Last Wednesday, I fought off throngs of eager-to-get-back-home inauguration goers to board a packed 6AM train to Philadelphia. In Philly, I paid a visit to Jean-Claude Bradley, a chemist at Drexel University. Now, I consider myself to be fairly tech-savvy, but Bradley made me feel like I was a web and computer novice. He’s embraced the internet to a near-complete extent – just about every aspect of his day-to-day research is online for all to see. Bradley’s a champion of open notebook science, in which researchers share the nitty gritty details of their experiments in a publicly accessible forum, like the web, and encourage others to comment on (and participate in) the work. He had plenty of interesting things to say about open science and about incorporating web tools into a research program. What do you think are the pros and cons of conducting science with complete transparency?
I’m writing about my conversations with Bradley in a piece that’s scheduled to appear in the February 9th issue of C&EN, so keep an eye out for that. My article wouldn’t do him justice without an extensive online component, though. As a teaser for what’s to come, I’ve posted a video chronicle of my visit to Bradley’s 9AM organic chemistry study session, which was held in Second Life, a virtual 3D world. The class had their first optional “quiz” that day, as Bradley mentions in his post about my visit. Sarah Everts wrote about Bradley’s innovative teaching techniques (and Second Life in general) back in 2007.
Watch the video below to learn more.