Watch videos with subtitles in your language, upload your videos, create your own subtitles! Click here to learn more on "how to Dotsub"

Ignite Presentation: The Future of Scientific Research

0 (0 Likes / 0 Dislikes)
In this ignite, I consider the future of research focusing on the implications to the developing world as well as why our current approach is likely to break down if we don't start to automate and leverage the innovation potential that comes out of it. Science has evolved from a high intellectual activity practiced by a few elite of individuals who used to share their findings among a few peers through letters and personal communication. It was not before the 17th Centrury when the first scientific publication appeared and since then science has been institutionalized and has been playing an essential role in every aspects of our society, as we all known. but we all take for granted that our current scientific practices will eventually lead us to progress and in reality we should more carefully consider the interplay between science and development. For instance, the knowledge that is generated in the less developed countries does not take into account their more specific and immediate needs and, thus [it] has little or no effect on their economical and social development. This chart suggests that the rate of innovation, relative to population size is actually decreasing, and if it is true that the [world] population is increasing exponentially and if most of the citzens [that] were born in the developing world are not taking part into the game, so we have a problem. To adress this problem, we should encourage the new generation of discoverers to actually be acting and advancing technology in the developing and less developed countries. So what are the current challenges that we have, that this new generation should address? First of all, scientific publishing has to be open and support a new diverse range of publication types: data, rich media, protocols and so on. Second, isolation. The last paper that I've co-authored, with a professor in Sacramento we had not met until we both attended the same conference. So, collaboration over the internet helps but we must be ready to take the next step. And, above all, the next generation should be ready to work in the both fronts: both in the state-of-the-art driven research and the research that is driven by our social needs. If we are able to solve these challenges, then I envision for the near term in the future first that machines will reading the library, comparing and summarizing papers suggesting links between findings and, thus, aiding researchers, helping us everywhere regardless of where we are, and, in the other hand, researchers will be able to collaborate in open and social research networks, crowdfunding their own research projects not depending more on grants. Finally, scientific institutions will be promoting X-like prizes, like [the] format contest we've already seen in the NASA centenial challenges, investing in high-school and college education, which is essential. Moving to the long term, machines will be performing experimentation, suggesting and designing new experiments, summarizing and explaining the results, and participating more actively in innovation by assembling the building blocks in novel and unexpected ways. Researchers will be crowdsourcing research projects, cooperating in unexpected ways and engaging in multidisciplinary research, as we never have seen before. Finally, scientific institutions will be essentialy huge data centers to analyse and process all the data that is growing exponentially. Authorship it likely to be assumed by the scientific institutions, because I envision that there gonna be so many scientists authoring the papers. So, consider that we are now in Brazil, 2020. An automated diagnosis lab has just detected a new lethal virus. The time is running out. We should make something. So, the DNA is sequenced; this data is sent to, say, Nigeria. A machine there performs analysis and in a couple of minutes figures out a new vaccine. This information is sent back to Brazil and another machine, using Synthetic Biology, is able to to, maybe, synthetize proteins which are necessary to manufacture, say, 100,000 of samples of this vaccine, [what] should be enough for a first round of immunization. So, in short, what I'd like to say is that science is gonna be more participatory and automated in a way that will enable us everywhere in the developing world to participate participate more actively and to respond to things that threaten us all. Thank you. - If you were to summarize this in one sentence, what would you say? I'd say that... exactly what I just said in the last slide .. that science is gonna be more participatory and automated. I believe that when this happens, we'll be able to really integrate all the developing world which is currently not taking part into the main fidings and the current state-of-the-art in research. Thus they are not able to fully benefit from the fundamental research that is coming out. This is gonna be something that will impact much more deeply the economical and social development. - Well said. - That's all nice and optimistic and I wish it turns out that way. One way to achieve that is by actually decentralizing the way the current scientific societies hold conferences and control everything. The scientific publishers are mainly private interest companies. I believe that when you open-source that, when you provide the tools for crowdsourcing for open-source and collaboration in the Internet we're gonna be able to see a new trend emerging, as we have seen happening with Wikipedia which has just outperformed in quantity and in quality the more traditional encyclopedias. So, I think this is the way to go. - We've had problems with budgets - The researcher get a grant to do something - and then you outsource that to someone else - and get another grant, so how to manage all that money? It always gonna be an issue. - Everybody knows that if you got a grant - or if you're getting endowment by someother entity, you better spend all that money - because if you have some money at the end of the year, they won't give you the same - amount of money, so... [interrupting] - Carlos have addresed that when he talked about crowdfunding Yeah, crowdfunding. Maybe it is a way to go. There is already one company which is actually doing this right now, it is called "Sci-fly". I think this is likely to; we're likely to see many more companies... [interrupting] - Yeah, this is a very optimistic [scenario] and I certainly wish that it turns out that way. - All right, thank you very much. Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 19 seconds
Country: Brazil
Language: English
Producer: Singularity University
Director: Matt Rutherford
Views: 195
Posted by: crba on Jan 19, 2011

This is Carlos Azevedo's ignite presentation + Q&A session at the GSP'10 Singularity University on the future of scientific research.

Caption and Translate

    Sign In/Register for Dotsub to translate this video.