Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Open Science Consortium

Science is a society on its own. Unfortunately, it has to exist inside a capitalist society. This perverts the course of scientific exploration and human understanding.

Science as a slave of capitalism needs to make a profit for its masters. It must store knowledge for one interest's exclusive use.  This competition leads to mistrust, inefficiency, and a loss to mankind. It leads to redundant pointless effort. It stops sharing and builds walls between people trying to solve the same problem. 

Think how much more could be achieved in one lifetime without this proprietary encumbrance. Shared knowledge is better for mankind. We build directly on work accelerating the state of the art.

To accomplish this it takes a concerted effort by fellow scientists to establish a joint partnership that protects the rights and work shared by the group. If there was an open system that could provide the backbone for all, then it would make collaboration a shared goal and not a competing one. 

The simplest way, although perhaps not as easy to construct, is for all scientists, engineers, and free thinking inventors should band together in a global partnership - a global open science joint venture.

I propose to call this the Open Science Consortium.

If all scientists/engineers (STEM) workers share in the proceeds of the work, then all can benefit from free and open collaboration.

Below is a mind map of the idea.  There is a lot to consider, but this is the main point;  construct a company - a joint venture, that scientists can join if they don't work for any one company or organization.  If you do take a job at a corporation, then any work you did for the Open Science Consortium may live on and might even get recompense from your new corporation.

For those living and working on their own, this provides a way to be an active participant without fees or association. 

Here is how this all might work.  Let's say there are problems that need to be solved by society, either by corporations or government, that are not business specific, critical,  or of any great corporate significance. Still they might be fundamental to all areas of the economy.   Those organizations could fund challenges that try to solve those problems.  They could transfer money in the form of bitcoins to the Open Science Consortium.  Challenges can be worked on by members of the consortium or the public at large using the open resources or other resources.

The challenges can then be broken down into engineering challenges and / or science challenges and rules and judge criteria are set. There are periodic challenges posted with a time window, say 2 years.  All entrants must work on the project and record their findings for all.   At the end of the challenge, the funds are awarded proportionally to all members participating.  It does not matter if you worked on the simulations, the documentation, and so on you are awarded some value based on tangible contribution. The bitcoins are transferred to individuals wherever on the globe through their personal bitcoin wallets.

All work that is done on challenges gets hosted by the consortium.  All papers, experiments, data sets, and so on are kept and maintained by the consortium.  All software is pooled. All documentation is pooled. 

Any intellectual properties that arrives out of the foreground work is owned by the Open Science Consortium.  All consortium members are shareholders and are entitled to any dividends from licensing that work. Less operating expenses and so on. 

Any government or corporation that funded the challenge in the first place, or subsequent work that is related, has the right to use that intellectual property royalty-free from the Open Science Consortium.

All work published inside the  Open Science Consortium could also appear in other technical publications and journals. 

The Open Science Consortium wouldn't fund travel, executives, administration beyond the basics, and won't fund any salaries.  All shareholders are entitled to is a percentage of the dividend.

Using bitcoins reduces overhead and allows someone in remote locations a way to get the funds without banking.  Any science team can be global, and all achievements are shared equally.

For those interested in the idea, I have started a specific blog here: