Strange Loop

How the web is democratizing science (join in!)

I've spent the past 6 years using the web to help researchers do science. The thing about the web is, it's open to everyone! While making tools to help scientists, we've coincidentally given anyone the power to access and analyze the same datasets. Research is no longer confined to the ivory tower of peer reviewed scientists. Anyone with an idea can test it out. We're beginning an age of democratized science.

This is where developers and computer scientists can have a huge mark on scientific discovery. Science is now facing problems that are particularly interesting to software developers. With better sensors, sequencers and methods, research groups are producing more data than they've been trained to handle. Problems we are used to, like data management, analysis and visualization, can be huge blockers to researchers.

This leaves us with the opportunity and skill to solve some of the most meaningful problems out there today. I'll demo some web tools I've worked on at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research to show how some simple data visalizations in the browser helped scientists do their job. I'll also introduce a platform we built at the Mozilla Science Lab to help bring open source practices and collaboration to research.

We're in a new era where science is using the web to be more collaborative. I write code to help solve problems that have a huge affect on our world. You can to.

Abigail Cabunoc Mayes

Abigail Cabunoc Mayes

Mozilla Foundation

Hi, I'm Abby Mayes (née Cabunoc), lead developer for the Mozilla Science Lab. I want to use the web to help more science forward. I build tools for and with the research community while engaging and helping scientists leverage the open web. Prior to joining Mozilla, I worked as a bioinformatics software developer at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research where I lead development on tools helping researchers study C. elegans and related nematodes. With my background bridging the gap between science and the web, I've presented in both academic and instructional capacities to a diverse set of audiences ranging from scientific meetings to tech meetups. I love helping these different worlds understand each other and work together. I've spoken across the continent at institutions like the University of Toronto, UCLA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Caltech and more.