Intro to Open Science and Open Data

How did open science, citizen science, and open data get started? Where are they? Why we need it.

At the foundation of open knowledge is open science. Open science has a companion, who should always be a full partner, called open data. We need to have the tools to explore the universe, communicate what we’ve discovered, and build upon that discovery. Unfortunately, this basic ability has been co-opted by organizations that aim to be gatekeepers to knowledge. Organizations like Elsevier, Springer , and Hindawi are operating as these gatekeepers and their reach keeps expanding as they devour smaller publishers and journals.

The cost of this gatekeeping is immense. For one thing, the exorbitant access fees cost universities, other schools, and individuals billions of dollars in fees that could be used for other purposes. There’s also a cost in time and innovation. Why? This happens because these organizations don’t make their decisions to publish based on science but on the possible impact the publication of the article might raise. This leads the organizations to turn down reconfirmations of other studies or marginal increases in the information. This means that, most often, that researchers must resubmit and resubmit before it gets accepted. The cost of time lost is immense. According to Kamila Markram,

“Of the 2 million science articles that are published every year, at least 1 million valid research articles are first rejected and bounced. Just one bounce delays the publication by at least six months. And that means the total delay introduced to publish valid research is at least 500,000 years.”

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPtP6-nAjJ0
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Slow Glass Concept for Mars Habitats

The NewMars forum runs a number of parallel discussions. Some are fairly serious discussion of rocket engineering, mission planning or similar interests of contributors.

Among the topics which show up from time to time are considerations of how life can be made interesting and rewarding for workers on Mars, far from home on Earth and constantly threatened by countless natural forces trying to kill them.

One of these topics is “Slow Glass”. The concept itself can be traced (for just one of many possible origins) to Science Fiction, where the concept has been employed as the theme of stories in Analog Science Fact and Fiction, and quite likely elsewhere.

Here is a recent post from the NewMars forum on the subject:

Amidst the serious discussion underway in other topics, about numbers of starships needed for Mars settlement, and propulsion chemistry, I’d like to invite anyone interested to take a look out my “Slow Glass” “window” in my hab in Sagan City (2018).

To my amazement, a Blue Jay showed up in the view.  It may be on it’s way South, but it may have stopped in because it saw squirrels munching on peanuts.  It took a break at the water bowl (heated now that freezing weather has arrived).

There are still some leaves on the trees, but they are definitely looking raggedy.

A relative and I’ve been discussing wildlife in our respective locations.

He reported having to trap a raccoon which had (cleverly in my opinion) climbed up the stone chimney and crept under the roof overhang to spend the night.

I had reported missing the ants, which are a feature of life in the 90+ year old house where I live.  Each little worker is (to my way of thinking) a marvel of nanotechnology on full display.  During the warmer seasons, when pulses of workers find their way into crevasses that (obviously) exist, some make there way (unwisely) into view of my ant capture equipment. 

Wisdom may not be the appropriate property to assign to an ant, but a collective of ants often shows remarkable “intelligence” in the art of survival.

Ants are unlikely to be present on Mars during early years, but there may be a way in which they and other insects turn out to be important for a healthy biological infrastructure.

In any case, there are no ants visible in my “Slow Glass” display at this time of the Earth year.

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Will Climate Change alter your retirement?

Scientists around the world are largely agreed that the climate is changing and will continue to change. A few holdouts are still squabbling about what is causing that change but the actual data is hard to ignore. I’d like to discuss today as the Living Universe Foundation Economics and Finance Correspondent how economic disruption related to climate change might effect conventional and early retirements.

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Space based Solar Power

Space Based Solar Power may one day solve Climate Change, end air pollution and replace the loss of fossil fuels to the global economy.

by John Clarkson BA(Hons) MSc
Executive Producer, Perimetrfilms

The Bridge towards a New Space Age?

To make the space industry viable its technology has to be economic. It has to be cost effective, that is, comparable with current technologies. Finally, it has to be a worthwhile contributor to all humans. It must be scalable, ad infinitum. It must be sustainable, over a long-period of time.


Till now, satellite communications have met most of these criteria. Everyone who can afford a smart phone can now buy and sell their commodities. The same cannot is not true for the Moon Landings for example. It was an inspirational event, but unsustainable and before its time.

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