Open Science Means Open Source–Or, at Least, It Should

Why open source was actually invented in 1665.

When did open source begin? In February 1998, when the
term was coined by Christine Peterson
Or in 1989, when Richard Stallman drew up the
“subroutinized” GNU GPL
? Or
perhaps a little earlier, in 1985, when he
created the GNU Emacs license
? How about on March 6, 1665? On that
day, the following paragraph appeared:

Whereas there is nothing more necessary for promoting the
improvement of Philosophical Matters, than the communicating to such, as
apply their Studies and Endeavours that way, such things as are discovered
or put in practise by others; it is therefore thought fit to employ the
Press, as the most proper way to gratifie those, whose engagement in
such Studies, and delight in the advancement of Learning and profitable
Discoveries, doth entitle them to the knowledge of what this Kingdom,
or other parts of the World, do, from time to time, afford, as well
of the progress of the Studies, Labours, and attempts of the Curious
and learned in things of this kind, as of their compleat Discoveries
and performances: To the end, that such Productions being clearly and
truly communicated, desires after solid and usefull knowledge may be
further entertained, ingenious Endeavours and Undertakings cherished,
and those, addicted to and conversant in such matters, may be invited
and encouraged to search, try, and find out new things, impart their
knowledge to one another, and contribute what they can to the Grand design
of improving Natural knowledge, and perfecting all Philosophical Arts,
and Sciences.

Those words are to be found in the
very first issue of the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions
the oldest scientific journal in continuous publication in the world,
which published key results by Newton and others. Just as important is
the fact that it established key principles of science that we take for
granted today, including the routine public sharing of techniques and
results so that others can build on them—open source, in other words.

Given that science pretty much invented what we now call the open-source
approach, it’s rather ironic that the scientific community is currently
re-discovering openness, in what is known as open science. The movement
is being driven by a growing awareness that the passage from traditional,
analog scientific methods, to ones permeated by digital technology,
is no minor evolution. Instead, it brings fundamental changes to how
science can—and should—be conducted.

Source: Linux Journal