Open Science Advocates

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First paragraph is from Charles Knight, reaction in second paragraph from Anthony Williams [1] .

Jean-Claude Bradley:

The main conduit and public face of Open Science to working chemists in academia. Ambassador and guide to Open Science to non-scientists. Explicator extraordinaire on the actual practices and value of Open Science and Open Notebook Science in particular.

JC is like the “billboard of ONS” and I mean that in a positive way. He speaks from the heart regarding his passion for ONS, he demonstrates true value and benefits to the approach, has brought together a team of disparate collaborators to produce demonstrations regarding what openness, services and a willing group of people can produce as an outcome. JC focuses his efforts on spreading the word, takes no offense when people don’t support the direction and knows that, ultimately, ONS will have a growing prominence in the future. (

Cameron Neylon:

Tools meister and theory man. Connector to industry (e.g., Google vis-à-vis Google Wave, and Elsevier.) Tireless and charismatic advocate and astute analyst of key developments in Open Science.

Cameron is a connector too. He is passionate about Open Science and a masterful communicator. Some of his blog posts for me are very much “I wish I’d said that…” in nature. Cameron has a way of bringing clarity to the challenges we face, offering some solutions but in a way that he is not wedded to his approach but to a solution. He is a bridge-builder and, in my opinion, single-handedly got science and Google Wave connected efficiently with the Google staff. There are many people discussing Google Wave and a number of people working with the technology but Cameron has marshaled us into action. He is a trusted evangelist for how such solutions can be applied to science and has the ear of many people, mine included. I just wish we could do more faster to support his vision! (

Michael Nielsen:

Thinker and theoretician on Open Science of a philosophical bent.

As with most people I have met who are involved with Open Science Michael is passionate, opinionated, thoughtful and fearless. I’ve met Michael only on two occasions, one of these where we shared the podium at the Library of Congress. His presentation was reflective in a way that it calmly called us to attention and action around Open Science. He has the ear of the publishers and some of his blog posts have the community listening, wondering, concerned and optimistic all at the same time. It depends on WHO you are in the community! As I am now in publishing this post was particularly interesting. (

Andrew Lang:

Supporter of all of the above and master of the nuts and bolts of the tools and technologies of Open Science.

It’s been many years since I saw the A-Team (but I hear they are making a new movie!) but if you ever saw it you’ll remember that you could lock the team in an old garden shed and with baling twine, an old lawnmower and a deck chair they’d be able to make a top notch speed racer. Andy is that character in the world of plugging together online resources to the benefit of those doing Open Science. He’s worked with JC Bradley and used Google Docs, Web Services and Open Data to publish a book on Open Solubility Data on Lulu. The paper co-authored with JC regarding Chemistry in Second Life does a great job in detailing how he is a plumber using the necessary tools to get a result. We’ve worked together with ChemSpider and the Open Spectral Data on the database to create the Spectral Game, both 1D and 2D . Andy is fast, efficient and not shy…I appreciate him asking us for things he needs…it improves our services and he gets to give away to the community for the benefit of all. (

Bora Zivkovic:

Organizer of the key Conference ScienceOnline and influential blogger.

Bora is wonderfully influential, easy to talk to, very connected and prolific. He is very valuable to me keeping me connected to what’s going on in the world of science through his tireless communication via all of the delivery systems he uses. He is a master of the social network and a true evangelist for online science. You’ve seen how much work he has done on his blog so far to draw attention to ScienceOnline. While he is not the only one working on it he has a very loud voice, in a good way, in drawing attention to the conference. It’s been fully booked for months…and in this economy. It lends credence to the quality of the meeting as well as to how Science Online is becoming more high profile. (

Antony Williams

Builder, innovator and creator of key tool of Open Science, ChemSpider. Master of building basic platforms of Open Science and standard science and adroit and effective leader of outreach to mainstream scientific societies and organizations.

I’d define myself as an Idea Guy with a try-it-and-see mentality. I’ve worked in government labs, in academia, in Fortune 500 corporate America, in small start-up transitioned to established presence. I now work for a British publisher and have owned two of my own companies. There is a place for ideas in all places of course but the smaller the organization the more likely it is that you can run in many directions trying out various things. In our domain that only holds true if it requires sweat and intellect and not capital investments. So much was possible with ChemSpider because the platform was cheap and the investment was intellectual sweat. I still like to try out many ideas in parallel if they have low time investments. Some of the greatest pay-off projects I’ve ever been involved with come from such investigations. There are others who I judge work in a similar way and getting a lot done with minimal resources…Andy Lang, Rich Apodaca and Egon Willighagen among them.

ChemSpider wasn’t built just by me. There was a key group of individuals who worked very hard on the platform. I love being part of a highly effective team who knuckle down and progress projects. My role is definitely one of hands-across-the-seas trying to navigate the complexities of multiple opinions, stances and needs to deliver benefits to the community at large and the organizations involved. It is hard enough to establish win-win in some cases and gets very complex when there are many parties involved. But the challenge is what makes it stimulating and I rarely back down easily and stand for what’s right.

Despite my recent roles that have been more business oriented I still think of myself as a scientist and try to keep my hand into NMR though it’s limited today to software algorithms for NMR prediction and computer assisted structure elucidation. There’s a list of my papers on Mendeley and a couple of new ones in preparation now. I am fortunate that I have remained engaged with ACD/Labs at a technical level and get to work with some of the best intellect in the world in terms of NMR prediction and structure elucidation algorithms. I believe that to improve it is best to surround myself with people I can learn from and that invigorates my grey matter!" (