The Open Science movement encourages scientists to make their materials, data and publications freely available for the good of everyone. Professor Marcus Munafò of the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol tells us why his group has begun to ‘go public’ with their research – and about some of the unexpected benefits that it can bring.
Marcus Munafò (Image copyright MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol)
Adopting an Open Science approach has been a gradual thing for us. We thought it was the right thing to do because our work is publicly funded and therefore should be made widely available as soon as possible. Sharing data also means that science can, in principle, progress more efficiently, because you may not need to collect new data if you can answer a question by using information that’s already out there. Read more
Cardiologist Professor Stefan Neubauer has invented a test for chronic liver disease which could cut diagnosis time from weeks to a single day. Here he tells us about his working life and what it’s been like to set up a company to develop his discovery.
Listen to the full interview.
I’m a professor of cardiovascular medicine and, in a nutshell, my job is to develop new ways to characterise the inner workings of the heart, based on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and spectroscopy. I’m Director of the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research, and setting up this clinical research unit from scratch – which is now recognised worldwide – has been the highlight of my academic career. But in 2012, I also took a leap into the world of industry. Together with three colleagues I founded a spin-out company based on an important discovery we made.
Professor Dame Carol Robinson is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. Here she tells us about her working life, from becoming fascinated with mass spectrometry to the inspirational role of mentors.
I didn’t take the conventional route to get to where I am today. I actually left school at 16, which was a common thing to do in my school at the time. I’d always been interested in chemistry, so I got a job as a lab technician at Pfizer which was my nearest pharmaceutical company.
After working on various analytical techniques, including chromatography, used to separate mixtures of substances, and nuclear magnetic resonance to determine the structure of organic compounds, I found myself in the mass spectrometry lab, which I found fascinating.
I was lucky in that my supervisors picked up on my obvious passion and fledgling ability early on. They encouraged me to take various part-time courses, which after seven years of hard work resulted in a degree and a place at Cambridge to study for a PhD. Read more