From the moment I started my role at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in early February, the COVID-19 pandemic has been changing how we work and live. While most of the labs at Fred Hutch were briefly dark during the spring, many of our researchers were able to pivot to work on ways to track, treat and stop the spread of COVID-19. The rest of our employees have adapted and adjusted to overcome the hurdles created by the coronavirus to continue their efforts to eliminate cancer and related diseases.
Read more in this special series of articles.
These pivots, adaptations and adjustments have accelerated or disrupted some trends in science and research that had, until recently, been evolving slowly — open science, modeling to inform public health efforts, recruiting future scientists and others. They are likely to continue accelerating in the coming months and years, challenging Fred Hutch and similar organizations but also opening up new ways for us to conduct our research.
To dive deeper into the impact of COVID-19 on the open science movement I recently spoke with Senior Vice President Dr. Sue Biggins, who leads Fred Hutch’s Basic Sciences Division and studies how specialized cellular machines known as kinetochores allow cells to separate and distribute their chromosomes accurately. Sue has been an advocate for open science — a global effort to make scientific research and its dissemination more accessible. With COVID-19, the trend of posting papers on preprint servers and sharing scientific insights via social media has ramped up significantly. In our conversation, Sue talks about the impact of that acceleration, particularly on academic publishing and the peer review process. We also discuss the dangers of misinformation and bad science spreading via social media.
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