Science in the 21st century is struggling to catch up with the general trend in society towards opennessThe 2011 Nobel prize for physics was recently given to Adam Riess, Brian Schmidt and Saul Perlmutter for working out that the universe's outer reaches are accelerating away from us. As Martin Rees has pointed out, were it not for the rules that limit the number of Nobel winners to three, the prize could equally have been bestowed on the huge collaborative effort of which they are figureheads.Science is increasingly dependent on large-scale collaborations. The Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project, for example, bring together hundreds of researchers from universities in dozens of countries. Individual genius plays its part, but science has always been a team sport. Scientific knowledge is, at least in theory, cumulative, collective and accessible to all. Michael Nielsen is an advocate of open science – of networking,...
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