Benjamin E. Mays (American educator, Clergyman, 1895-1984)-
The Importance of the InChI Identifier as a Foundation Technology for eScience Platforms at the Royal Society of Chemistry
This is a presentation I gave today at Bio-IT 2014 here in Boston. I was in the company of a number of my favorite people to be o the agenda with… Steve Heller, Steve Boyer, Evan Bolton and Chris Southan.
The Importance of the InChI Identifier as a Foundation Technology for eScience Platforms at the Royal Society of Chemistry
The Royal Society of Chemistry hosts one of the largest online chemistry databases containing almost 30 million unique chemical structures. The database, ChemSpider, provides the underpinning for a series of eScience projects allowing for the integration of chemical compounds with our archive of scientific publications, the delivery of a reaction database containing millions of reactions as well as a chemical validation and standardization platform developed to help improve the quality of structural representations on the internet. The InChI has been a fundamental part of each of our projects and has been pivotal in our support of international projects such as the Open PHACTS semantic web project integrating chemistry and biology data and the PharmaSea project focused on identifying novel chemical components from the ocean with the intention of identifying new antibiotics. This presentation will provide an overview of the importance of InChI in the development of many of our eScience platforms and how we have used it specifically in the ChemSpider project to provide integration across hundreds of websites and chemistry databases across the web. We will discuss how we are now expanding our efforts to develop a Global Chemistry Network encompassing efforts in Open Source Drug Discovery and the support of data management for neglected diseases.
The potential benefits of making yourself visible online as a scientist
This is a presentation I gave at MIT to the Boston ACS Young Chemists regarding how they can take advantage of some of the online tools to spread the message about their activities, their interests, get engaged with collaborative science and participate now to gain benefits from the growing world of AltMetrics
This is my sixth presentation at the ACS Fall Meeting in Indianapolis:
Digitizing documents to provide a public spectroscopy database
RSC hosts a number of platforms providing free access to chemistry related data. The content includes chemical compounds and associated experimental and predicted data, chemical reactions and, increasingly, spectral data. The ChemSpider database primarily contains electronic spectral data generated at the instrument, converted into standard formats such as JCAMP, then uploaded for the community to access. As a publisher RSC holds a rich source of spectral data within our scientific publications and associated electronic supplementary information. We have undertaken a project to Digitally Enable the RSC Archive (DERA) and as part of this project are converting figures of spectral data into standard spectral data formats for storage in our ChemSpider database. This presentation will report on our progress in the project and some of the challenges we have faced to date.
This is ,y fourth talk at the ACS Indianapolis Conference:
Practical semantics in the pharmaceutical industry – the Open PHACTS project
The information revolution has transformed many business sectors over the last decade and the pharmaceutical industry is no exception. Developments in scientific and information technologies have unleashed an avalanche of content on research scientists who are struggling to access and filter this in an efficient manner. Furthermore, this domain has traditionally suffered from a lack of standards in how entities, processes and experimental results are described, leading to difficulties in determining whether results from two different sources can be reliably compared. The need to transform the way the life-science industry uses information has led to new thinking about how companies should work beyond their firewalls. In this talk we will provide an overview of the traditional approaches major pharmaceutical companies have taken to knowledge management and describe the business reasons why pre-competitive, cross-industry and public-private partnerships have gained much traction in recent years. We will consider the scientific challenges concerning the integration of biomedical knowledge, highlighting the complexities in representing everyday scientific objects in computerised form. This leads us to discuss how the semantic web might lead us to a long-overdue solution. The talk will be illustrated by focusing on the EU-Open PHACTS initiative (openphacts.org), established to provide a unique public-private infrastructure for pharmaceutical discovery. The aims of this work will be described and how technologies such as just-in-time identity resolution, nanopublication and interactive visualisations are helping to build a powerful software platform designed to appeal to directly to scientific users across the public and private sectors.
The future of scientific information & communication presented at the SUNY Potsdam Academic Festival
This is a LONG presentation….I talk about the “It’s All About Me” attitude that can positively feed science….we want to share OUR science, we want people to know about our opinions, our activities, our collaborators, we want to get funding, recognition and attribution. And why not…it can all be to the benefit of science.
This presentation was given at the SUNY Potsdam Academic Festival
The future of scientific information & communication
Our access to scientific information has changed in ways that were hardly imagined even by the early pioneers of the internet. The immense quantities of data and the array of tools available to search and analyze online content continues to expand while the pace of change does not appear to be slowing. While scientists now have access to the enormous capacities and capability of the internet the vast majority of scientific communication continues to be through peer-reviewed scientific journals. The measure of a scientist’s contribution is primarily represented by their publication profile and the citations to their published works and offers an incomplete view of their activities. However, we are at the beginning of a new revolution where the ability to communicate offers the opportunity to embrace new forms of publishing and where scientific participation and influence will be measured in new ways. This presentation will provide an overview of our new generation of “openness” in which open source, open standards, open access and open data are proliferating. The future of scientific information and communication will be underpinned by these efforts, influenced by increasing participation from the scientific community and facilitated collaboration and ultimately accelerate scientific progress.
This week/weekend I will attend the ScienceOnline2013 conference here in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is my favorite conference of the year, bar none. I feel privileged every time I attend to be surrounded by people who are challenging the status quo and are passionate about making science more available and consumable to their peers and the community. I have met some great people at this conference and every year I walk away tired yet invigorated. I walk away feeling that my own contributions to science, especially my work to enable access to chemistry data, is coherent with the efforts of many of the crowd attending this meeting. The meeting has a commitment to scientific truth, collaboration, communication and openness. YES!!!
While I am a chemist by training what I enjoy so much about the meeting is meeting NON-chemists and learning about their world, their interests, their adventures and challenges. By keeping my head in my own box at many other conferences, primarily chemistry of course, I limit what I can learn from the experiences outside of my domain. ScienceOnline frees me up from these boundaries by throwing me into a mix of wildly different engagement. It is, quite simply, a joy! And coming at the beginning of the year it is the first conference I attend…always good!
The conference is well organized, wall to wall entertainment in various forms (including science comedians!), is socially engaging (lots of opportunities for after hours play!) and is full of “my kind of people”. I am lucky to be so close and, this year, to be able to share space with one of my closest friends. Sean Ekins (@collabchem) and I will host a discussion on “Leading Chemists Into Openness“. Sean and I hung out at the conference last year and it had a good impact on him as he describes here.
If you are attending ScienceOnline2013, are interested in Open Science and the advantages, challenges and “unknowns” of how to get there, then please come and join the conversation. We are the hosts…you define where we go! The slides below are for you to review/consider/digest in advance of the session. See you there???!!!
There are a number of people in my domain that I have great appreciation for and that I enjoy working with. So, an opportunity to co-author on rules for licensing data with Sean Ekins and John Wilbanks was an opportunity too good to miss. There are a lot of opinions, rants and views on data licensing floating around the internet, discussed at conferences and over beverages. Meanwhile we have opinions too and have shared them through this perspective on PLoS Computational Biology through this paper: “Why Open Drug Discovery Needs Four Simple Rules for Licensing Data and Models”