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Open Science: The Risks, Challenges and Rewards

The landscape of science communication is changing rapidly. On the horizon we are starting to see the birth of online science-related social networks and movement towards "open science," a concept in which scientists and researchers can collaborate on projects, communicate results, share data, and publish papers with the same recognition afforded to colleagues who are published in print journals. This raises many issues that are still murky. Concerns such as citation, peer review, accuracy, scooping, and accountability resound even among its strongest supporters. But this hasn't stopped microbiology-related researchers and other scientists from engaging one another online through wikis, social networks, podcasts, blogs, and video sharing sites.

At this year's American Society for Microbiology's General Meeting, ASM's Communications Committee will present a round table discussion that will explore what open science really means, the risks and rewards of sharing unpublished or preprinted research, and what this movement means for traditional publication methods. Attendees will hear all sides of the debate surrounding open science, from those who currently embrace this new paradigm to those who maintain that traditional publication methods are the only way to ensure sound science. A well-rounded discussion of this phenomenon will provide attendees with a clearer sense of what new online communication tools are available and how these tools can be best used to promote research and science responsibly.


  • Attendees will be able to utilize new online methods to communicate science via wikis, blogs, social networks, and more.

  • Attendees will be able to debate the risks and rewards of communicating research and collaborating online.

  • Attendees will be able to interpolate how the traditional models for scientific publication are approaching, adapting and adopting collaborative technologies.


  • Stanley Maloy, Dean of the College of Sciences at San Diego State University

  • Chris Condayan, Manager, Public Outreach, American Society for Microbiology


  • Joseph Deken, Director/Res Prog Dev, UCSD

  • Jonathan Eisen, Professor at UC Davis and Academic Editor in Chief of PLoS Biology

  • Rosie Redfield, Redfield Lab, University of British Columbia

  • Samuel Kaplan, Professor and Chairman, Department of Microbiology &
    Molecular Genetics , University of Texas-Houston Medical School and former Chair of ASM's Publications Board (faculty bio)

Date, Time & Location

Monday, May 18, 2009, at 2:30 p.m. in Room 109A of the Philadelphia Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pa., 19107.


Comments (1)

  1. This session is going to rock

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