Date & Time
How Science Has Changed in the Information Age(Op-Ed)
Increasingly powerful scientific research instruments are becoming more available to scientists through an evolving cyber-infrastructure, making data creation and dissemination faster and easier. But as new engines of knowledge expand the range of research possibilities, they also open new avenues for publishing raw data prematurely, and they make it easier to share misinformation before it can be corrected.
Such access has increased “the temptation to do some not nice things,” said Katherine Kantardjieff, Founding Dean of the new College of Science and Mathematics at California State University San Marcos.
Kantardjieff led a discussion of “The Conduct of Science in the Information Age” at a February 1 forum at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Hers was the sixth presentation in the 2011-2012 “Exploring Ethics Henrietta Lacks” series.
Using her own field, x-ray crystallography, to illustrate some of the new pitfalls in cyber-based research, Kantardjieff noted that most crystallography databases are required to be open to the public as a condition of government grant support. But “80 percent of the database users are not crystallographers,” she added. Such “naïve users need help to use the tools ethically and appropriately.”
To view a recording of this event, please click here.
Katherine A. Kantardjieff is Founding Dean of the newly formed College of Science and Mathematics at California State University San Marcos and Director of the Keck Center for Molecular Structure (CMolS). Kantardjieff’s previous academic appointments have been Professor and Chair of Chemistry at California State Polytechnic University Pomona and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at California State University Fullerton. Her research utilizes combined experimental and computational approaches to better understand how structure controls chemical and physical properties of biomolecules, and applies this knowledge in drug design and development, as well as in engineering molecules with defined properties. As Director of CMolS, she has been a pioneer in remote enabling of instrumentation in chemistry. Kantardjieff is past Chair of the United States National Committee for Crystallography NAS/NRC, Vice Chair of the National User Facility Organization Steering Committee, and Co-Editor of the Journal of Applied Crystallography.