Open Tools and Infrastructures for Biology 2016

Open Tools and Infrastructures for Biology, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 20-21 January 2016

’Open science’ is often presented as a set of new practices and as a cultural change in science, a move towards increased knowledge access and sharing. While ‘open science’ might be seen as something novel, the aim for ‘openness’ in science is not. In ‘Leviathan and the Air Pump’, Shaping and Schaffer describe how modern experimental science originated with a set of practices that would enable the replicability of experiments and the wide circulations of knowledge in the public. Many things have changed since those times. Today, research is performed, and openness is enacted by quite different means. Crucially, the use of digital infrastructures and tools has allowed for radical changes as to how knowledge is produced and circulated within the scientific community and how value is produced in those circulations.  As digital platforms and tools are developing and knowledge becomes increasingly accessible, scientific research is also rapidly moving out of the institutions and into the domains of the public. What is ‘public knowledge’ and its value, and who is allowed to produce it (and by which means) is being redefined and challenged. 

This workshop attends to such current changes in the ways in which research is organized as ‘open’ in and out of the institutions. It particularly, it focuses on practices and ethics of sharing in biology, and on how research communities are emerging through cooperative work by developing open tools and infrastructures for biology.  Some questions that we would like to address during the workshop are: How is sharing being performed differently in and out of institutions by different communities? What kind of new duties and rights does an ethics of sharing entail, and how does it affect the everyday work of researchers? How does extensive sharing and access actually enable the production of better knowledge and applications?


Workshop Organisers