Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Open source science for skeptics of the paranormal

OpenSourceScience launched on May 17.  From the site (a wiki):

OpenSourceScience is a public space for managing controversial scientific experiments in a way that provides open access to of all phases of the research. We provide a centralized resource for scientific collaboration, and help underwrite scientifically rigorous experiments that may contribute to an improved understanding of human consciousness.

The essence of the open source model is the rapid creation of innovative results within an inclusive and collaborative environment. At OpenSourceScience, we bring together the skeptical community, controversial science researchers, and interested laypeople to help design and facilitate high-quality scientific experiments. Our community encompasses multiple points of view joined together by a commitment to "follow the data". This spirit of cooperation promises to improve the long-term viability of our results....

From the press release:

...The website offers a variety of tools for managing scientific experiments and lets site visitors discuss and participate in the research process. Besides promoting scientific collaboration, OpenSourceScience offers financial grants to researchers working within the areas featured on the website.

According to Alex Tsakiris, one of the sites creators, the open source model is well suited for this task: “The open source model has proven to be a powerful enabling technology because it promotes collaboration. When you look at some of the controversial areas of research, like whether our consciousness is separate from our brain, there has been very little collaboration between researchers and those with opposing views. Everyone seems to agree that collaboration is necessary, but until now, it just hasn’t happened.”

OpenSourceScience suited for scientifically-minded skeptics as well as those interested in controversial subjects such as parapsychology and human consciousness....