Mozilla’s ScienceLab wants the open web to transform science as much as it’s transformed the other areas of our lives.
Mozilla’s Science Lab dovetails with other recent efforts to update the practice of scientific research with technology and promote what some call “science as a service.” As my colleague David Meyer reported, Berlin-based ResearchGate, which earlier this month said it raised a $35-million Series C round from Bill Gates and others, built a social network of 2.7 million researchers. Its goal is to give researchers a platform for connecting and collaborating. In April, Science Exchange, an online marketplace where scientists can list and discover experimental services from institutions around the world, said it had raised $3 million in a round led by Union Square Ventures. Other interesting scientific researcher-focused web startups and services include Digital Science, figshareand Software Carpentry, which plans to work with Science Lab to train researchers.
Even though more valuable digital tools are emerging for scientists, Thaney said there’s still work to be done in raising awareness, changing incentive structures and making sure researchers have the right technical skills.
“There are so many different stakeholders and different people trying to push this rock up the hill in terms of modernizing the way we do science,” she said. “They’re doing incredible work but there are still gaps in terms of coordination and trying to get in front of the people doing research.”