Michela Bertero Jun 10, 2019 · 2min read
No other city than Paris could have been a more ideal setting for our first story from “Affair(e)s in Science”. The city of love… but also of top-notch science. I was in Paris last March in one of the research institutes bearing the name and today still deeply inspired by a great scientist: Marie Curie.
I gave a talk on Open Science, and presented initial activities from the ORION Open Science project that I coordinate, collaborating with different partners (now also friends) from diverse countries and fields. Thanks to the project, we try out different experiments to engage citizens in fundamental research in life sciences and establish an open dialogue between scientists and society. At the CRG, we have just started a very interesting citizen science project, GENIGMA, to encourage citizens becoming gene hunters in cancer research. You can read more about GENIGMA in this article in the PRBB website El·lipse.
The talk was for international master and PhD students, including a few group leaders. I was positively surprised when I saw so many raising hands after I asked if they were aware of the concept of Open Science.
What I enjoyed most was the discussion after the talk, which continued informally at the poster session until late at night at the restaurant, enjoying a few glasses of French wine. I perceived lots of enthusiasm and energy about opening up science and knowledge. There are of course challenges, among all the evaluation system of researchers focusing too much on papers and where papers are published. Nevertheless, junior researchers in life sciences are adopting more and more principles and practices of Open Science, from sharing the papers on bioRxiv or their code in GitHub to engaging in science outreach and communication.
I came home with renewed energies to continue supporting Open Science, and brought back a special present for my kids: two books on molecular biology for small children (starting from 3 years old!) written by junior scientists at the Curie Institute – another nice example of opening up and sharing our knowledge on science.