‘Occupy Science’: Sage Commons Congress marching to the transformation of attitude to biomedical research

Working on a project with an incredible sense of joy – imagine that?

Bioscience? Well this is a battle of attitude – share your data, attribute contribution by DOI links to the data you deposit, share your methods in real time, attribute the authors through provenance of their contributions, and publish as an ensemble with the software platform supporting interaction and editing of the data you have developed. Its Science Social Innovation writ large.

Real-time drug responses from Citizens? Patients taking control of their own data?

This congress – an eclectic collection of thought leaders, TED style talks and actual hard core biomedical research meeting around a virtual fireplace of a software open data sharing system.

As I write, the founder of Red Hat, Bob Young, talks to us about ‘make things for what people need, not what they want‘.

Most impact is coming from actual studies where crowdsourcing of a problem within a commons results in a spectacular, efficient, result. The Breast Cancer Dream Challenge.

Most useful outcome is the Commons environment “synapse” – where researchers can develop shared systems approaches to interpretation of biomedical phenotype/genomic data on a common platform, using common tools, with remarkably, provenance on the methods and data. “Collaborate for the cure” is the motto, but it reminds me of a BBQ meet so perhaps they should change that.

Health activism – Joep Lange described how he worked with world organisations and pharmcos to make drugs affordable for HIV. That’s now morphing into making drugs affordable for chronic complex diseases in low income countries – where the diseases are most prevalent – and its where most people are sick but have no funds for drugs. I met several groups working on this problem – something I’m asking philanthropic organizations to consider more seriously.

Take home: Disease philanthropic organisations such as the National Brain Tumor Society now want to actively support systems biology approaches to understanding diseases such as glioblastoma – hey – this is great. 

I love this atmosphere. Highlight for me, was a talk by the CEO of Al Jazeera,  Wadah Khanfar, showing us that depth in journalism, and sincerity is of the real value we need:

Impact of conventional wisdom is to rot the soul. Acknowledge the voice of the youth who really know the news

This has been an eye opening experience – I know my science will change from here on. 

Join me



About winhide

I develop and use computational biology approaches to impact global public health in research such as understanding of stem cell biology, systematics of cellular profiling and complex diseases.
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