Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why ODOSOS is important

I value ODOSOS very high: they are a key component of science, and scientific research, though not every scientist sees these importance yet. I strongly believe that scientific progress is held back because of scientific results not being open; it's putting us back into the days of alchemy, where experiments were like black boxes and procedures kept secretly. It was not until the alchemists started to properly write down procedures that it, as a science, took off. Now, with chemoinformatics in mind, we have the opportunity to write down our procedures in high detail.

I keep wondering what the state of drug research would be, if the previous generation of chemoinformaticians would have valued ODOSOS as much as I do. Now, with a close relative being diagnosed last week with a form of cancer with low five-year survival rates, I can not get more angry about those who want to make (unreasonable) money by selling scientific research. A 1M bonus is unreasonable. I can have 10 post-docs work on chemoinformatics research for the same period; I can have them work on drug design for various kinds of cancer.

Therefore, I will continue to use every opportunity to convince people of ODOSOS, and will continue to develop new methods to improve accurate exchange of scientific data and experimental results. I will help people where I can to distribute open data, even if the whole project is not 100% ODOSOS. For example, the Chemistry Development Kit is open source itself (LGPL) which does allow embedding into proprietary software. This does not mean that I will contribute to the proprietary software, and actually am proud not having done so in the last 10 years.

I will continue to advice people how to make their work more ODOSOS, even if they cannot make the full transition. I will also continue to make sure that all my scientific results are ODOSOS, as there is no other kind of science. To set a good example, and, hopefully, to lead the way.

This is why I am a proud member of the Blue Obelisk.