Open Con 2018

Status: In progress.

Open Con 2017

Status: Successful. Caveats: I applied with funding (which I think made it easier). I also couldn’t attend in the end as conflicted with a Neuroscience Conference.

Who are you?

Hey! I’m a current student doing a DPhil in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. I do experiments where I record from loads of brain cells while mice run around an do tasks. The day job is analysing that data, but since starting my PhD I’ve got quite involved in a few online communities focused around Open Source & Open Science. Even more recently I have become super interested in how these communities are organised, their influence on more traditional institutions such as Universities, and how they can be best used to maintain inclusivity/accessibility for Open Science.

Why are you interested in OpenCon?

My interest in Open Access and Open Data stems originally from frustration at the lack of reproducibility in Science and the inertia surrounding the way we share our ideas and results. However I think now the main bottlenecks in moving Open Science forward are no longer technological but culture- and education-related. Thus the projects I am working on now are mostly different ways in which I think we can improve access to -and incentivise- formal training in skills from data-sharing to science-communication. At a local level I have recently taken the Software Carpentry instructors course so I can run workshops to help teach basic programming skills to scientists in Oxford. I’ve also ensured that our next departmental career-development day will be dedicated reproducible research, and how to effectively share data. At an institutional level I am helping to organise a “Reproducibility School” event this autumn (with over 100 participants) and am in the process of organising a meeting with stakeholders across the university with the aim to set up a university wide committee tasked with making “Oxford a leader in Reproducible Research”. At a global, and open, level I am also involved with Jon Tennant’s efforts to start a Massive Open Online Course for Open Science. status regular

What are your ideas for advancing Open Access, Open Education and/or Open Data?

As I mentioned above I think, at this stage, training is key to the adoption of Open Data & other sharing schemes. One of the things I am currently inexperienced with, and would love to discuss & develop at a meeting like Open Con, is how best to engage traditional institutions such as Universities and leverage their existing network to push forward these values.


I blog about lots of these things, including the Open projects I’m working on at Notable other projects at the moment include: neuroJulia - a project where I am trying to build a community of neuroscientists who are using the programming language Julia and a Code of Conduct Remixer - an app I am building to help people choose, and customise, the ideal code of conduct for their event or organisation. I’ve also recently written an article (that will be copied onto my blog soon) for the British Neuroscience Association entitled “Networked Communities - Building the Cultural & Educational Resources Required for a Successful Transition to Open Science.” Age