'Sandbox For Geeks' Powers Open Medical Research

Alex Woodie | Datanami | July 10, 2013

The people behind Sage Bionetworks hope that a new community-driven approach to research that features a big pool of scientific data that is open to all--or a "sandbox for geeks" as its founder put it--will result in progress being made in the battles against diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer's, and breast cancer.

In the scientific community, secrecy is often part and parcel of the process, and critical to one's ability to monetize a breakthrough. While getting rich is definitely a big incentive, there's a growing stream of thought in the scientific community that a democratic approach that involves sharing data and working together may actually be more effective at advancing the cause of science, finding breakthroughs, and improving the lives of millions of people

Dr. Stephan Friend, who founded the non profit Sage Bionetworks in 2009, is a believer in using this community-based approach to further scientific inquiry and discovery, and replacing getting rich with getting published. [...]