During the Summer of 2013, Celya Gruson-Daniel, Founder of Hack Your PhD (HYPhD) went on a tour of Eastern Canada and the United States seeking open science advocates from Montreal to Boston to San Francisco to Seattle. She has kindly provided us with excerpts from her diary, complete with links to various interviews and sources. P2P Open Science is a concept describing how people and knowledge resources are more widely available allowing for much needed multidisciplinary, advanced or convergence work for the emerging global society.
[9th to 20th of August] Open Science in Montréal: A world of bubbles
After California and Oregon, Montreal and Boston were my first steps on the East coast. I didn’t stay long in Montreal but it was worth it and I left enriched with many interesting comments about the Open Science Movement. Once settled in Boston, I mostly explored Cambridge, a neighboring city hosting Harvard university and the MIT. I went there twice and got the impression that people live in very different bubbles. Some of them, though highly innovative were quite far from Open Science perspectives. Others give rise to refreshing initiatives both regarding form and content.
Montréal : Getting out of comfort zone
HackYourPhD in the US made a short detour through Québec. 4 days in Montréal, 2 presentations and many questions.
Open Access with Jean-Claude Guédon
Freshly out of the plane, I was spending my first afternoon discussing about Open Access with Jean-Claude Guédon, an historian of Sciences at the University of Montréal. He believes evaluation and communication of science should be a continuous flow and not restrict itself to scientific publishing. During my interview he insisted a lot on the hope that open access platforms brings to developping countries, citing ScieELO (Brazil) and Redalyc (Mexico) as examples.
HEC Montréal :
My stay in Montreal was short but rich. For the first time since the launch of HYPhD, Guillaume Dumas and I had the opportunity to attend meetings and presentations together. Two different but complementary profiles and perspectives to answer questions of people rather skeptical about the Open Science Movement.
At HEC Montréal, we faced students and researchers in business and/or economy oriented. This audience was very different from the usual one consisting mostly in researchers aware of today’s issues in Science and/or advocates of the principles of Open Science. Here, this was a discovery and each term had to be clearly defined. Some researchers did not understand what the notion of Open Science was meaning. Interesting questions were raised, among which about the definition and nature of Science, Research and the Open Science Movement and its sustainability. “Are the commons and Open Science movements just another trend that will soon vanish?”
This confrontation reminded us that there is a great need to study Open Science and other movement such as the Collaborative Economy in order to clarify them and prove their value. They should be studied, compared. One should dive in the history of science to understand the mechanisms of collaboration and how it evolved through centuries. One other approach would be to try to model the dynamics of such organizations. This could help to give feedbacks to these initiatives and give us some clue on their sutainability.
This adventure in Montreal thus led us to confront other opinions which is always something positive as long as discussions remain fruitful.