Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

The Future: Today

Two papers appeared on my radar this week that give a taste of the kind of science we want everyone to be able to do in five years' time. The first, by Aide et al, is "Real-time bioacoustics monitoring and automated species identification"; the second, by Omberg et al, is "Enabling transparent and collaborative computational analysis of 12 tumor types within The Cancer Genome Atlas". They're both excellent pieces of 21st Century science, and they caught my eye because:

  • They're open access: I was able to read them on the off chance that they'd be interesting.
  • They show how a few scientists with serious software skills can accelerate the research of hundreds of others, provided those others have a few skills themselves.

The second half of the last point is (obviously) the most important one from Software Carpentry's point of view. Scientists don't have to understand task automation or version control in order to analyze the audio data collected by the first team, or to use the Synapse platform built by the second, but it undoubtedly helps.

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