Friday, April 9, 2010

My Entire Interview

I only had a few comments that made it into the article, which is just fine and dandy. Chelsea did a great job with the article. I'm deciding to supplement the article with the entire email interview just to provide a little more depth and my take on the issues at hand. Note: I wanted to include Koch's interview, but the conversation was not recorded. How funny would that be to get the Google Transcript of? Anyways click the link for the entire interview...

Hi Chelsea,

My name is Anthony Salvagno and Dr. Koch forwarded me your email and your questions. And I'd like to take my shot at answering them for you:


Q: Did you choose to join Steve's lab because it was Open, or was
Openness not a factor (or was it a deterrent, even)?

A: I was one of the first graduate students in the lab (Larry Herskowitz was the other initial student). When he first approached me about the lab policies, I didn't know what Open meant and I had ASSUMED that every lab was like that. I just figured that science was open. When I found out the truth, I was excited to be a pioneer.

Q: What do you like/dislike about working in an Open Lab?
A: The thing I like most about being Open is that anything I work on becomes published instantly. Anyone in the world can see what I'm doing in the lab at any given time for the most part. There are a number of other open scientists and I can contact any of them for help in any sort of way. Also I like that I can get instant feedback as well. As far as dislikes, there isn't much. The only thing I have to worry about is filtering. Sometimes things I say online can be a bit much and I will have to edit a blog post or something in my notebook.

Q: Do you worry about the risks? How do you mitigate them, if at all?
A: I have absolutely no fear whatsoever. I don't know if that is a good thing or not, but that is how I operate. I was the first in the lab to go completely open and I vowed to just put everything out there. I'm not worried about being scooped or anything like that. If the situation presents itself, I'm sure I could get in contact with the opposing party and work out a completely synergistic collaboration. That is the nature of being open I think.

Q: What do your peers who don't work in Open Labs think?
A: I have a few friends who ask me about the fears of being open. They see where I'm coming from, but are hesitant to change because that is the nature of their lab and their PI. Sometimes they can't be open because of the PI of the lab. But I try and show them other ways they can be open without jeopardizing their career.

Q: Do you think that you will continue to work in an Open fashion when
you leave Steve's lab? Can you be specific about what you hope to do?

A: Once I made the commitment to be open I could never go back. It is like being free. I think Dr. Koch saw that I was perfectly suited for this type of research and that is why he decided I should be the Open Science test subject. Everything I do now that is extracurricular is open. I like to blog about research, graphic design, writing, exercise, etc and I do it all pretty much in real time. Because of my experiences in the I have developed skills (and am continuing to develop) that will help me evolve with the technology. I'm not sure if I'm slated for research in the future or something else, but I know everything I've worked on here is directly in line with possible jobs in the future. I could see myself working for an internet company like Science Commons, BenchFly, etc helping other scientists get started in the open community and/or develop the current community even further.

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