The second thing that happened is that our former PhD student, Andy Maloney, just started a new postdoc at UT-Austin with Hugh Smyth. This is going to be a very productive experience for both Andy and Hugh's lab, I am confident. Most excitingly, though, is that Andy and Hugh have decided to incorporate open science into their projects! I think this is very big news and a success for the spread of open science. Major props to both Andy and Hugh for their willingness to carry out major parts of their research using open science! I had some further thoughts on this and the implications for the spread of open science. Instead of re-writing them, I'll just quote my comments on the FriendFeed thread:
I think big factors are Andy's commitment to open science and his new PI's commitment to making an impact in science and medicine. I met Hugh Smyth a few times when he was at UNM and only detected awesomeness, both in his research and in his mentoring and concern for students. Openness is probably going to be more challenging for them, though. One reason is their research is much more applied and medical, and thus IP plays a major role. The field is probably a lot more competitive. And their lab is much more successful with funding. As Nielsen and others have pointed out, the current reward system stacks the cards against openness. So they will have to be careful. But I think they're clever enough to figure out how to do it, and their success will pave a lot of roads for future openness. I've been thinking about it pseudo-mathematically and I think the fact that they're even willing to try is a success. I've had two PhD students graduate so far. One is likely in industry for a long time and unlikely to be open for a long time if ever. The other, Andy, is now at least partially doing open science. The subsequent students in our lab (Anthony, Alex, Nadia, Pranav) are still performing open science. A former intern, Diego Ramallo Pardo is in grad school at Stanford and has a passion for openness, but not able to be open yet. Dozens of undergraduate lab students have performed open notebook science in my lab course, and there have been a few instances of continuing ONS after the course (most do not continue in research careers). So, at first glance it appears that there isn't a high rate of spread of openness from our research and teaching labs. But it occurs to me that it doesn't matter. If we were to model openness as an infection, it's a powerful one. I think it's even a latent infection in almost all scientists. Participating in openness awakens the infection for life and it sheds constantly. The immune reaction is our current system of practicing and rewarding science and it's quite powerful. So it wins in a lot of cases. Nevertheless, openness is slowly winning more often and the immune system is not going to adapt to get stronger. On the contrary, the immune system is going to take major hits in the coming years. Funding agencies are going to change rules. Tenure and Promotion and hiring committees are going to add members who value openness. Closed-access publishing for profit is going to topple precipitously. And at that point, openness will spread and emerge naturally and quickly. It seems plain as day to me. Now, one of you all can translate that into epidemiological mathematics and fiddle with some exponents.