Open Source Science

In a perfect world, scientists share problems and work together on solutions for the good of society. In the real world, however, that’s usually not the case. The main obstacles: competition for publication and intellectual property protection. Is there a model for encouraging large-scale scientific problem solving? Yes, and it comes from an unexpected and unrelated corner of the universe: open source software development. That’s the view of Karim R. Lakhani, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School … What he and his coauthors discovered: “broadcasting” or introducing problems to outsiders yields effective solutions. Indeed, it was outsiders—those with expertise at the periphery of a problem’s field—who were most likely to find answers and do so quickly. The study and its findings are described in his paper “The Value of Openness in Scientific Problem Solving”.

3 Responses to “Open Source Science”

  1. mike says:

    See also Open Source Architecture (recently mentioned on BLDGBLOG).

  2. d.quercia says:

    Open Source Architecture is very similar to what happens at IDEO. This is a cool design company. You can see how cool they are in one of their project’s clips: how to design a shopping cart
    http://www.ideo.com/portfolio/re.asp?x=50029

  3. mike says:

    Four days is a remarkably fast turnaround – release early, release often?