This week, I’m creating in a different way. I have had a bunch of ideas floating around in my head about open science and gift economies, and I wanted to refine them. One way I develop my thinking is by trying to put it on paper and seeing where the holes are, what synthesizing ideas come out, and finding out whether I have enough background and understanding to even be tackling the topic. (This works for me in my journalism as well.)
The great by-product: something is created that can be shared. In this case it is an essay. It’s not a physical book, or art piece, and isn’t even fiction, but it is still created, and I would argue, creative, despite being somewhat analytical.
The piece is very much still in progress (not in the sense of merely needing refinement but in the sense of only having half the words down on paper). I’ll see if I can finish it this week and post it in draft form. For now, I won’t say much here except that it tries to explore how the open science movement has the potential to push science culture toward being a gift economy, something that seems to be an ideal for some, but is a long way from reality.
The essay will touch on topics such as open access, peer reviewing, reputation and recognition, outsider science, and the cultural and financial impediments to achieving a gift economy.