Some time ago I was involved by my former boss Jean-Claude Burgelmant to write a “food for thought” paper on future of science. It was Jean Claude who first pointed me (and the whole EC) to do research on web 2.0 in 2005 so I was extremely happy to work together. The resulting article just got published on First Monday, and I would be very happy to hear your thoughts, as many ideas were discussed with the readers of this blog.
In this paper we outline some of the main trends and changes we
consider will affect science over the next 20 years, mainly driven by a
new socio–technological paradigm, which results from the use of
information and communication technologies. We first analyze three main
trends (growth of scientific authorship; growth in scientific
publishing; growth in data availability and processing) which are
already visible now but will grow exponentially in the coming decades
and will thus affect the dynamics of science.
We then frame the above changes in the context of the transformation
of the scientific production and publication conditions — seen as
production process of a cultural good — which then feedback into the
nature of science itself. Finally, we will take together these
interrelated growth trends of authors, publications and data and
pinpoint their profound and multiple impacts on the very nature of
scientific work and its professional dynamics, in terms of increased
openness, instability and inequality.