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Overcoming systemic resistance to generativity in science

John Wilbanks, Vice President, Science Commons

Tuesday, March 9, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor


Scientific research has so far shown significant resistance to adopting the kinds of "generative" effects we've seen in networks and culture. Most of the resistance is systemic - emerging from the institutions that host research, the cultures of scientific publication and reward, the lack of infrastructures to make data and tools easy to transfer and master, and the trend towards micro-specialization of disciplines. However, some interventions from the free culture and free software world can be "localized" to create an increased tendency towards generativity, and there is evidence of early success. Now it's important to begin questioning the interventions and analyzing the potential for the "stall" that can follow a generative system's emergence. John Wilbanks will discuss.

About John

John Wilbanks attended Tulane University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1994. He also studied modern letters at the Sorbonne in Paris.

From 1994 to 1997, he worked in Washington, DC as a legislative aide to Congressman Fortney "Pete" Stark. During this time Wilbanks was also a grassroots coordinator and fundraiser for the American Physical Therapy Association. John was the Berkman Center for Internet & Society's first Assistant Director from the fall of 1998 to the summer of 2000. There he led efforts in software development and Internet-mediated learning, and was involved in the Berkman Center's work on ICANN.

While at the Berkman Center, Wilbanks founded Incellico, Inc., a bioinformatics company that built semantic graph networks for use in pharmaceutical research and development. He served as President and CEO, and led to the company's acquisition in the summer of 2003). He has also served as a Fellow at the World Wide Web Consortium on Semantic Web for Life Sciences. He is currently a member of the National Advisory Committee for PubMed Central, and the Board of Directors for DuraSpace and AcaWiki.

Bio via Wikipedia


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Past Event
Tuesday, Mar 9, 2010
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM