In this 5th post of the series on brainstorming future science 2.0, I spell out some ideas on how scientists will work in the future.
The unbundling of the relation between data, code, workflows and analysis will lead to greater collaboration. Researchers will be activated on specific tasks, even micro-tasks, to work on some parts of the problem to be addressed. Large, collaborative efforts (genome-like) are commonplace. This micro-tasking can already be seen in the solution to the Polymath problem, where individual scientists were contributing with ideas to solve the mathematical problem. Or in Innocentive, where anyone (not only researchers) can bring their own solution to challenging real world problem. The Open Innovation paradigm will be applied to science, and scientists will outsource part of their work to specialised services such as Science-Exchange. There will be also greater involvement of micro-expertise from amateurs.
Scientists will carry out large part of their work by contributing to other people’s research project. And they will be rewarded for it. The researchers’ activity on these collaborative efforts will be tracked and measured, adding to their reputation. It’s possible to envisage that platform such as ImpactStory will also include the reputation of the scientist on Innocentive.
Reputation management system will provide the fundamental incentive for collaboration between scientists, not only by rewarding the best but also by indicating the micro-expertise needed. Because reputation will include non-scientific work such as Innocentive-like platforms, there will be greater scope for non-career scientists to develop an academic career by being appointed for specific micro-courses in universities, for example using Massive Open Online Courses.