What Is Science 2.0? No One Else Seems To Know
    By Hank Campbell | May 14th 2010 04:37 PM | 18 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

    View Hank's Profile
    I recently saw an article that surprised me, and it isn't often I am surprised by anything that shows up on the Internet.   It was written by Adrienne J. Burke at the New York Academy of Sciences and titled "Conversations with seven Science 2.0 pioneers" but that isn't what surprised me either; Science 2.0 gets used all of the time and it is a registered trademark (of yours truly) but I only bothered to trademark it when people started trying to use it to make money.    The NYAS article is free so they aren't going to get a cease-and-desist or anything like that.

    But Burke makes a crucial error that strikes right at the heart of the confluence of science and culture; namely that even the NYAS does not not know what Science 2.0 is, other than through a revenue framework.

    Here are the 7 people interviewed as Science 2.0 pioneers:

    Harold Varmus, co-founder of Public Library of Science
    Timo Hannay, Publishing Director, Nature Publishing Group
    Stewart Wills, Editorial Director, Web&New Media, Science Magazine
    Adam Bly, founder of Seed Magazine (owner of and
    James Boyle, founding member of Creative Commons 
    Anurag Acharya, Founding Engineer, Google Scholar
    John Wilbanks, Executive Director, Science Commons and writer

    The first three are peer-reviewed journals so very much Science 1.0 - and two of them charge readers.  

    Science 2.0 if you pay a fee is not Science 2.0.JPG
    Hint: this is not Science 2.0 but it is part of the reason I trademarked it.   

    Seed is a magazine so Science Communication 1.0, though I would consider a Science 2.0 idea since it is bypassing traditional gate keeping and bridging the gaps between science and the public, just like we are.

    Creative Commons did not issue forth as part of Science 2.0, it came before and is a way to make publishing a little easier without giving away copyright.   So Boyle's inclusion is a little puzzling.   
    Google Scholar is a search feature owned by a multi-billion dollar juggernaut, so definitely not Science 2.0.

    Science Commons is basically creative commons, except for data, and data is the foundation of science - this is the only one where the author gets it right about it being Science 2.0.  Though I created the term years earlier, Wilbanks has at least been at this since 2006 (so not a bandwagon newcomer) and a Creative Commons effort for data can be considered 'pioneering'.

    If you read Burke's article you got a question and answer with seven people but no clear idea what they all had in common or why Burke considers most of it Science 2.0 at all.   Is Science 2.0 simply open access?    Errrrr, no, this site is Science 2.0 and it is not open access yet the questions for Varmus relate only to open access and the questions for Bly relate to how his company wants to change the nature of Impact Factors.  Wills mentions that Science has been on the Web since 1996 so I am not sure he even knew what article he was in.  If open access is not Science 2.0, Twitter is certainly not.

    These are 7 Science 2.0 'pioneers' but none of them seem to know what Science 2.0 is.   So send me a mail or leave a comment and tell me what you think it is.    My next article will be laying it out once and for all, though I expect people will still use Science 2.0 like "jobs saved or created" - basically to mean whatever they feel like.

    Science 2.0 registered trademark USPTO
    edit: by request I have added in a copy of the Science 2.0 trademark registration, I guess so it can show up in Google or something.


    I always liked Scientific American, and I like scientificblogging, so I will be anxiously awaiting your clarification as to what Science 2.0® is all about.

    Science 2.0®
    ha ha ... well, I liked Scientific American too but I think they lost their way in the early and mid-2000s along with most of the science journalism community.   The place of science writing should not be cheerleading or advocacy but rather trusted guides and asking the awkward questions.   And way too many places lost that and corporate media profits are higher than ever but science journalism has been slashed - if people can't trust what they are writing, media bosses will know it and spend resources elsewhere.

    I am chuckling at the little trademark thingie.   I have never asked anyone to include that, I only write people if they are either claiming to be Science 2.0 (I won't mention who that was because they stopped after I wrote them) or using it to make a profit.     The graphic in my article is from the AAAS site - one of the many "non-profit" companies that are no different than any profit company except not paying dividends and instead hoarding millions in the bank - because I thought it ironic that they talk about Science 2.0 as nothing 'new' and then charge to read it, which is as 'old' a gimmick as it gets.
    I let my SciAm sub lapse in '04 after several years of perpetual downhill sliding into New Sensationalist-like territory, increased political bias and general amping up of stupid glitzy computer generated fluff-filled illustrations. The last straw was me picking up a copy from the '80s about the structure of matter, leptons and quarks etc. which was just mindblowingly good. Far better than anything they churn out now. Oh well, those days are long gone. Anyway, who needs em anymore when you can go straight to places like Tommaso's blog or Resonnances and get the story from the horse's mouth?

    I am certainly not surprised they chimed in with journals on the 'Science 2.0 is open access' foolishness.  Then they can frame it as a quality issue, namely that their Science 1.0 must be better because it has editors.

    I agree with you that quality science writers need no editors.  Instead we tell people to catch up or go kick rocks - we ain't dumbing anything down.
    In other news, it looks like ION has taken to using AdCopy for their captchas now which forces me to regurgitate verbatim a whole line of advertisement text to make them money. Laaaaaaame.

