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Coming back to blogging

It’s been almost three¬†years since the last post here and so much had changed in between. On the scientific front, I’ve entered biomedical field for good. I’m currently starting new line of projects on the systems dynamics of disease states of human organism. It does sounds cryptic, doesn’t it? Basically I’m working on medical conditions that at some level of abstraction are incarnations of butterfly effect. These are (of course) various cancers, but also sudden infant death syndrome. More on…

Open Access means people die

Reader beware, a rant ahead. Believe me, I waited 24 hours to calm down before writing this text. But a day passed and I’m still outraged by recent posts of Peter Murray-Rust entitled “Open Research Reports: What Jenny and I said (and why I am angry)” and “Open Access saves lives“. He made there following assertions: close access publishing restricts access to information no access to information means suboptimal decisions, for example in choosing medical treatment therefore closed access means…

Systems Institute is officially supporting FigShare (backstage story)

You may or may not know that I’m the head of Systems Institute, non-profit research organization founded in 2009 in Poland. The Institute is located in Poland, but is operating internationally. There’s not much you can learn about this initiative, as we haven’t put up a real website yet (although there’s a placeholder). There was a reason to that lack of online presence – instead of wasting time on hyping our vision, we decided to start working, and brag about…

From CC-BY to CC-Zero

I’ve never been satisfied with “attribution” part of Creative Commons licenses and obviously I’m not alone in this camp. The main issue is that while CC terms require attribution in the manner required by author, parties resharing the creative work rarely check these requirements. Frequently authors of images posted to Flickr complain that some high profile site used “nickname at flickr” instead of whatever author had asked for. Very recently I’ve had an interesting discussion on the same topic, but…

Open Foo: sharing practice, social movement and technology

In the discussion under my recent post on incompatibilities between open source and open data Bill Anderson pointed out frequent confusion between “open source” and “free software”. He cited Richard Stallman’s essay which argues that open source is a software development methodology, while free software is a social movement. Building on that, Bill wrote that “‘Open data’ is not a data development method; it’s a data sharing practice (…)”, which sounded quite right. However, after reading Stallman’s essay again and…

Open science – campfire, formal knowledge acquisition or both?

Image via Wikipedia Recently I’ve stumbled upon this provocative post by Robert Paterson entitled Are Books Bad For Us?. Of course he doesn’t advocate to burn all books, but rather wonders whether books lower our ability to observe and think for ourselves. What catched my attention was the paragraph below: How did pottery get invented? Surely no one said “Let’s have a project to invent Pottery!” How can you invent something that had never existed? No it must have happened…