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ISMB 2022: Open Box Science

I had the great privilege of attending the Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology conference in Madison, July 10–14. Here, I’m sharing about something interesting I learned there!

During one of the poster sessions at ISMB I came across a poster describing an initiative known as Open Box Science. Given my interest in both open source scientific tools and science education and communication, the name alone caught my attention! Looking into them in more detail assured me that this is an excellent scientific resource, especially for students and early career scientists.

Open Box Science (or OBS) has a fairly minimalist website in which they describe themselves as “a platform to supercharge science communication in an OPEN, RAPID, and INTERACTIVE manner.” Where they really shine is in their online events, in which scientists who aren’t already well-known and established are given a platform to share their research, innovation, and expertise – and which are recorded and made publicly available on YouTube for anyone around the world to access and learn from. (For readers here, I recommend the most recent recording on the NextFlow workflow manager language as a tool for building reproducible bioinformatics pipelines with the support of a wider research community.)

For notifications of upcoming events or notifications of newly uploaded recordings, OBS uses Twitter (@OpenBoxSci), but the most recent updates are also shared on their website for those of us who prefer Mastodon (or eschew social media in general…). I’m looking forward to watching many of the pre-recorded seminars and hopefully catching some events in realtime in the future – maybe I will see some of you there!

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