Saturday, September 25, 2010

Open Science?

Without even mentioning P vs. NP (though obviously there are implications for that debate), RJ Lipton's latest post interestingly addresses the question of whether the sharing of ideas and partial results in math/science is a valuable thing (before all issues are worked out). Such 'open science' seems to me to be the wave of the future, but there are undoubtedly habits and considerations that will need to be overcome:

(...and I love the quote he includes from Howard Aiken: “Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.”) ;-)

Lipton employs several famous math examples for his discussion, and ends with this question for his readers:
"Should researchers be encouraged to share ideas earlier than we do now? What mechanisms are needed to be sure that proper credit is given out? Would you publish a partial result?"
 ADDENDUM: another pertinent post here:


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