The Open Science Project

Leveraging the power of the Internet to extend the frontiers of science

Never before in the known history of mankind has so much knowledge been so readily available. Never before has it been this easy for people all over the world to work together. There is no doubt that the Internet revolution has brought tremendous benefits to the scientific community.

Unfortunately, the topics of research in that community are guided more by the interests and expectations of the corporate and scientific establishment than by the private passions of the researchers. This leaves many bright minds in a position where they spend their days working on projects they only have a limited interest in. As a result, they are not utilizing their full capacity.

Recent developments in the software industry offer a solution.

Software development has always had a relatively low entry barrier. Any individual with some time on their hands had the potential to create an application that could be used by thousands or millions of users. Even as software applications have grown in size, the industry has evolved with that increase. Hundreds of thousands of developers spend much of their own time working on open source projects. The software industry thus taps into a tremendous reservoir of know-how. The result is significant advances in ways that would not be possible otherwise.

Perhaps the most striking example of the possibilities of open source software is Linux. Linux started out in 1991 as a personal project by Linus Torvalds, a computer science student at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Now, thousands of companies use Linux, millions of websites run on Linux servers. Thousands of individuals contribute to the project, creating new features, or allowing it to work with the latest technology.

The Open Science Project aims to utilize the untapped brain power of thousands of scientists and other gifted individuals in a similar way.