Open Science is the concept of sharing data, information, and research findings as a way of accelerating advancements of research and discovery. It makes scientific work accessible to any institution, firm, or company. In the field of neuroscience, this could delineate avenues for novel breakthroughs, given the complex nature of the brain, which has presently led to a slower progression rate of novel interventions for disorders and diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.
The motivation for this concept comes down to the fact that publicizing data allows for the expansion of ideas and exploration of concepts, which ultimately leads to an accelerated path to discovery. In other words, widely accessible data can eventually lead to an exponentially greater emergence of new questions, ideas, and answers. While this is not a new concept, the widespread usage of this term is very recent, most prominently used at the report of the European Commission’s 2014 public consultation on ‘Science 2.0: Science in Transition’ 1. Furthermore, the names of patients and participants are never disclosed; Open Science prioritizes the privacy and respect of their patients as their top principle.
This movement emphasizes the idea that knowledge should be available to all, is a product of social collaboration, and therefore, should not be used to profit off society. It would also allow students to gain access to various data and information types for which they would previously have to pay for, bridging the gap between class disparity and education, in addition to evoking a sense of curiosity amongst future generations.
One would assume that this sound concept would have made sense to have been employed decades ago, given the positives outweighing the negatives. Given the rapid emergence of novel software and intervention, and with the age of technology dominating research from which we have obtained amass amounts of data, now is a better time than ever for information to become so widely accessible. Thus, comes a new age for science, discovery, and open education.
The Neuro at McGill University is pioneer of Open Science and Open Neuroscience. See more here.
1 Bueno de la Fuente, G. (n.d.). What is Open Science? Retrieved August 18, 2020, from https://www.fosteropenscience.eu/node/1420