    Believe me, it makes the site no money. But captcha is a headache and moderators get tired of spending time deleting spam - a company in business to prevent spam is going to do a better job than we can, since that is not our core competency.  

    If you know of a good one (besides, captcha, recaptcha, akismet, etc. - we have tried them all) that a free site can afford to implement, we are all eyeballs.

    P.S. And in 5 seconds you can register and never see a captcha again.
    um, if we're going to number the phases of science - wouldn't science 1.0 be paleolithic times when they figured out to put the flint in the fire before making tools so you could make a finer blade

    or at least going by the major civiliation phases of discovery and into the modern day - we'd be way past 2.0 by now


    I'm fairly new to Sci-blog 2.0 and feel privileged to be a part of such a knowledgeable community. Looking forward in reading your elaborating thoughts. I see this site as a library of intellectual thought. Our individualism and point of view are what makes us, "the human race", unique.


    John W.
    Hi John, and welcome,

    I certainly agree.  And like a library, it's a lonely place without readers so that's why we exist.
    Burke has not got a clue, has she?. Except none on her list has anything to do with Science 2.0.

    Sharing scientific data has been a topic of concern long before the new media, it is just developing very slowly. I mean, I took over as Director of European Sea Level Service, a service providing quality ensured sea level data, free of charge and openly available to all, in 2004. The ideas were born in the 1990ties. You cannot call that Science 2.0. Burke is just not getting it at all.

    Funny that is not mentioned.

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    I think it's a New York phenomenon; they all think the world ends at the Hudson River.  One of the more famous instances is New Yorker scribe Pauline Kael, who said, after Nixon's 1972 landslide victory in the presidential election, "I don't know how Nixon won. No one I know voted for him."   Burke wrote me an email and said no one she talked to mentioned us.  She also said I could write a letter to the editor with a clarification but there isn't much point to that - it looks like some crybaby who wasn't included is now complaining.

    In reality, the fact that even someone paid to look into a story can't find anyone outside big media companies to ask about Science 2.0 says that perhaps scientists like the Web but they don't embrace it, likely for competitive reasons.    Politics and economics really thrive with blogging as a conduit, to such an extent that there is no Politics 2.0 because Politics 1.0 has been defunct forever - politicians have long embraced the online world.

    The Wikipedia entry for Science 2.0 is just as ridiculous (I am not even linking to it) because they make it a synonym for research 2.0, medicine 2.0 and whatever.  Basically, they just throw 2.0 onto a dressed-up open access policy.

    I do agree with two of those picks she had; Panda's Thumb had many of the same people so they would be more of a chronological pioneer but Scienceblogs put a lot of marketing dollars behind the science blogging effort - pioneers don't have to be first, they have to be first to do well enough to get noticed.   And Science Commons began a year later and was a good idea.  The other 5 picks make no sense.
    my guess is that science 2.0 means there a whole new approach.
    lets take Windows as example , if you compare windows 95 with windows vista , you see it are 2 different version.
    if you have windows vista service pack 1 en windows vista service pack 2 , you have a version of windows that was patched, some small systems were a bit altered to run better.

    so my conclusion is that science 2.0 is like the vista compared to the science 1.0 (who is the 95)

    (vista still was full of errors and such so maybe take windows 7 as example ;-) )
    Win95 and Vista are both still essentially the same type of operating system, so nothing new.    Punchcards to magnetic storage was a big leap for the home market and that made computers ubiquitous.
    Science 2.0 is a change in the basics of how things have been done as well, but when people get 5 out of 7 totally wrong in an article written in 2010, I guess I need to write a book.
    "...when people get 5 out of 7 totally wrong in an article written in 2010, I guess I need to write a book."

    Yes, I think you do! :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    seeing i was wrong , i guess i'll have to buy that book :p
    ha ha ... well, not wrong.   Sometimes things take on a definition of their own.   I used to correct journalists who used 'begs the question' as 'requiring that the question be asked' but finally gave up on it.   I may have to give up on Science 2.0 not being open access also.
    maybe its better to describe the difference between science 1.0 en science 2.0 like the current hard-drives , who uses magnetic forces to inscribe information on a disk , and the new form of holographic storage that uses a laser to inscibe information on a durable gel. further difference between Hard-drive en holographic drive is that the hard-drive only stores information in a 2D plane while holographic stores information in 3D.
    Science developed the same way as most armies: money talks, merit walks.  It is exceedingly rare to find any scientist before the 20th century who was not from the 'right' kind of family or who did not have a wealthy sponsor.

    In the early days of computing, the computer was in a special room attended by people in white coats.  For a long time access was via paperwork - special forms or punched cards.  Even when the teletype was used as a terminal, access to the terminal was restricted to specialists.

    Today, any ordinary person can build or buy a computer and gain access to millions of sites with scientific data.  For me, science 1.0 is restricted to an elite, an 'old boys' network.  Science 2.0 is an open access network where merit is earned through public demonstration of scientific skills.