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Live Open Science

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What are we doing?

Over the last week we had been thinking about how best to define what we have been doing during these past months.

We feel it is important to develop a term for this kind of working, because we have a sense that we are doing something new, something that, to the best of our knowledge, has never been properly attempted by any organization so far.

In some respects, the MFMP is bringing a large part of how the open-source software movement is organized to how the project members and wider public work together. Indeed we are infact open sourcing tools that are integral to the project.

As the MFMP is engaged in exploratory primary science, there is more to what we are doing than just open source software in that we are producing results that need analysis, which the crowd can participate in and more that that, we are presenting them live and uncut.

Does what we are doing together have the potential to deeply change the way science is done?

That is a question to debate later on, in the meantime, we have come up with a name for this way of working: "Live Open Science" (LOS).

What does LOS mean?

This name is a declaration of intent which demands trust, it is implying that we do not cheat, we do not hide, we do not mislead the public. Everyone sees the the latest information about the evolution of the project as it happens, warts and all and we hope that this allows people to share insights as to what may be going on or how things may be improved. It also means that there is no safety net, we can’t select data that helps a particular view or theory, everything is in front of the public. Often the public are seeing things before we have a chance to and that is so exciting.

We feel that sharing the experimentation and our beliefs and hypothesis as they evolve is the best way to collect feedback on how to test and challenge assumptions and theories. It is what has been done for 100s of years but the time frame is compressed by employing the power of the internet. We are not publishing and publicising results at the conclusion of an experiment, only to then wait to take the experiment forward following a peer review process, this, to a large extent is happening daily. As has been demonstrated a number of times already, there are very competent contributors to MFMP that are pointing out potential errors, relevant research and way to challenge theory. This is leveraging the crowd in a very democratic way.

Meeting the highest standards

The process of LOS is likely to lead to a deep understanding of the science faster by getting feedback as early as possible, however at some point, we believe that we will still need to get the rapidly refined findings published as publication is still required to get the recognition and credibility for the LOS work done. The established peer review process confirms the veracity of scientific findings in a rigorous way and in doing so will play an in important role in settling the debate over the New Fire.

What do you think?

Please add any thoughts you might have below on how we can define what we are doing and how we could better the process. If someone is a great wordsmith, we would like to hone the above discussion in preparation for press release materials on the matter that we may use in our full scale social funding exercise and other media releases.



+1 #13 Milt Lee 2012-11-28 20:16
Hi Robert,
I'm going to think about ways the site could be improved - navigation for sure. As for the back-end - I'm just not good enough to create it. Seems like the nav bar has 5 buttons at the beginning that seem like they are the same thing. And then 3 - follow discuss and watch that also seem like they are the same. Finally I would love to be able to add my comments to the previous post rather than just having them out here floating around.
thanks again!
+2 #12 Robert Greenyer 2012-11-28 17:06
Hi Milt Lee,

I have experience with Drupal. If you can get a bunch of guys together to create a "parallel clone" mockup we can see if it would make sense to switch. Right now the site is not ideal - but it is working - which counts for a lot.

In the coming days we will be adding more areas to the site for collaboration and improving the navigation of important areas. We have also sorted out Localisation so that the core site content can be translated to key market languages.

Thankyou for your offer of assistance
+1 #11 Milt Lee 2012-11-28 05:32
Hi Ryan,
I noticed that you mentioned Joomla as your basic system. I would strongly recommend that before it get's too big - that you switch to Drupal. There are so many folks out there creating great stuff for drupal that the ability to have an amazing website - is much greater - at least this is what I believe. I'm going to ask some of my drupal friends to see if they want to donate some time to this project. My drupal chops are not up to the job but I know some folks who are. We'll just have to see if any of them are up for working on it.
+1 #10 Robert Greenyer 2012-11-27 04:50

I hear what you say about LOS, and we have discussed this, however in India they call the city dial codes STD! So nothing is perfect, however, in the spirit of LOS, if someone has a better TLA for consideration, we are open minded.

It might just be a language thing - in Spanish, "LOS" means "the" so a nice addition might be to add an 'A' for 'answers' so the extended phrase would be

Live Open Science Answers - LOSA

but then it becomes clumsy
+1 #9 Eric Walker 2012-11-27 03:20
Re collaborative science -- well put. I agree that this project seems to be doing something new.

I am reminded of Linus Torvald's saw (and mixed metaphor), "with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow." I am pleasantly surprised to hear that this same principle appears to apply to experimental science.

Re "LOS" -- sounds to my ears like "loss".
+1 #8 Robert Greenyer 2012-11-27 02:11
Firstly, may we say thanks for all your kind words.

@BertusWonkel & @Andre Blum

We are going to launch a section on the site called "Participate" or "Collaborate" (would be great to hear peoples opinion on which is better).

We have a whole bunch of scientific review/ investigation/ analysis type mini-projects to set people off on. We will group them on this area of the site, but build sections of the forum for people to work as teams in and ask people to work in a collective google drive. We have found that we can create quality documents really fast with 5 of us working simultaneously - we hope that with site visitors help - we can together build concise explanations for everything that underlies what is going on.

On that note, we are also to build a FAQ and whilst we will make first passes at the explanations for questions, we hope that others may help make videos or point to other relevant content that may make things clearer.
+1 #7 BertusWonkel 2012-11-27 01:17
Hi, i love this project and it is definitely the way to go. I think this project is the next level of peer reviewed science. The openness of the data, the comment section and the feedback from the research team provides a constructive framework for discussion. This is what science should be about, an open discussion about the available experimental evidence.
My suggestion would be to also build a section discussing experimental evidence from other research and possible theories on the effect.
+1 #6 wookie 2012-11-26 21:38
i just watched the related video and i like your pursued improvements regarding the data viewer and website.

I pretty much look forward to be able to view the "auxiliary" conditions of the specific run, i.e. gas mixture, intended type of the run (loading , timeframe, target) , tespecially.

However, as said by others before, a listing of the runs with the data attached would be very much appreciated.

Thank You
+1 #5 Ecco 2012-11-26 20:22

>I think the approach you are taking is probably the most rapid way to get to the heart of the LENR phenomenon

I think many scientists officially working on LENR acknowledge this too, but since they want to get there "first", they keep most details for themselves until they feel they're ready for public disclosure.

LOS is a great concept but I think that greed (economic, intellectual, scientific, etc) unfortunately limits its usefulness in the real world.

Hopefully the MFMP will show soon how most of them were wrong with their old methods.
0 #4 Andrea Di Luccio 2012-11-26 19:56
Your attempt would be an example for many public-funding laboratories.

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