Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Future of Science

Michael Nielsen has written a thoughtful essay asking why scientists have been so slow to pick up on new Web 2.0 technologies (via David Crotty). They both comment on the failure of science online, and in particular Wikipedia, to achieve openness. In his conclusions, Nielsen is quite optimistic, coming to the conclusion that when we have better tools and cultural change, everything will work out OK, based on the economics of collaboration.

I'm not so sure.

We ran a Web 2.0 session for research scientists recently where one particular event sticks in my mind. One participant became excited about the prospect of social bookmarking, explaining that they wanted to be able to see what their competitors were reading, but didn't want them to see what they were bookmarking. Anti-social bookmarking anyone?