Saturday, December 1, 2012

What am I hiding?

I was truly inspired by the events and discussions during Open Access Week 2012, held back in October. And I've made a decision: I'm embarking on a plan to go more Open.

After a couple of years keeping notes on a private blog, I've decided to make my online lab book public.

After half a decade of jotting notes in word documents and musing through scientific questions in my own head, I've decided to start put these on a dedicated blog (this one).

One of the striking themes across all the meetings I attend is the stunted flow of information, particularly across disciplines. For biologists moving towards increasingly computational projects, researchers often don't know what tools to use, what literature to read, or the most critical factors that should be considered when designing studies.

High-throughput biology requires knowledge of increasingly diverse fields: from taxonomy to computer science, metabolomotics to mathematics. At the moment everyone struggles to cope in private (including me for the last few years,  retraining as a computational biologist during my postdoc).

"Science Communication" doesn't mean just outreach. It means communication amongst scientists. One of the hardest parts about being an interdisciplinary scientist is simply keeping track of information. It's hard enough to keep up with the literature in your own field, never mind the papers in other fields, or the fact that many things you need to know aren't even published yet. Jeff Fox of Dynamic Ecology lends a great perspective in his recent iee paper, arguing that:

Blogs can cover topics not suitable for peer-reviewed papers in ecology journals. Peer-reviewed journals in ecology traditionally, and rightly, focus on publishing new science, and reviews of existing science. But this by no means exhausts the range of topics that ecologists want and need to discuss.

So here we are, the debut of "Eukaryotic Ebullience". This is my venue to talk hardcore science, and share with you my experiences in high-throughput sequencing approaches focused on eukaryotes--from environmental metagenomics and biodiversity to software development and computational tools. I'm excited to become more involved in the online science community, and determined to carve out more time for blog posts. I think there are many exciting scientific conversations yet to be had, and I look forward to sharing them with you all.

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