Harvard y open source science

by Julen


Los chicos de Harvard también entran al trapo: Open Source Science: A New Model for Innovation. De la mano de Karim R. Lakhani nos presentan el paper (me temo que necesita suscripción, todavía hay clases) The Value of Openness in Scientific Problem Solving, en el que también han participado Lars Bo Jeppesen, Peter A. Lohse, y Jill A. Panetta. Extraigo algunas opiniones de la entrevista que le hace Martha Lagace y las comento. Nada nuevo, pero sí interesante que aquí también están investigando en torno a la filosofía open.

Open source collaboration is a very different model for innovation and product development than most firms are used to. I began to wonder where we might see similar patterns occur outside the software domain. In open source communities we see a vast degree of openness in which everybody can participate, but also the practice of broadcasting your work to everybody else. People continually broadcast their problems, others broadcast solutions, and the person with the problem is not always the one with the solution. Oftentimes, somebody else can make sense of both what the problem has been and what people are proposing as solutions, and can come up with a better answer.

Puritita wisdom of crowds, parece. Aunque no sólo se trata de unir inteligencias, sino de previamente difundir aquello de lo que hay que tratar.

People often think about open source as a special case as if such openness can only happen in software, and this is an attempt to work on generalizing what we see.

Evidentemente que tenemos que explorar nuevos campos en los cuales la apertura suponga un enriquecimiento de perspectiva. No sólo en el campo de la tecnología los modelos abiertos son posibles. Quizá el modelo de software abierto ha marcado el camino y ahora toca hurgar en otras posibilidades.

Open source software developers are very pragmatic and focused on solving problems. Scientists are focused on problems too, but their priority is often publication and that can sometimes come in the way of openness and sharing. The ideals of science are, of course, openness, sharing, and no restrictions on the free flow of knowledge, but in practice that doesn’t happen much at all. Some scientists, however, are pushing back and many say they need to rethink how they conduct science.

Pues va a ser que sí: el objetivo se ha desviado respecto a la intención inicial. De focalizar en la resolución de problemas a la publicación que requiere el ranking.

And the benefit of opening up your problems to outsiders is that in fact you can get novel solutions—quicker solutions than what the firm or R&D lab might develop.

La velocidad es un valor (no sé si muy sano) en este mundo del siglo XXI. Abre tu conocimiento y llegarás antes a las soluciones que buscas. Lógico, ¿no?

The problem may reside in one domain of expertise and the solution may reside in another. I’ve done interviews with scientists who participated by posting problems for broadcast, and most of these scientists were highly skeptical about this method because they considered themselves to be at the top of their discipline. However, they had never thought about the possibility of scientists in other disciplines looking at their problem, reconceptualizing it, and coming up with a solution that could be off-the-shelf. So when they actually see solutions from this type of method, they’re blown away.

Los problemas puede que estén en un saco y la solución en otro muy distinto. Los esquemas mentales con que nos aproximamos a los problemas nos condicionan. Abrir supone que desde otras disciplinas pueden aparecer las soluciones que nunca encontramos desde nuestra experiencia.

Our findings about motivations are consistent with other distributed innovation communities. The big question in all of these settings is why people would participate given that there’s no guaranteed outcome. In the InnoCentive case, there might at least be the promise of a reward: a cash award. Open source has none of that: It’s based on sharing.

No sé si es tan simple: ¿compartir es fuente de motivación? Hay que mirar de dónde venimos y entender los contextos. Lo que está claro es que el dinero parece un tanto agotado para enganchar a quienes queremos compartir. Hay otra escala de valores y hay que indagar en nuevas motivaciones… que casi siempre salen de dentro.

We’ve found that the population was divided into two sets of folks: those motivated by money who wanted to win the challenge, and those who enjoyed the problem-solving experience in itself. They found it to be stimulating and fun, and both of those were strong indicators. Enjoyment and the challenge of learning was the strongest correlate of being a successful solver. But money was also important and it was a significant correlate.

Y nosotros ponemos en marcha openbusiness-ib. Pronto noticias. ¿Te interesa?

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