Category Archives: Policy

Scientific Software Wants To Be Free

Go read this wonderful manifesto over at arXiv: Astronomical Software Wants To Be Free: A Manifesto by Weiner et al. The authors talk about some of the barriers to astronimical software development that are true in all scientific fields. The … Continue reading

Posted in open science, Policy, Science | 4 Comments

Earmarks for Science

At the debate last night, John McCain brought up (twice!) for special scorn an example of spending on earmarks. His target? The “overhead projector for a planetarium”. It wasn’t the first time he’s brought up this earmark request up either. … Continue reading

Posted in Policy, Science | 2 Comments

Cool finds at the NCCB2008 workshop

Some of the cooler online resources that have been discussed at the NCCB2008 workshop: OpenWetWare The international genetically engineered machines competition (IGEM) Registry of Standard Biological Parts Nature Precedings Proteopedia The Open Protein Structure Annotation Network (TOPSAN) FriendFeed

Posted in Policy, Science, Software | Tagged , | 1 Comment

New Communication Channels for Biology Workshop

I’m going to be giving a talk at the “New Communication Channels for Biology” Workshop run by the CalIT2 folks at UCSD. The workshop is Thursday and Friday, and there are going to be some interesting folks like Michael Nielsen, … Continue reading

Posted in Policy, Science | 3 Comments

A physics teacher begs for his subject back

I used to think that math and physics education in US secondary schools was worse than in any other industrialized country. Expectations and standards seem to have fallen so low that some of our best students are showing up at … Continue reading

Posted in education, Policy, Science | 3 Comments

Engineering Science Blog

Our friends Geoff Davis and Peter Fiske over at have started a new blog called Engineering Science. The first few posts have been very good, including these excellent posts on writing effective grant proposals and the stereotype threat. Go … Continue reading

Posted in education, Policy, Science | 1 Comment

Justify your funds

Over at Seed Magazine, the corporate overlords of ScienceBlogs, the cool kids on the block have been asked this provocative question: Since they’re funded by taxpayer dollars (through the NIH, NSF, and so on), should scientists have to justify their … Continue reading

Posted in Policy | 3 Comments

Where’s the Fun in Home Experments?

Wired magazine has an article called “Don’t Try This at Home” which starts by describing a recent CPSC raid on the house of the family that runs United Nuclear. We’ve mentioned UnitedNuclear before. They’re one of the few companies still … Continue reading

Posted in education, Fun, Policy, Science | 2 Comments

Making Money from OpenSource Science Software. III. Sell Services

This is the third post in a series exploring how scientific software companies might be able to make money while still keeping their code open. The previous articles are: How to make money from Open Source scientific software Sell Hardware … Continue reading

Posted in Policy, Science, Software | 8 Comments

Making Money from OpenSource Science Software. II. Sell Hardware

This is the second post in a series in which I’m trying to figure out a general strategy for developers of open source scientific software to make a living without closing the source to their codes. The canonical examples of … Continue reading

Posted in Policy, Science, Software | 3 Comments