Or at least lands in Scientific American.
SciAm is trying out a really interesting experiment. One of their journalists, M. Mitchell Waldrop, has written an article on Science 2.0, which is timely but not revolutionary. What is a bit revolutionary is that they've mounted a draft of the article on their web site and are inviting readers to comment on it, shaping the tone and content of the final version which will appear in the print mag. As of today, there have been 24 comments, some positive, some skeptical, some ranting. But, hey, that's web 2.0 for ya.
A taste of the draft version:
The technologies of Web 2.0 open up a much richer dialog, says Bill Hooker, a postdoctoral cancer researcher at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland, Ore., and the author of a three-part survey of open-science efforts in the group blog, 3 Quarks Daily. "To me, opening up my lab notebook means giving people a window into what I'm doing every day. That's an immense leap forward in clarity. In a paper, I can see what you've done. But I don't know how many things you tried that didn’t work. It's those little details that become clear with open notebook, but are obscured by every other communication mechanism we have. It makes science more efficient." That jump in efficiency, in turn, could have huge payoffs for society, in everything from faster drug development to greater national competitiveness.
The article concentrates on open notebook science, the use of wikis and blogging mostly, but also mentions social bookmarking and peer review experiments. As can be expected, a lot of the usual suspects are interviewed: Jean-Claude Bradley, Bora Zivkovic, Timo Hannay (my interview), Bill Hooker and others.
Overall, I think it's great that SciAm is giving such good press to these new ideas and new ways of doing things. Perhaps it would have been nice if they'd covered social bookmarking or eprint servers a little more. Also, they could have talked more about the possibilities of social networks like Nature Network. On the other hand, I realize that you can only cover so much in a short article and they probably made the right choices about what to talk about.
I plan on using the article as a way of introducing some of these ideas to the faculty and administration here. Who knows what could happen!
First noticed in Corie Lok's Blog.
Update 2008.01.12: Updated wording a bit in one sentence to say what I really meant instead of the exact opposite.