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Practical Tools For Innovation
O'Reilly Bioinformatics Technology Conference
January 28-31, 2002 -- Tucson, AZ
Chambered Nautilus

Session

Panel: Open Data/Open Source

Annalee Newitz, Policy Analyst, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ewan Birney, European Bioinformatics Institute
Steven Brenner, Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley
Ann Loraine, Staff Scientist, Affymetrix

Track: Discovery
Date: Wednesday, January 30
Time: 2:15pm - 3:45pm
Location: Canyon I

A group of four experts in bioinformatics programming, as well as law and cultural analysis, discuss the increasing importance of open source code in computational biology, where code means both raw genomic sequence data and the software designed to analyze it.

In conversation with each other and the audience, panelists will describe the "open code debate" and explain how the debate has affected their work and careers. By describing their contributions and/or use of open source tools, they will provide a general overview of the current state of open source tool development in bioinformatics. More generally, they will explore the value and feasibility of importing open code sensibilities into biotech, a field where a company's value is measured largely in patents and proprietary technologies.

Each panelist offers a different perspective on the issues. We will discuss everything from the legal issues in open source development at universities and user concerns in using computational biology tools, to forming bioinformatics development groups and the ethical challenge of "biopunks," radicals who believe in the total liberation of genetic data.


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