I'm a strong believer in the notion that science, especially academic science that is performed with public money, should be openly accessible to everyone. I'm sort of on the radical fringe of this belief, as I think that not only published results, but lab notebooks, and in-process stuff as well should be shared.

A dehydrated Kombucha mother

This is the Kombucha mother I rehydrated at the beginning of the year (purchased from culturesforhealth.com). It will still be about 3 weeks until it's activated.

Alas, since science is also collaborative, I can't actually make this choice on my own. There are structural impediments to openness - namely, since publications are the only currency that matters, leaked data/ideas could be grabbed by someone else. If they publish, there's no mechanism to give me credit for what I produced. In my fantasy future, scientific publications could link to blog posts/personal web pages as citations (so my posts could have an "impact factor"), but this is not the world we live in.

When (hopefully someday) I have my own lab, I intend to engage in this radical openness anyway, but the collaborative nature of science means that I can almost never make this decision just for myself. I'll have to disclose to students, post-docs and collaborators that this is the case, and I suspect that many will be unwilling to take the risk. And I certainly can't take that stance while I'm still only a postdoc myself. If I share ideas/results from my lab, I would not just be risking my own professional advancement, but that of my PI and the rest of the lab as well.

So, I can't tell you much about what I'm doing in lab (it involves cheese and cheese microbes!). But I can tell you about my own personal experiments with fermentation. And I have been. In the interest of experimenting with an open lab notebook, and because I can't write a post every time I start a new ferment (seriously, I've got like 5 going at this moment), I'm sharing my evernote fermentation notebook.

I'm also working on setting up a personal blog for discussing open science, my adventures in python coding (I'm doing some rudimentary bioinformatics for lab) and other stuff. Stay tuned!