About The Project
The Future of Science: A Multiverse of Exploration
Space hacking. Invisibility cloaks. Engineered evolution. These are only some of the provocative futures we’re exploring in our Future Of Science research. Please join us as we share our forecast of the biggest transformations shaping key science domains, from biology and materials science to physics, neuroscience, and others. Learn how the enterprise of science itself is undergoing a shift from the insular and closed structures of academia, industrial, and military research, toward open models based on social connection, data commons, and democratized tools and technology.
Old project description:
Open Science: A New Ecosystem of Innovation
Over the next decade, science as an enterprise will undergo a massive transformation. Not only will our knowledge about the world increase, likely at accelerating rates, but the way science is done will change in profound ways. We are seeing a new ecology of science emerge, one that will shift from the insular and closed structures of academia, industrial, and military research toward open models based on social connection, data commons, and democratized tools and technology. New opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing between large organizations, communities, and individuals will emerge. In traditional science settings, this opening will embody a tumbling of walls that have existed between disciplines and teams over the last century.
Of course, not all science will be entirely open. For example, many Big Science efforts — from massive telescope construction to high-energy physics — requires massive resources. Yet even within those efforts, the benefits of openness in certain areas — from the sharing of data to multidisciplinary collaborations — will become clear. Meanwhile, a rise in “citizen science” will harken back to the heyday of natural history in the 19th century, and scientific heroes like Charles Darwin, Edison, and Faraday who would be considered amateur scientists by today’s standards. Once again, it won’t just be PhDs doing science but rather anyone with the necessary expertise, passion and/or curiosity to contribute, regardless of whether they have letters after their names. We’re already seeing this in citizen science efforts and also disciplines where open source experimentation is starting to have impact, such as biology and space exploration. With these changes, traditional modes of technology transfer — of research, development, and commercialization — will be upturned.
Open science isn’t about replacing the value of experts, but augmenting and potentially transforming it with open collaboration and communication models that bring scientists and non-scientists together to further scientific discovery, sometimes in faster and cheaper ways. The transition to this new ecology of science will have major consequences on how research leads to new technologies, new scientific discoveries, new opportunities, and new threats in our businesses and our daily lives.