Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Google wants access to data, calls for changing how science is funded

Michael Jones, the Chief Technology Advocate for Google, gave the Frontiers of Geophyics at the
AGU meeting last night, challenging the way science is funded and carried out. His talk, entitled the "Spread of Scientific Knowledge" looked at the historical evolution of how science has been done since the Renaissance when scientists would gather in societies and academies to share their latest discoveries.

Today, he lamented, we have a system that encourages scientists to hoard data and 'milk' the system for more grants to continue to analyze the data.

Google wants the data openly available quickly. Jones proposed revamping the funding system to include an extra mandate for data sharing when it is paid for by the taxpayer. He briefly mentioned a stipend system for scientists to break the cycle of holding onto data for future gain. What he didn't emphasize was Google's economic interest in using the scientific data to fuel their product sales.

There was a lot more in the talk that I'd like to comment on in future posts.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:53 AM

    It's also interesting that their current ampping grant program is only open to 501-C3's... geologic surveys, universities, etc... are not eligble. How is this encouraging the type of system he envisions?